CLEVELAND – Building the East 73rd Street playground was no easy task for residents living on the street, but the neighborhood pulled together and made a big change.
“Compared to what you see here ten years ago this is great. This was all crack houses and brothels,” said resident, Edward Gurewitz, said this park was a labor of love.
Gurewitz’s deceased wife, Mattie Gurewitz, was determined to make it happen before she died last year.
“My wife spearheaded the thing and now that she’s passed it became personal with me,” he explained.
That’s why Gurewitz said he is frustrated with the vandals who tore up the park last night.
They destroyed expensive lights and tore down picnic tables, leaving behind empty beer cans.
“We just think this is probably a drug group that wants to make sure they can use the thing at night cause it’s convenient. You’ve got benches, you’ve got a place to sit down, you can eat and you don’t want the public watching you,” said Gurewitz, “You can do your deals.”
Resident Godfrey Jackson said he believes adults should know and do better.
“Everybody comes from everywhere to this park to play bring their kids,” said Jackson. “It’s just bad you know when grown people mess it up for children.”
Gurewitz said he is not surprised. He knew cleaning up the street would not be easy.
“I think this happens in any place that all of a sudden tries to get rid of cockroaches,” said Gurewitz.
The East 73rd Street Community Cub will host a street cleanup on April 28 from 2 to 4:30 p.m.