Gardens List

Gardens & Greenspaces > Gardens List

List of community gardens in the Lower East Side and East Village of Manhattan, NYC.

This Gardens List is IN PROGRESS while we rebuild this list for 52 gardens with as much details as possible per garden. For the current old list, see Gardens by Street.

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Total number of gardens: 4
PhotoGarden NameGarden by StreetGarden TypeGarden Website
El Sol Brillante 12th Street Private Garden (PRI) - Land Trust
East Side Outside Community Garden 11th Street GreenThumb (NYC Parks)
Down to Earth Garden 12th Street GreenThumb (NYC Parks)
Dias Y Flores Community Garden 13th Street GreenThumb (NYC Parks)

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In 1956, Joe Papp began the outdoor theater tradition on the Lower East Side when he introduced “Shakespeare in the Park” in East River Park Amphitheater. From the 1950’s to the present, the Park was the site of frequent free Evening-in-the-Park concerts and plays. In 2022, LUNGS (Loisaida United Neighborhood Gardens) launched the first FREE annual LUNGS

Summer Theater Festival and continues to honor the tradition with the third annual festival this June. The 2024 festival will be hosted by Lower East Side icon Riki Colon and feature poems by  Loisaida Poetas, read by Carlos Rodriguez. 

The 3rd Annual LUNGS Summer Theater Festival is supported in part by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. The festival was curated by Erez Ziv, Riki Colon, Roman Primativo Albear, Bonnie Sue Stein and Charles Krezell. Special thanks go to 6B Garden, Sally Young, Jason Trucco, Bunny and Rina Root. Festival banner by Theresa Linnihan

2024 Festival Schedule


By Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre

Created and performed by Vit Horejs & Sayma Karim

Featuring The Naughty Tiger performed by Sayma Karin and The Devil and The Lawyer & The Twelve Months  performed by Vit Horejs. In addition: The Devil marionette announces his 2024 Presidential Campaign. Sayma Karim and her Muppet Titly will tell a Bengali folk tale she heard as a child in her home country of Bangladesh followed by Vít Hořejš and his Century old marionettes telling his childhood story from Czechoslovakia, where the naughty creatures are, of course, the devils.

Sayma Karim, a versatile puppeteer and educator, worked for 19 years in Bangladesh before emigrating to the USA. As a teacher, she trained emerging talents in voice, acting, and puppetry and acted in television dramas as well as puppetry. She joined the Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre this year. 

A native of Prague, Vít Hořejš emigrated to the US in 1979. In 1990, he found a trove of antique marionettes in the attic at Jan Hus Church on East 74th Street, in the heart of the once-upon-a-time Czech and Slovak neighborhood and founded Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre in NYC. He has lived in the once-upon-a-time Czech and Slovak Lower East Side since 1980.


Presented by Something from Abroad 

Written and Directed by Regina Romero

Performed by Regina Romero, Silvana Gonzalez, Pelayo Alvarez and Martha Lorena Preve

In El Tendedero Latin New Yorkers Zaira and Nadia deal with the arrival of new neighbors; and with everything that it might imply: gentrification? Love? Infidelity? This short comedy is set in the perfect chisme (gossip) spot: a rooftop “Tendedero”. The reflection of a quintessential NY community. 

Something From Abroad produces material from different cultural backgrounds to give “outside” stories a voice in America today. It is a theater company made up of a couple of broads from abroad, proud to promote art created by women. Our mission is to provide an opportunity for actors from all over the world to perform on stage in New York. We tell the stories of our people and our struggle as immigrants. We believe that the differences and diversity that an international group brings to the table are our strength.

Pelayo Álvarez  is a Spanish actor and singer who honed his skills studying theater and film in Madrid, London, and New York. Since moving to New York, he has combined his work training diplomats at the United Nations with the development of his art by performing in venues such as Club Cumming, Don’t Tell Mama, or House of Yes, where he currently works as the Welcome Committee member. Under the pseudonym Pelayo AF, he has released original music and covers, producing eclectic music videos that you can find by searching for Pelayo AF on YouTube. Recently he has starred in “Hamlet, La Telenovela,” and is set to release his album “Don’t Call Me, Don’t Text Me, My Phone Is Busy…” Pelayo h. (IG: @pelayoaf)

Silvana Gonzalez is a Mexican actress, dancer and choreographer who graduated from NYU Tisch with a Founders Day Award and BFA in Theater. Her theater credits include Olena in Mariupol: Diary of War, Liuba in Radio 477!, Ondine in A Thousand Suns at La MAMA, Hera in FauxBia! The Musical at Carnegie Hall, Milenia at The Lucille Lortel, Hermia in A Midsummer Night´s Dream, Cynthia in WarLovers at Theater Row, and Louise Overbee in Love/Sick. Her film credits include Alejandra in Perfidia, Dr. Esperanza Haddid in Call The Sandman, Maria in Disconnect by Ryo Jaegger. Silvana is a company member of Something From Abroad, Yara Arts Group and Magis Theater and is very excited to perform “El Tendedero”

Martha Lorena Preve Ayora is a Mexican multi-disciplinary theater artist. She is the co-founder of the theater company Something from Abroad where she plays different roles like producer, playwright, performer and stage manager. She has worked as an assistant stage manager for three OFF BROADWAY shows at the Theater Center. Her original play Pastorela: A Very Merry Immigrant Christmas was staged at the Lucille Lortel Tinsel Festival. Her original monologue The Hammock received the Audience Choice Award at NBC’s Ya Tu Sabes Monologue Slam! contest. Recently she has starred in Hamlet: La Telenovela, a production that received the “Billy Bard Award” at the Young Howze theatre awards. She is thrilled to participate in this amazing festival with this talented group of artists, she would like to thank her parents, LUNGS and everyone that made this possible, thank you team, LOVE YOU ANDREW. IG: @martha_preve

Regina Romero (she/her/hers) is a Brooklyn based actor and writer, originally from Mexico City. She is interested in bringing Latine stories to the forefront, which can be seen in the productions she has written and starred in: Suficiente, La Sombra de Sofía, and Erial. Her latest short film, Suficiente, won second place in the Binational Kaleidoscope Film Festival Contest. Her poetry has been published at The Acentos Review. IG: @reginaromerof


Written by Mexican playwright Javier Malpica

Directed by Roman Primitivo Albear

Performed by Daniel Gutierrez Isaiah Garcia

The play concerns two young Mexican brothers who are left with their grandmother in a rural village while their father goes to the United States to look for work. Motherless, missing their father, and left in the care of relatives they scarcely know, the boys rely on one another for emotional support they are unequipped to provide, and for physical support in a naive and desperate attempt to reach their father in “Atlantis.”

Roman Primitivo Albear, playwright, poet,  director, and painter, was born in Mexico City and lives in New York City. 


Written by Charles Krezell

Directed by Daria Faïn, Music by Leonid Galaganov

Performed by Leonid Galaganov, Rocco George, Jhonatan Zapata Garcia, Owen Engesser and David Fasano. Guitar by John King

1936, Lorca is arrested by La Guardia de Civil in fascist Spain. He is waiting for the morning to come.  

Daria Faïn (Director) is a Brooklyn-based dance theater artist and somatic explorer originally from the Mediterranean. She fuses her European cultural background with three decades of practice in Asian philosophies of the body and American dance training. Faïn studied theater in France with the Roy Hart Theater and the Peter Brook Company and has researched ancient Greek Theater. She has extensively researched the reciprocal influence between the environment and human behaviors. In 2006, with poet/architect Robert Kocik, they created the Prosodic Body, a new field of research on the embodiment of language that manifests in performance, education, architecture, and writing. Faïn has presented seventeen evening-length performances, numerous other short works, installations, four durational pieces, improvisations, and a feature film. 

Leonid Galaganov (Lorca, Music) is a NYC-based composer, improviser and multi-instrumentalist from Estonia. Shaped by an eclectic background in jazz, classical, world and spiritual music, his work feeds on a broad range of both traditional and experimental influences. Leonid has toured in Europe and the US, played on 20 record releases, and received commissions from the American Modern Ensemble, Cassatt String Quartet and Ensemble Mise-En. A frequent multi-disciplinary collaborator, his role has expanded into acting with Lorca’a last night.

Rocco George (Dióscoro) is a unique character actor, puppet maker, and puppeteer who starred in numerous horror, comedy, and experimental films. Rocco is best known for playing “Coach Rocco” on THE ELLIE SPARKLES SHOW on YouTube. For more information visit

Owen Engesser (Francisco) is an actor and improviser based in Harlem. He graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design with a B.F.A in Performing Arts. Owen is thrilled to be back at LUNGS, and for the opportunity to work with Charles and this incredible cast and team.

Jhonatan Zapata,(Joaquín) actor and dancer from Cali, Colombia. Taught by mentors like América barrera, Alfonso Ortiz, Bernardo García, Clark Middleton, Alejandro Aguilar, Catherine French or Juan Pablo Felix. He studied at “Más Latinos, the academy” in New York City. Among his most recent projects we can find “Esto se puso color hormiga”, directed by Jorge Pérez (2020), or the short film “Russian Rulette”, one of the winners of the Latino Film Market, directed by Catherine French and produced by Yennifer Cordoba and John Rengifo. In 2022, he took part in the improvising shows “Improshot” and “Latinos Night Live” under Fabián Valbuena’s guidance. He took part in “Diles que no me maten”, directed by Germán Jaramillo (2023), as well as the short film “Renacer”. He was recently awarded as Best New actor after his role on “Perdona bonita pero Lucas me quería a mí”, by Félix sabroso in New York City.

Dave Fasano (Guard) is a Filmmaker/Photographer who has lived in the East Village for 20 years. Dave has worked on various projects with local artists, including documentary film projects about the history of the neighborhood. While primarily a filmmaker, he enjoys contributing to the arts scene in many capacities — with acting being the latest addition. 

John King is a composer/guitarist who’s been working as a freelance experimental musician for many years. He’s worked with La Mama, CultureHub, Merce Cunningham Dance Company and Ballets de Monte Carlo, among others. He has written more than 130 string quartets in his series Free Palestine.

Charles Krezell founded LUNGS in 2011. He has lived in the NYC since 1983. He is very happy to be able to work this year with this talented troop of artists.His theater work has been performed at the BACA Dowtown; work shopped at the Public Theater, and performed at the Greenwich St Theater and LUNGS Theater Festival in 2022. He collaborated with William Mesnik on “Anais Nin, Songs of Sin” performed at Nadine’s on Washington St and the West Bank Cafe. Krezell has made numerous documentaries, many focusing on the Presidential change of power in this country. Much of his work can be found on

LUNGS (Loisaida United Neighborhood Gardens) was formed in 2011 as a grassroots community gardens-based organization to unite the many volunteer-run community gardens in Loisaida, the Lower East Side and the East Village. LUNGS works to promote, protect and preserve gardening and greening through cooperation, coordination and communication. We believe that permanent community gardens and public greenspaces are necessary for a healthy New York.

GOH Productions is a nonprofit arts organization based on the Lower East Side that has been creating, producing and managing performing arts projects for over 35 years. 

FRIGID New York’s mission is to provide both emerging and established artists the opportunity to create and produce original work of varied content, form, and style, and to amplify their diverse voices. We do this by presenting an array of monthly programming, mainstage productions, an artist residency, and eight annual theater festivals that create an environment of collaboration, resourcefulness, and innovation. Founded in 1998, the aim was and is to form a structure, allowing multiple artists to focus on creating and staging new work and providing affordable rental space to scores of independent artists. Now in our third decade we have produced a massive quantity of stimulating downtown theater. 


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