Wrong about 'prostitutes, drugs' at Vannie golf course


William Larkin told The New York Times he’s excited with all the improvements to the Van Cortlandt Park Golf Course and its historic golf house — and he should be. 

As spring buds burst forth on the course’s trees, it has never looked better and the golf house has, at last, been given a fresh look outside and in. The restored locker rooms are truly a sight to behold (no mean feat for locker rooms).

But Mr. Larkin should have left well enough alone and confined his remarks to the state of his course. 

He not only badmouthed his predecessor’s maintenance of the grounds, but he told reporter Andrew Boryga that “a proliferation of prostitutes and drug dealers operating much too close for comfort plagued the grounds.” Really?

50th Precinct records show no such plague. Drug dealers have existed, and probably continue to exist in both Riverdale and Kingsbridge, but their trade is discreet. As far as we know, nobody is sidling up to golfers offering nickle bags.

Similarly, a couple of years ago, a massage parlor that offered more than muscle therapy not far from the end of the subway line was raided by police. But it was, likewise, operating behind closed doors almost a mile away from the course.

If he’s concerned about unsavory characters sullying his course he should think long and hard about his own plans to bring nightlife to the golf house. 

He has added an extended deck overlooking the Van Cortlandt Lake and he told the Times he intends to take advantage of his background as a hip-pop producer “to deliver events that will inspire city dwellers to ride the No. 1 train to the line’s last stop in the Bronx.”

When alcohol is being served and loud music is pumping them up, other parks concessionaires have found that the happy crowds aren’t so easy to control. 

Not long ago, the Tubby Hook Marina at the end of Dyckman Street was shut down over rampant cocaine sales at  its popular nightclub. A new operator has reopened the club, but the boaters are out of luck.

Nevertheless, the community should wish Mr. Larkin well, with attracting golfers and with his ancillary business. The park should be fun for all.

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