Cambria Heights is one of the city's furthest-flung communities, hugging the Nassau County border and miles from a subway. The blocks in this middle-class, predominantly black community are lined with a Levittown-like array of attached and semiattached homes. Some do have built-up squares of grass in front that could technically be called lawns.
John Fussell, 65, has gardened on the Linden lot for 24 years; he disputes Spigner's claim that lawns are abundant. "But Archie is pretty powerfulhe's been in office for about 20 yearsand he seems hell-bent against this garden. I think what happened is when we got the news that Bette Midler was going to buy it, we just relaxed. And then all of a sudden, Archie comes along and puts a monkey wrench in it."