He had no direct connection to New York, but was beloved enough nationally for the Parks Department to name this playground for him. Much of his story (told more fully here and here) is omitted from the usual Owens-shames-Hitler narrative. His response to the media focus on Hitler not shaking his hand:
"When I came back, after all those stories about Hitler and his snub, I came back to my native country, and I couldn't ride in the front of the bus. I had to go to the back door. I couldn't live where I wanted. Now what's the difference?"