NEW YORK - Doris Diether's Greenwich Village apartment can barely hold the contents of more than a half-century of battles.
"I was always outspoken, anyway," Diether said with a laugh.
For decades, Diether has been taking on developers and politicians who've had designs on changing the iconic neighborhood.
"When they started trying to take down historic buildings to put up something else, I got annoyed," Diether recalled.
At 89, she still spends most days studying plans for developments proposed in the neighborhood, so she can be ready to raise questions as the longest-serving community board member in Manhattan. She has been on Community Board Two since the early 1960s.
Diether got her feet wet as an activist in 1959, while going up against one of the most powerful planning officials in city history: Parks Commissioner Robert Moses.
"I thought he was a bully," Diether said.
Diether took on Moses' plan to end free Shakespeare in The Park. She did it by writing an open letter and then firing it off to newspapers.
"It seems every time Robert Moses gets a brainy idea the public is ignored," the letter read.
It was the first of many battles she would wage.
Her biggest fights were over preservation. Diether studied the zoning code and then teamed up with legendary activist Jane Jacobs to stop historic buildings from being demolished.
"I think we did pretty well keeping the height down," said Diether.
Born in Queens, Diether learned as a young girl to stand up for herself when a science teacher wanted an all-boys class.
"I said, 'you're the only regents class in this subject, I'm staying,'" Diether recalled.
In the early 1950s she moved to Manhattan, married and settled in her current apartment, now lined with magazines, books and binders containing nearly every article she's appeared in.
When Diether is not taking up a cause, she's in Washington Square Park, where she's greeted by all kinds of people and animals, from pigeons to squirrels, which eat right out of her hand.
"He saw me coming," she said as a hungry squirrel grabbed a nut from her fingers. "They know me."
Diether's such a fixture that noted puppeteer Ricky Syers created a mini-version of her, a marionette that can often be seen performing in Washington Square Park.
Her circle of friends both in the park and around the neighborhood is large.
"I'm so grateful there's no skyscrapers," said friend Elissa Paskin. "And one of the reasons is Doris."
While her walker has slowed her down some, Diether told us she has no plans to stop being involved in her community.
"There's always issues," Diether said.
Issues that she wants to make sure she has a say in.