Its trees, benches, and sculptures are what make it more than just a place to walk through to get to the 1 Train. The two chickens below – no, wait, it's a chicken and a rooster, I think – are called "Bantam Pair" and are by sculptor Peter Woytuk, who's also responsible for the huge elephants in Columbus Circle and a whole string of other sculptures along the length of upper Broadway in Manhattan.
Payán was a Dominican actress (Angelica, Mi Vida), lawyer, and AIDS activist who died of AIDS in 1996. Six years later, the park was named for her. I imagine she would have been pleased.