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Williamsburg Bans Music?

So, apparently threatening to cut off the hootch is a good way to pack a community board meeting. Tonight’s CB1 was certainly packed, and the press was out in full force to see what went down. NY1 was there, as was the Huffington Post and all the local press (even local press alums came out).

People spoke passionately about liquor licenses, generally and specifically. CB1 Chairman Chris Olechowski presented his case – which is a very good one. Our community has seen a massive increase in the number of bars and restaurants, and nightlife is becoming the single biggest quality of life issue in the area. In response to this issue, the board leadership has called for a moratorium on new liquor licenses. Which, of course, is what led to the all the video cameras and all the people at tonight’s meeting.

And then … nothing happened.

The board took no official position. The committee responsible for overseeing liquor licenses will take the matter under advisement. The board itself approved four new liquor licenses and renewals for a dozen or more establishments. The cameras moved out into the hallway, and a lot of people went home.

And then … something actually did happen.

A number of local residents got up during the public session (which usually happens after most of the public has left) and complained about the concerts at East River State Park (the “OSA” concerts). Basically, their complaint was that all the things that Greenpoint residents were afraid would happen if the Brooklyn Night Bazaar went down were already happening to them. Loud music (very loud music if you happen to live right there). Crowds of people walking to and from concerts (and much less steadily on the from side). In other words, a regular shitshow 10 or 15 times each summer.

So, the Community Board voted (unanimously) to ban the waterfront concert series from East River State Park.

It happened before an empty house – I guess the press left before the news happened.

UPDATE 1:So now there is confusion about what the Board’s actual resolution was. I was there, and I think the resolution was against the concerts. Nothing was written – there was a vocal and passionate plea “do something” about the problem, a very strong sentiment from the Board members there (which was very few) that the collateral damage from the concerts was a problem, and a call for a resolution. But to be clear, there is no application before the CB or any other item that they can take direct action on.

UPDATE 2:And I’ve deleted the “shitshow” comment above – that was certainly the sentiment of the people who spoke out about this issue, but it is not my opinion, even though it read that way.

8 Comments

  1. Bryan wrote:

    Wow, what a sad turn. I live pretty much directly in the path of concert-goers to/from the park and have no complaints. I assume CB1 has no actual power in the matter, just offers the recommendation? It would be a shame to ban the shows. They could be run a bit better sometimes, but their presence is NOT the problem, IMHO.

    Wednesday, April 13, 2011 at 10:35 | Permalink
  2. TJ Olsen wrote:

    could someone kindly remind these folks they live in New York city–if its tranquility they were hoping for perhaps them and their professions should make way out to the midwest.

    Wednesday, April 13, 2011 at 11:05 | Permalink
  3. seriously?! wrote:

    Wtf are these people thinking. The amount of money that the community is making off the concerts that happen 15times a yr (with a 10pm curfew)should be enough reason to keep the shows running. Im sick of all this entitled bs thats going around. The concerts help fund those parks and community, what gives those yuppie f@ckers the right to complain. It making jobs! Keeping all those overpriced restaurants in business, and letting people experience some of the best concerta Brooklyn has ever had. Outrageous!

    Wednesday, April 13, 2011 at 23:59 | Permalink
  4. Todd wrote:

    If people want to know ‘wtf these people are thinking’, maybe they should show up to our community board meetings and stay for the entire thing and also take the opportunity to share their opinion. For those offering a permanent trip out to the midwest – since when does the argument “Love it or leave it” fly around here? If you can show that you lived around here back before it was hipster Disney, when the drugs and violence and overall shitiness was intense and they weren’t selling 5 dollar coffee drinks on Bedford, maybe then you can talk about remembering that ‘you live in New York City’. Til then, people who live here are allowed to have their own opinions about what kind of quality of life they want when living here. If you are too lazy or apathetic to show up and express your own feelings as passionately as these people do, then you have no right to complain when things go the way of the people who are passionate enough to show up.

    Thursday, April 14, 2011 at 09:18 | Permalink
  5. Bryan wrote:

    Todd, you clearly missed the part where this all happened AFTER many people had left. And contrary to your belief, people can express opinions about the neighborhood outside the confines of CB1.

    Thursday, April 14, 2011 at 09:56 | Permalink
  6. Halden wrote:

    Todd raises a crucial point – participation does matter. If you want to have a say in what happens in your community, get involved. (And if you do go to a meeting, stay until the end – it ain’t over until it’s over!)

    But I also agree with Bryan – CB1 is only one of many ways to get involved. If you are really interested in civic participation, volunteer with a local community group. I’m biased, but I would recommend NAG (nag-brooklyn.org, the “hipster helpers”). There are also local parks advocacy groups, a community committee that is part of OSA, and other grassroots groups. For Greenpointers, GWAPP is a wonderful organization with great leadership.

    But participation matters – get involved, and don’t leave it up to us cranks who remember when coffee (and beer) on Bedford Ave. was $1.

    Thursday, April 14, 2011 at 10:35 | Permalink
  7. espinal wrote:

    NEWSFLASH: The Jelly Pool Parties are *already* over. last year (the fifth) was the final year. don’t these people do their research?

    Thursday, April 14, 2011 at 11:34 | Permalink
  8. Chris F wrote:

    I too have born the brunt of the concerts…. So horrible that I have to listen to awesome music on my back deck for free. And the influx of people brings in cash to surrounding businesses. What a travesty! CB1 really needs to relax and enjoy the music. They really complain too much over a few crowded nights in the neighborhood. Get over it.

    Monday, April 25, 2011 at 11:26 | Permalink

5 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] motion at the end of the meeting to ban the waterfront concert series at East River State Park, according to Brooklyn 11211. At the beginning of the meeting, a resident expressed concern specifically about the noise level [...]

  2. Williamsburg waterfront concerts banned? | Brokelyn on Wednesday, April 13, 2011 at 11:13

    [...] the summer-long free Pool Parties, at the East River State Park on the Williamsburg waterfront. According to Brooklyn 11211, the board voted to ban all future concerts along the waterfront after it heard complaints from [...]

  3. [...] Brooklyn 11211 blog writes about what went down at last night’s CB1 meeting… “A number of local residents got up during the public session (which usually happens after most of the public has left) and complained about the concerts at East River State Park (the “OSA” concerts). Basically, their complaint was that all the things that Greenpoint residents were afraid would happen if the Brooklyn Night Bazaar went down were already happening to them. Loud music (very loud music if you happen to live right there). Crowds of people walking to and from concerts (and much less steadily on the from side). In other words, a regular shitshow 10 or 15 times each summer. [...]

  4. [...] can read my colleague’s take on this, his special moment, here. The following is [...]

  5. [...] Exposed is providing details on how you can make our hood all pretty, bring peace to the community versus fun war and, more importantly, see Fleet Foxes for [...]

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