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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.

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