From The New York Shitty Inbox, Part I: From Today’s Community Meeting Regarding the Brooklyn Night Bazaar
Filed under: 11222, Culture War, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic, The Natives Are Getting Restless
Today I opted to stay home and get some rest (and heat) instead of going to today’s meeting regarding the proposed night bazaar on our waterfront. In the clarity that is the New York Shitty inbox I suspect yours truly made the right decision. An anonymous tipster writes:
Well I attended the community meeting on the bazaar…
People were understandably upset and voiced their concerns about the bazaar, however, there was quite a bit of shouting and talking over each other and the guy behind the project. I feel like this is unproductive and the guy behind the bazaar was the only one who kept his cool, despite being unprepared on some key issues (total costs of cleanup & security were 2 items residents brought up that they wanted answers for as well as presence and input of the 94th). In fact, the meeting actually began with an older, red-faced woman presenting her 12 year old granddaughter to the guy, shouting, “See this girl? She’s 12 years old! I don’t want her coming down here and drinking!” Meanwhile, said 12 year old girl had NO coat and only a thin top despite the frigid 30 degree temperatures with a brisk wind coming off the water on top of it. If you’re so concerned about your granddaughter, start with dressing her properly! Also, it’s the woman’s responsibility (and the girl’s parents) to watch a 12 year old to make sure she doesn’t drink. This is like when people try to sue websites cause their kids saw something offensive, where is the parental guidance? In my opinion, the argument about the kids isn’t a good one, it’s a parent’s job to watch them and find out where they go, what they do, and who they are with.
Many questions I did not even hear the answers to because there was so much loud talking over Aaron and other residents asking questions. At one point, a resident on crutches, an older gentleman, shouted to the other residents to shut up because he wanted to hear (I believe he said something along the lines of, “who died and made you boss??” to one woman who objected). I don’t know who he was cause I haven’t seen him before, but he commanded some respect. Though, it worked for maybe 5 minutes. Kudos to him for wanting some semblance of order and to actually HEAR what was being said.
As a resident of the area affected, the concerns of other residents are very valid – I don’t want drunk people pissing & puking down my street at 2am either and my bedroom faces the front of the house. But I wish there had been more productive discourse and actual information (though both sides are at fault on that one). Maybe the bazaar folks would be amenable to alternatives. What if the bazaar was cut down to once a month for this summer only? Maybe that would be a good compromise. If it’s poorly run and a pain in the ass, then don’t have it here next year. I think the idea of the bazaar and utilizing that dead waterfront space is a good one overall, but the odds of things going wrong in a 5 month, every weekend, period seems too great a risk. However, what else can be done with that space to make it available to residents? It’s just been sitting there, rotting, for far too long. Why does it take a non-resident to have ideas on how to use that wasted space? How about coming up with productive alternatives to it that will help the community instead of just shouting that you don’t want the bazaar there? Some may counter with not to do anything with that space, but I’m afraid of what else may come in – more industry & pollution? A high rise condo that will block the sunlight from my street? Or let it continue to rot there and block residents from waterfront access while breeding rats and feral cats and squatters?
Another meeting is scheduled at Red Star on Monday evening, I believe. Not sure if I’ll make that one, but if it’s just going to be full of shouting again, I don’t think I’ll miss much.
Here’s what another attendee had to say:
It was a fiasco. There were a few angry people there acting inappropriately. There were a lot of cool people there from the Open Space Alliance who were collecting signatures to organize against the night bazaar. And a few older ladies form the neighborhood! Loved them! The dude in charge of the plan is arrogant and really does not care what the community thinks. He was talking as if they whole thing was a done deal. One of the owners of the Red Star was there and he said he hasn’t made up his mind about the project. Steve Levin’s dude was there and he said the councilman has not yet taken a position but wants to know how the community feels. Most were concerned about the bazaar bringing more trash, noise, and traffic to the community. Folks were also concerned about increased alcohol consumption, people hanging out on stoops near the waterfront, safety, and whether or not their kids could sleep if musicians or djs played until 2am. It sounds like Aaron does not yet have the proper permits or liquor license in place so there seems to be a lot of room to derail this insane idea.
But I am not certain about this. People need to get vocal and let the 94th Precinct and the Community Board know that we don’t want this bazaar in our neighborhood. The NYS Liquor Authority also needs to hear from us. They approve the liquor licenses with advice form the local community boards (I think.) Aaron has met with small business owners and some politicians and I bet he will even spin today’s meeting as his “outreach to the community.” What is clear is that he’s just going through the motions and has little regard for how this type of project might affect Greenpoint residents, especially those living closest to the waterfront. I’m going to get involved and reach out to my local leaders (Levin, state reps, congresswoman, Lincoln Restler and the boro prez.) This plan has got to be defeated!
I did hear from one of the people at the meeting that the India Street pier is almost finished and NY Waterways wants to start running ferries Memorial Day weekend. I have to check to make sure that this is accurate. THAT would be amazing! I am against the bazaar but FOR ferries coming to Greenpoint!
So there have you.
When I get a confirm on the time for Monday’ meeting I will add it here— so check back!
Greenpoint Business Alliance Meeting Regarding Brooklyn Night Bazaar
March 28, 2011 starting at 7:00 p.m.
Red Star Bar
37 Greenpoint Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11222