Live From Community Board 5!
(Or: Heather Goes To Glendale)
I’ll be brutally honest: I have been burned out of Community Board 1 (Brooklyn) of late. So much so that I felt a staycation was in order. Having a budget of $29.00 limits one’s options.
No worries. Thanks to Queens Crap, I found a way to while away the evening. CASE IN POINT: item number one. To reiterate:
A discussion of concerns about the Knockdown Center at 52-19 Flushing Avenue, potentially having events with 600+ people and selling alcoholic beverages at this former factory site.
To preface— and speaking as a Community Board 1 resident, we have had many meetings regarding the “concerns” of residents who have beheld the aftermath of events entailing large amounts of people and alcohol. It isn’t pretty.
What you have just watched, gentle readers (hopefully of Community Board 5 Queens), was the aftermath of an Open Space Alliance North Brooklyn concert at East River State Park. The band in question was Widespread Panic. And their patrons, with the help of a vendor dispensing nitrous oxide via balloons, made it just that: wide spread panic. The FDNY was called in to the confiscate the gas.
It is the ostensible mission of the Open Space Alliance North Brooklyn to advocate and fund-raise so as to make improvements to our parks. Nonetheless, this melee did get its hearing— and they simply relocated their concerts further north. Same shit, different location. Keep this in mind when you watch the following footage. I wish I could be apologetic about the snarky comments— but I am not. I hail from a Community Board where even
ping pong table tennis parlors want to serve spirits. And of course there’s the recent shit show regarding Urban Outfitters. Enjoy!
Part I: Introduction
- The SLA (State Liquor Authorty) allows four events a year.
- “We have not been denied but we have have exceeded what their guidance is” Mr. Myers says. (In other words: we have to do this)
- He goes on to continues (regarding temporary SLA permits) “It is four but I do not think it is hard four”. (It is — Ed. Note.)
- Concerns about this facility being a nightclub are raised by the chair.
- “We will not be a club”, Tyler Myers says. Then he sees fit to enlighten his audience as to what an “arts center” is. As defined by Wikipedia:
“art centre or arts center is distinct from an art gallery or art museum. An arts centre is a functional community centre with a specific remit to encourage arts practice and to provide facilities such as theatre space, gallery space, venues for musical performance, workshop areas, educational facilities, technical equipment, etc.
In the United States, “art centers” are generally either establishments geared toward exposing, generating, and making accessible art making to arts-interested individuals, or buildings that rent primarily to artists, galleries, or companies involved in art making.
- I want to thank Mr. Myers for informing me, an artist, third generation, as to what an artists’ center is. I clearly have missed out on many a dance party.
- Per Mr. Myers a liquor license is normal for an “arts center” then he cites MOMA, The “Met”, Lincoln Center, etc., as examples. Um, the last I checked all of these are in Manhattan.
- Now we’re back to sustaining and maintaining this beautiful building. E.g.; if you do not let us have this, we’ll throw our toys out of the pram and tear it down.
- Parking lots are discussed. Rather good to know since this is not located anywhere near mass transit.
Part II: David Sklar Speaks
- “Tearing it down was the only thing we could come down to…”
- (when questioned about the property being used as an industrial space) Mr. Sklar states that is was mostly used as a place to warehouse material made elsewhere and this would involve them having “containers on the property and he felt it could be “better utilized”.
- He gives a history of his business, albeit he gets the whole Manhattan Avenue/Queens Midtown Tunnel thing wrong.
- Mr. Sklar is asked to identify the property he owns on a map. After some assistance he does. For what it is worth, Mr. Sklar, I’d be equally challenged. But then again, I am simply a “visitor” and not part of the “Maspeth community”.
Part III: Q & A
- The cost of overhauling this space is kicked up from $10,000 to six figures.
- How is the Knockdown Center having events? Via Robertas which is apparently “just down the road”.
- Interesting coincidence: apparently Robertas will be handling the Brooklyn Night Bazaar’s needs at it’s proposed located on Norman Avenue.
Part V: Q & A, Continued
- How the Knockdown Center procures/provides beer and wine is discussed further.
- Has a Cab License been applied for? (Answer: no)
- Questions about this facility’s proximity to a residential area are raised.
- A question about their target market is raised. My observation/personal experience: if you find yourself asking if an event is a carry-over of the McCarren Pool concerts, it probably is.
Part VI: Q & A Continued (Or: The Blonde Lady Nails It!)
Regrettably I did not film her speech. Human error on my “smart phone”. But I can summarize it!
- When industrial spaces are used for other purposes…
- The rents go up and other industrial businesses are forced out.
- Hence there is more demand for industrial space than supply.
- But of course, more money can be made by David Sklar and his buddies by having an “art center” and MINIGOLF FOR THE MASSES!
New York Shitty Analysis:
Same song, different verse. I know the tune all too well.
Perhaps the Argentos, investors in this endeavor— and my community— would be so kind to explain about how the following will (further) uplift the Maspeth community?
Can’t honestly say I have ever seen this at MOMA…
or this at Lincoln Center, for that matter. Perhaps I am going at the wrong time?
It’s rather convenient that the Knockdown Center has incorporated— albeit under a different address for same-said property. Five days earlier.
WAKE UP Community 5 Queens. If do you do not establish policy now, you’ll reap what my community leaders have sewn. Why else do you think these bozos want to have this in your community? Mine got fed up with this shit a long time ago.
P.S.: Um, didn’t they say something about no raves? Hmm…