Greenburg Photo Du Jour: McCarren Park

If I had to pick one photograph to exemplify the state of our parks in north Brooklyn this would be it. A young girl sitting on a concrete ledge (which was created when our Parks Department, in its infinite wisdom, decided McGolrick needed this piece of fencing more) amidst bags of garbage and a bottle full of urine. All the while at Barge Park in Greenpoint the band played on. AND ON. It could be heard from several blocks away in any given direction.

Imagine, if you will, trying to throw a birthday party for a group of young children in the playground across the street from this?

I can personally attest that a group of young mothers attempted to do just this. Now imagine trying to do so while a gentleman on stage across the street is screaming the word “Fuck” at the top of his lungs. This did— indeed— happen. How our Parks Administrator— who also happens to be the Executive Director of OSA, Stephanie Thayer, lacked the foresight to know that throwing a concert across from a playground might be problematic is beyond me. Clearly she has other things on her mind. If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say making money for OSA.

I know for a fact that a number of board members of OSA (which was in large part responsible for this shit show) have young children. It is not unreasonable to assume that some of them, had the shoe been placed on the other foot, would not have been very happy if this had happened during their child’s birthday party. In fact, I’d go so far as to say if their young ones were subjected to this “language” some of these individuals would raise holy hell. But therein lies the rub: the board members of OSA, having $3,000 a piece to spare each (so as to become board members in the first place) do not have to rely on public park space to have birthday parties for their children. They are able to afford other options.

I suppose some children matter more than others.

Miss Heather

P.S.: I suppose I would also be remiss if I didn’t point out that Barge Park has been waiting for a field house (so as to furnish this park with bathrooms) for several years. The money was supposedly heir marked but nothing ever came of it. Yesterday I counted no less than five port-o-lets provided by OSA/the Parks Department for concert.

It’s very telling our supposed “Parks Advocate” saw fit to provide such an amenity to transient park users but somehow cannot find the wherewithal to provide lavatories for the people who use this park the other 364 days a year? Oh wait, I get it: concerts— not toilets— make money.


5 Comments on Greenburg Photo Du Jour: McCarren Park

  1. SpillConspirator on Sat, 26th Jun 2010 8:56 pm
  2. These toilets were only there for paying customers. It was $12.00 a head to get into the playground.

  3. rheingold on Sun, 27th Jun 2010 9:02 am
  4. The crooner in the video clip sounds like Mel Torme compared to the act that was on around 8. While running on Ash between McGuinness and Manhattan, I thought I heard the amplified sounds of a moose being strangled. When I checked out what was going on it turned out to be a casting call for Look At This F-ing Hipster:The Movie (complete with Beans).

  5. missheather on Sun, 27th Jun 2010 10:24 am
  6. What I still cannot wrap my head around is the fact they commandeered a part of a playground, arguably the nicest one in this part of Greenpoint, for a concert on a Saturday. Is Ms. Thayer so clueless (arrogant) as to think that this would not be problematic. A more intelligent approach would have been to locate this event at the park at the end of Manhattan Avenue. She/they/whomever could have gotten a street fair permit, cordoned off the parking lot and throw their little “party”. This has been done in the past (the International Festival in 2002). Some benefits that would have come with this arrangement are as follows:

    1. It would have been less intrusive both in terms of noise affecting residential property and in terms of displacing locals (let’s face facts: a great many of the folks who attended this concert do NOT live here) from their own park.
    2. It would have been a boon to businesses located nearby including, but not limited to: Milk & Roses, the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory (people tend to like ice cream on hot days), Acapulco Restaurant and Champion Coffee.
    3. Attendees could have used the G train, B62 bus or the 7 train (and cross the Pulaski Bridge) to get there.

    But what do I know? I’ve only lived here for 10 years.

  7. RosieToes on Mon, 28th Jun 2010 4:57 pm
  8. As a Greenpoint resident and someone who attended some of the shows (what can I say? One person’s strangled moose is another lady’s Sinatra), I wanted to point out another maddening aspect of the way it was run: no re-entry, which means no patronizing the businesses nearby. I planned to pay for my ticket and then head over to the Ashbox or Champion and get a cup, but no. Denied. The festival is supposed to be a showcase of artists, filmakers, and musicians in Northside/Greenpoint, so why cordon visitors off from our neighborhood? I mean, I know WHY, but it’s not cool.

    I hope next year the L Mag/Northside organizers listen to feedback from locals (although if I may jump on my high horse for a sec, hipster-bashing or calling their event a “little ‘party'” probably is not going to help them listen). Certainly, the location was a poor, poor choice for all the reasons you mentioned and then some, but I think the purpose of festivals like this is to showcase and enrich the neighborhood, not make my neighbors feel like we’ve been invaded by plaid-shirt-clad Huns!

  9. missheather on Mon, 28th Jun 2010 5:03 pm
  10. Very well said, RosieToes. I cannot believe they were nor allowing re-entry. ESPECIALLY since they were serving beer on the premises. People who are drinking should be sure to have plenty of food in their stomachs— and a lot of local businesses would have been more than happy to make that happen. Clearly OSA either does not think about these things— or care.

    Given that the people who operate the “friends of” group for this park were not told about this event by OSA, a supposed “parks advocacy group” (they stumbled upon it) I guess this shouldn’t be surprising. I’m all for having concerts and all that but it is becoming increasingly clear Ms. Thayer, the Executive Director of OSA and the board members of OSA including Steve “I heart Atlantic Yards” Hindy are at best sorely out of touch with the community they purportedly represent or at worst they consider the community to consist exclusively of affluent people under the age of 30. This is not only unfair, but it is a slap in the face to the people who have spent decades making Greenpoint a place where people want to live and serves to further divide this community.

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