Restore Dyckman Marina

Late-night Noise

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“The operators of La Marina have been advised that all outdoor amplified sound must end by 10:00pm, and they have agreed to comply with this restriction in the future.”

– Melissa Goldberg, Parks Department Director of Concessions Compliance, September 12, 2013

Section 10.18 of the License Agreement for the Dyckman Marina concession is explicitly clear:

“Licensee shall not have any outdoor, amplified music without the Commissioner’s prior written approval.”

boris june7 photo9

DJ’s typically play until the 1 am closing (DJBoris.com)

That’s odd, since the facility has boasted a permanent, sizable speaker system and stage since it opened, and Parks has apparently approved amplified music (i.e. DJ’s, live performers) every single night of the week.  Which rather defeats the intent of “prior written approval“, one might think.  From the same clause:

“Concerts are strictly prohibited at the Licensed Premises.”

Hmmmn.  Apparently, in the Inequitable Contract Enforcement Dictionary, “strictly prohibited” means “30 to 40 enormous 1500-person+ concerts per summer would be just fine in Inwood”.  (Note that just a few outdoor concerts in Tribeca were enough to get an entire concert series cancelled within weeks.)  But even if DJs are (wrongfully) playing and live concerts are (improperly) taking place, the license agreement had one more protection for residents:

“All amplified music at the Licensed Premises must cease at 10:00 pm.”

Poster clearly advertises event is until 1 am, not 10 pm as per permit and noise code.

Poster clearly advertises event is until 1 am, not 10 pm as per permit and noise code.

Also completely false, unless you go by Pacific Standard Time.  Because the DJ’s spin till closing time (1 am) every night, and Parks has been ineffective at stopping them.

DJ plays at 10:31 pm on Saturday, August 16, 2014 (Instagram)

New York City has a rigorous noise code that essentially bans outdoor music after 10 pm, which is why every single concert site that is adjacent to residential areas from Central Park Summerstage to Tavern on the Green to the piers at Hudson River Park all end their concerts at 10 pm.  Although Parks unilaterally changed the operating hours to run until 1 am (even on Sundays), there is no way that they could deny the fact that music past 10 pm was not permissable.  And so every fall they would make promises.  On December 20, 2012, a Parks employee (Jennifer Hoppa, Northern Manhattan Parks Administrator) sent a letter to an Inwood resident that included:

Summer-Love-_-Set-Times

Set list for July 3, 2016 makes it clear that many acts start after 10 pm and play until 1 am.

“In addition, we have received complaints about noise.  La Marina’s contract requires all amplified sound to terminate by 10 p.m. We have informed them of the complaints we have received and their need to comply.” 

Except they didn’t and so on September 12 2013 another Parks employee, the Director of Concessions Compliance, sent a similar letter to a different Inwood resident that included:

“The operators of La Marina have been advised that all outdoor amplified sound must end by 10:00pm, and they have agreed to comply with this restriction in the future.”

Suffice it to say that nothing changed the following year.

Click the link above to see a DJ playing at 11:06 pm on Sunday, August 3

Some of the 18 speakers rated for 130 dB permanently mounted at a site where “concerts are prohibited” (FOH)

Instead, a new workaround was invented that made claims about sound governors and a new speaker system.   Except that the contract says nothing about governors and any tiny amplified sound (7 dB) is still in violation of the noise code.  Let’s review this excerpt from the guide to the noise code again:

Commercial establishments that play music must limit the level of unreasonable or disturbing noise that escapes into the streets or is heard in nearby residences by requiring that sounds levels may not exceed:
• 42 decibels as measured from inside nearby residences,
AND
• 7 decibels over the ambient sound level, as measured on
a street or public right-of-way 15 feet or more from the
source, between 10:00 pm and 7:00 am

Do you know how minimal 7 dB is?  The act of breathing is 10 dB! You cannot play music of any kind outdoors at any volume and not have at least 7 dB of it reach the street.  Which is why Parks always shuts down concerts at 10 pm at any site in the city.

La Marina’s sound system, the one that the DJ’s play on long past 10 pm, is not quieter than breathing.  The new professional speaker system at the concession is so extensive that the speaker installer bragged about it on an audiophile website:

“‘La Marina is a very active place,’ states Edwin Diaz, E&A Sound’s owner. ‘Every weekend, there are a variety of events that include live music performances from bands of all genres as well as DJ appearances. Because all of this takes place outside, we needed a sound system that offered excellent speech intelligibility characteristics in addition to being a solid music reproduction system. Equally important, being outside in the heart of New York City, we needed loudspeakers capable of delivering the sound pressure levels and throw to properly cover this area. With their excellent sound quality and robust, weatherproof designs, the D.A.S. WR series loudspeakers made an excellent choice.'”

Well, an excellent choice for everyone except those in nearby residential buildings, perhaps.  Did Parks approve this installation of concert-venue speakers at a site where “concerts are strictly prohibited”?  Where the music plays till 1am?  These 18 speakers are rated for up to 130 dB, which is around the level of “pain begins”.

Any governor settings set by the operator have not been disclosed, but a review of a typical special permit issued by Parks for concert events at the concession shows language about using an NYPD “sound device” on any amplified sound from 7 pm to 10 pm, presumably to control sound to some preset dB level.   Was a governor employed as claimed?  Did the NYPD approve it?  What level was it set to?

Regardless of the noise level, according to these permits all amplified music of any kind and the event itself still had to end at 10 pm.  So why do the main DJ acts not even START until 9:30 pm, on a Sunday no less?

And keep playing after 10 pm night after night?

Multiple videos of the same time period corroborate the timestamp:

Pull up in LaMarina in a yacht nigga *frenchie voice*

A post shared by JustBludaze• Mr.Baez (@cpt_blaze) on

 The above videos show another example from Sunday, August 10th, at 10:36 pm and 10:38 pm respectively.

On Monday, Sept , 20141 DJ Boris was still in the middle of his set at 10:06 pm when this video was posted and 10:28 pm when an attendee tweeted about it:

The last big concert of the summer was held on Sunday, September 7, a school night.  Erick Morillo was still blasting long after 10 pm.  Nearby residents noticed:

And this is what they were hearing (video shot just after 11 pm):

How's your Sunday? Erick Morillo at La Marina NYC!

A post shared by Jonathan Lopez (@djjonathanlopez) on

The permits, even when the concession operator bothers to obtain them, seem to be totally meaningless.  Is that equitable to Inwood residents?

2017 update — Parks abandoned any pretense of permits and simply allows the concerts without legal justification.  But they persist in pretending that the music stops at 10 pm.  Huh.  So why at events that are supposed to end at 10 pm are DJ’s screaming to “turn it up” in videos like this after the supposed cutoff time? (Shot at 10:06 pm on Sunday, Aug 6).

#LIFEOFTHEPARTY #EZPASSMUSIC @djshowcrime WE TURNING UP 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 #lamarina

A post shared by Ez Pass (@ezpassmusic) on

Why is Parks unable to enforce such a simple and universal cut-off time, one that even they have always acknowledged to be required of the concession?  Restoring the concession to its original uses of restaurant and marina will remove much of the need to enforce in the first place, since a restaurant can end outdoor music at 10 pm and remain successful while a nightclub and concert venue cannot.  End the late-night noise, end the late-night nightclub.

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