“We’ve directed La Marina to reduce the number of large-scale events”
– David Cerron, Chief Accountant, Parks & Recreation
At the May 2015 Community Board parks committee meeting, a representative from the Parks Dept. made half-hearted gurgling noises that maybe, just maybe the Dyckman Marina concession was causing some issues for the neighborhood with their nonstop massive parties and concerts, and well, gosh, perhaps there should not be quite so many of them. After all, when the prior concession was shut down at the end of 2006, the New York Times had noted:
The Parks Department said that it planned to solicit proposals for a new concession at the site, and that it would ensure an end to the late-night parties.
Obviously that did not happen. But after three years of constant bad press and community complaints and even a shooting Parks evidently noticed they had to do something. And so at that May 2015 meeting they stated they were “directing the concession to reduce the number of large-scale events”.
Note that this is not addressing the typical DJ’s or salsa bands in the lounge on weeknights who generally are not run by outside promoters and do not require cover charges or tickets. Those are also not allowed unless given express permission by Parks (when they use amplified music), but at least are more consistent with a normal restaurant and bar in the summertime. And Parks has granted approval for such. But clearly the large events in the beach and lounge that were heavily promoted, drew large crowds and created a great deal of noise were a different matter that required attention.
Parks did not give further details at the meeting as to how exactly they would limit La Marina – what size, dates, times, formats, etc would be acceptable? How many such events? As of July 2015 Parks would still not answer these questions – they told the Community Board that they needed to “consult legal”. But from conversations with other community representatives it appears that Parks has limited La Marina to 15 “large special events”, which they unilaterally (and comically) defined as events with more than 1,000 people.
Here’s the catch though; since La Marina rarely files for permits for more than 1000 people (their permits typically are filed for 1000 or less attendees), and does not provide counts of actual attendance after the fact, this is a meaningless restriction. These four pages list all of the events held in 2015. Parks has informed neighborhood residents that only five of these have exceeded 1,000 people, so therefore there is no problem. Clearly this is fiction piled upon absurdity.
Isn’t it great for public officials to be able to tell the public one thing, and then do the exact opposite? Or to live in a world where 999 is a small number but 1,001 is not? Or where quality of life issues are treated like rollover minutes and if one big event gets cool weather or rain, you get to hold another?
Again, none of these large promoted events with outdoor amplified music and non-restaurant attendance should be happening. Not one. It is against the contract and it is inequitable to Inwood. The meaningless limitations “imposed” by Parks are no way to solve the problems these events cause. Restore Dyckman Marina to its intended uses as a restaurant and marina and remove the nightclub/concert venue operations and the problems will cease.
August 1, 2015 – Electric Beach sponsored by Corona
August 1, 2015 – Electric Beach Afterparty
August 2, 2015 – SolRepublik Beach Club
August 7, 2015 – Reggae on the Hudson
August 9, 2015 – SolRepublik Beach Club
August 14, 2015 – Reggae on the Hudson
August 15, 2015 – Purple Reign
August 16, 2015 – SolRepublik Beach Club
August 21, 2015 – Reggae on the Hudson
August 22, 2015 – Ritmo Sonico 2015
August 23, 2015 – SolRepublik Beach Club
August 28, 2015 – Reggae on the Beach
August 28, 2015 – Mack Wilds
August 30, 2015 – SolRepublik Beach Club