Restore Dyckman Marina


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Fact-checking La Marina

“Clearly, we will have to do more to show you what La Marina is all about.

– Letter to CB12 from Manhattan River Group, April 2018

At the April 2018 Community Board 12 meeting, a remarkable thing happened — the members of the community board voted against the renewal of La Marina’s liquor license.

summerfest

This license comes up for renewal every two years.  Past renewals had brought plenty of complaints, but each time some new excuse was made or stipulation added (vague non-binding obligations like “not blocking traffic” that were utterly unenforceable) and then the renewal would sail through while absolutely nothing actually changed.

But after six years it appears the community board members have had enough of the problems (documented on this site but especially related to concerts, late-night crowds and traffic) and wanted some improvement from the status quo.  How did this change come about?

Aug 6 traffic from hip 2

When the licensing committee did not support the renewal earlier in the month, the operators of the concession lobbied the members of the community board before the general board meeting by sending all of them a remarkable letter filled with claims and boasts.  The problem is that many of them were less impressive upon closer inspection, and the letter may have been the final straw in the community’s tolerance for insanity (i.e. doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results).

letter to cb12 page1

Let’s go through the highlights of the letter one at a time, fact-checker style:


La Marina is one of the largest employers in the area.

Partially True La Marina only operates publicly from the end of May through September, so while they do have many employees they are almost all seasonal hires and only working for four months.  Some of the staff are provocatively depicted on social media in an extremely sexist manner, while others are there as part of a massive security apparatus not usually typical of restaurants located on parkland.   The other employer-related note not mentioned in the letter is the 2017 sexual harrassment lawsuit by a former bartender.

rear ends


La Marina actively supports our community through direct funding and free access:

Partially True.  La Marina hosts some community events.  But not nearly as many as they promised in their winning RFP response, and their beach and waterfront access has been limited to a tiny fraction of weekend time so as not to conflict with any revenue-generating concerts.  Since they are located on public parkland they are actually required to provide free access, and their agreement also requires activities like the sailing school.  Claims about “direct funding” require more documentation.  In any case, this boast is not relevant to the problems that occur when they are NOT hosting community events.

La Marina is one of NYC’s premier event venues, and the only large venue in our area:

True, which is the problem.  With its legal capacity of nearly 2,100 (which in practice is often exceeded) La Marina is not just a large venue, it is one of the largest nightclubs in the entire city.  Only it was never approved as such until just before they opened, when the capacity was declared to now be 500.  It was later revealed the actual capacity was 1,800, then finally determined to be over 2,000.  And that’s the point.  Many problems stem simply because they are much larger than they were ever supposed to be in the RFP or plan approval stage.
And no, this is not about hosting weddings or bat mitzvahs.  The corporate events can be a little trickier when alcohol is involved, and the less said about film shoots the better, but the real issue is hosting the dozens of concerts.  And these guys:
pcblast2

La Marina is in good standing with the SLA.

Misleading.  La Marina is claiming that the two 2017 violations are “false”.  This includes denying that the NYPD shut the concession down on July 2, 2017 for being oversold for the Bikini Palooza event (an event so inappropriately advertised that Parks forced a renaming to Beach Wear Affair after community complaints).   But until the hearings are held on the two active violations it is misleading to say that the facility is in ‘good standing’.
letter to cb12 page2

La Marina did NOT cause more than 2,000 311 calls last year, as has been widely circulated.

Misleading.  Police have stated at licensing committee meetings that there are many 311 and 911 calls coming from the vicinity and Dyckman strip overall.  Not mentioned in the letter is that 136 calls to 911 came from La Marina’s address in 2017 — which is quite a bit more significant than the 24 cited 311 calls.

And since La Marina is larger than all of the other businesses combined and a heavy influence on their foot traffic, it is hard to claim complete separation from what happens down the block.


Police data shows that there has been not a single violent incident reported at La Marina over the past 3 years.

Misleading.  The reference to 3 years is because in 2014 there was a shocking shooting on the premises.  So now if one wants to enter this public parkland one must go through magnetometerspat-downs and bag-checks.  And some violence has occurred in the last three years, as seen in this video of strippers from Starlets fighting at the DJ Camilo concert on June 25, 2017.

La Marina did not block installation of an Eco Barge

Unclear.  First of all, the EcoDock was proposed and agreed to in 2012, not 2014.  It was also funded to the tune of $700,000 by the local councilmember and borough president at the time.   The Waterfront Alliance still lists the EcoDock as coming in 2016.   So what happened exactly?  The concession operators may have been more interested in the dock when they did not have their own docks yet faced a requirement in their concession agreement to provide them.  At the CB12 April meeting, a Parks department representative said that ballooning costs were the reason the dock was not installed.  But if so what happened to the funding?  Did costs rise because of conditions imposed by the concession operators?  More information is needed to explain why the community lost this important potential resource while the federally-funded docks that were installed are used for nightclub guests, jet-skiersseaplanes and alcohol promotions.

La Marina is in good standing with the Department of Parks and Recreation, is not in violation of our concession agreement, and is not behind on payments due to the City.

Misleading.  It is true that when pressed Parks will always say that the concession is operating according to their concession agreement.  And yet certain obvious contradictions are clearly unresolved despite six years of promises of “working with the concession”.  For example, the concession agreement explicitly bans concerts and explicitly requires amplified music cease at 10 pm:
Concerts are strictly prohibited at the Licensed Premises.  All amplified music at the Licensed Premises must cease at 10:00 pm.  [Section 10.18]
This language was not a fluke.  City regulations require that all outdoor music in parks stop at 10 pm; the exact level of the noise is irrelevant.  This is why nearly all concerts in city parks everywhere else in New York stop before 10 pm, even in places far from residents like Summerstage deep within Central Park.  Randall’s Island, which is truly isolated from any residential area and hosts premier concerts, still ends all music by 11 pm.  So how does La Marina get to say they can play outdoor music till 1 am if they use a magic, never publicly documented sound limiter on their massive outdoor speaker system?
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There is also the matter of the concession agreement as it pertains to alcohol promotions, music videos, sit-down only alcohol service, bottle service, ticket revenue and valet parking (“I highly doubt the legality”, according to DOT).  So the “good standing” claim merits further investigation.

La Marina does not operate secretly, or without Community updates.

False.  It has been documented many times when La Marina schedules events and does not place them on their website event calendar.  Sometimes they suddenly appear a day before, sometimes not.  In 2018 alone, the following concert dates (April 21, May 5, May 19, May 20, May 26, May 27, June 2, June 3, June 9June 10, June 16June 23, June 24July 1, July 3July 4July 8 dayJuly 8 night, July 21July 29, Aug 4, Aug 5Sep 3 and Sep 8) have all been booked.  None appeared on the calendar before May 2, and as of May 10 only two May events appeared.    Then, when inquiries were made of the Parks Dept, suddenly all May events were on the calendar while the rest were still hidden, with only a single June event posted as of May 28th .  By June 7 most of the June events had appeared but not June 3, June 23 or June 24.   It’s a never-ending game.
Note that May 5 was for a boozy dance party at 9 am on a Saturday, while many of the ticket sites list hours long past 10 pm.  “Community updates” are not the issue – the concert events are.

Traffic on Dyckman Street was a challenge before we opened and has clearly become worse as the entire area has become a summer destination.The popularity of our business without a doubt contributes to traffic congestion; but that is no reason to shut down La Marina, just as traffic on Atlantic Avenue is no reason to shut down Barclays Center.

 
False.  There are several factual errors in the above.  Traffic on Dyckman Street was not so bad before La Marina opened – how could it be when La Marina’s is frequently claiming that it “saved” Dyckman street from drag racers?  (Pretty hard to drag race in traffic).   Press articles from shortly after opening confirm that traffic changed due to the concession – which is logical considering that La Marina is larger than all of the other bars on Dyckman Street combined.   It can also be shown that on rare summer weekends when La Marina does not host a concert (like 2017’s Family Beach Day), Google Maps shows traffic is much better.
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But the real straw man here the is the false comparison to Barclay’s Center. That facility was planned and studied extensively as a large event venue.  La Marina was not planned as a large event venue — quite the opposite in fact.  Per the 2008 Franchise and Concession Review Committee transcript:
“This is an existing use, previously a [marina] cafe, for at least, I believe, 15 years. I don’t know the exact number; at least the last 10 years. So this is not a new use of this space. Therefore, we didn’t do any [environmental assessment], because typically it is existing use and we know what the conditions that were there before.  We don’t think there is going to be any — the concessionaire has offered to work with local garages to make sure that there is valet  parking; to encourage people to come by public  transportation. And we don’t think there’s going  to be a particular traffic impact based on the concession.”
In other words, La Marina was approved as a restaurant cafe as that is what was there before.  Not a 2,100 person capacity concert venue. If it had been proposed as a concert venue an environmental assessment would have been done which would have no doubt shown enormous traffic issues for this site and the use as a concert venue would never have been approved in the first place.
Unbelievable, neighborhood-choking, highway-impeding traffic is not a reason to shut down an approved use. It’s a very good reason to shut down an unapproved use.

Our positive impact is ongoing and pervasive in this community.

True.  No one doubts this.  The restaurant and cafe are terrific, the marina docks have some benefit when concerts are not taking place, and the grounds are very attractive and a point of local pride.  Everyone likes the fact that La Marina exists as a place to go to for dinner or a date or to just explore by the water.  It is the negative impacts that are the issue, principally due to unapproved uses as a large concert venue with music past 10 pm and an enormous and illegal valet parking operation.
It seems that after six years of no change, the Community Board has tired of the same misleading and false promises.  It will be interesting to see what happens next.
Restore Dyckman Marina.

 

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Fake News Inwood (2018 preview)

“For the coming season, we will work to have staff present for certain events to assess sound levels after 10:00pm

– David Cerron, NYC Parks, Dec 22 2017

poster sep3-2Some say that #FakeNews was invented by Russian troll farms.  Others say it was popularized by Donald Trump.  We in Upper Manhattan know the truth — it has been around since at least 2012, when NYC Parks told us that they had opened a restaurant and marina concession on Dyckman Street.  Residents were told that any claims it it was, in reality, a nightclub and concert venue awash in untraceable cash was #FakeNews.

“Everything is exactly per the lease“, is the usual Parks cry, even when the opposite is true.  Try and tell them that La Marina has music acts that play well past 10 pm, outdoors, under massive speakers?  Oh no — you get back:

La Marina has informed us that after 10:00pm they switch to their internal audio system, which was designed in consultation with a sound engineer. This system has limiters, compressors and other equipment that minimizes the volume and contains sound to the Licensed Premises.

Yeah, whatever.  This website only has dozens of links and photos proving otherwise.  And I’m pretty sure that outdoor speakers rated at 130 dB don’t magically stop sound from crossing property lines.  And don’t forget, they aren’t concerts, they are “experiences that include music“.   I mean, just look at the posters from 2017.  These aren’t for kayak lessons:

It’s a concert venue.  That’s why it’s listed as a concert venue.  That’s why it is literally hosting part of the Red Bull Music Festival for “live music fans”.  Enough with the lies already, you sound like you work for InfoWars.

And let’s not get into the various use of women’s bodies in posters last year either, because Parks swears it won’t happen again …. because La Marina has hired an intern to watch Twitter!   (And it’s never happened before, right?)

bikini palooza 22

Parks says nothing they can do!

With regard to advertisements, approved promotional material for beach events can be found on La Marina’s website and/or Facebook page. Their website was not functioning for most of June due to a site redesign, which may have contributed to the circulation of unapproved advertisements.

With that said, we agree that the event in question was not promoted appropriately by the event planner – we have expressed this sentiment to the concessionaire, and they have now assigned a staff person to search event-related online posts and ensure they are in keeping with the approved event. There also exist instances where individuals post event related content to social media through their personal account, and this is something neither Parks nor La Marina is able to control.

Just blame it on the website, nice one Parks.  Or blame third parties, who maybe wouldn’t post inappropriate material if there wasn’t inappropriate use of the facilities in the first place.  (Pretty sure no one posts bikini shots of the staff at New Leaf or Battery Gardens).  I guess #TimesUp, but not for La Marina, right?  Despite actual lawsuits

Speaking of lawsuits, I guess the good news is that nobody went to jail last year.  Got pretty close though.

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La Marina’s majority partner pictured with the stars of 2017’s corruption trials.

So what’s next for 2018?  Probably exactly more of the same.  More mentions in civic corruption headlines.  More concerts.  More bikinis and exploitation.  More police officers using tax dollars to babysit an illegal valet operation.  More insane and completely never ever approved traffic madness locking down the entire neighborhood.  But no ecodock.  No children’s menu.  No full-service marina.

Just suck it up Inwood and realize that the law does not apply to you.  After all, once those 30 story buildings arrive it will only be more bumpin’!

 

another pic 1943 attendance aug6

Legal capacity of the beach area is 1500 people.  La Marina does not provide attendance to the city but of course never, ever violates any aspect of their lease.  Any reports of otherwise is #FakeNews!

 

 

 


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Parks gets Litty

“Thank you to the @Nypd 🚔for closing the street down so we can close out the #LittyEdition with the 3 BLOWTORCH SALUTE

 @PC_Blast on instagram July 29 2017

Throughout its six years of existence, perhaps the most unbelievable aspect of La Marina’s operations is the continued use of parkland and city streets for vehicular parking and displays to benefit a private operator.   And all enabled by a compliant NYPD that seems to have no problem assigning scarce officers to babysit club-going traffic.  It’s illegal, it’s bizarre, and it’s in complete plain sight.

lookotherway

NYPD officer looking the other way while a promotion blocks the street at the La Marina entrance, June 2017

This site has extensively covered the issue of valet parking.   And gridlocked traffic.   And the confusing improper definitions of different property boundaries.  But every weekend, the same script plays out.  The valet staff start coning off regular parking spots and No Standing areas.  Massive crowds attending a prohibited concert event start arriving in the afternoon, many by cab and car.  VIPs get to park illegally inside the gates.  Traffic starts to back up.  And the police spend taxpayer dollars redirecting traffic at various intersections around Dyckman Street to aid cars in getting to the valet and the front door, even if it means reversing or barricading streets.

The police have never explained why a valet parking operation is allowed to operate on a public street, or how a No Standing zone means Nightclub Parking zone.  They just point to the Parks Dept and say they are trying to “allieviate congestion”.

pc blast litty 3 jul16

Sex and autosports, perfect for NYC parkland?

But some events are just a little too hard to explain. How, exactly, did the NYPD view the PC Blast Litty Edition tour event of July 16 at La Marina?  This was a 3-day exotic car tour organized by enthusiasts who enjoy high-performance driving while wearing anarchist masks and firing off smoke bombs.

The first two legs of the tour involved driving laps around NJ Motorsports Park and partying at an Atlantic City nightclub.  That makes sense — racing at a racetrack, then being entertained at a massive entertainment venue.  Hey, you know what would go great with that?  Driving to congested Manhattan to visit a city parks concession for more racing and partying, right?  Which is exactly what they did – La Marina was the official third stop on the tour.

litty on site 8

This was supposed to be parking for kayaks, not racecars.

And so on July 16, 2017 this unbelievable scene took place on Dyckman Street, a public street and highway access route, as a parade of exotic cars was welcomed by La Marina staff to roll onto public parkland as guests of the concession facility.  Ear-splitting revs and thick clouds of smoke, never mind a complete traffic standstill, did not draw seem to draw any attention from the NYPD during the entire event.

What the hell?  This goes way beyond the time La Marina turned into a seaplane showroom, or their misuse of public space for alcohol advertising, or their frequent appropriation of a $3.5M bike trail for a bouncer line (sometimes even used for driving performers to the stage).   This is inviting and condoning activities that belong at a racetrack or Atlantic City onto NYC parkland, and is pretty much the exact opposite of every promise made in the RFP when the concession was awarded in 2009.  In one testosterone-soaked moment it conveys everything wrong with the Parks Dept, and the NYPD’s enabling of their mind-boggling mismanagement.

pc blast litty 1 jul16

The apocalypse, or a Sunday afternoon outside La Marina?

The cars were parked on site, despite it being improper for any cars to park on the site.  They held engine rev contests that night in the middle of a residential neighborhood.   They made a general mockery of the streets of Inwood.  Watch this moment as a La Marina staffer blocks two women with strollers from accessing the park because the exotic cars get priority!

pc blast litty 5 jul16

No Standing zone?  More like No Enforcement zone.

None of these activities would be permitted in another part of New York City, but they are magically allowed in Inwood by Parks and the NYPD?

It is completely insane that a Parks concession is being used for events like PC Blast and other promotions.  Restore the approved uses.  Restore Dyckman Marina.

 


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Liar Liar Parks on Fire

“Concerts are strictly prohibited at the Licensed Premises.

 License Agreement, June 25 2009

We do not consider events that include music as part of the overall experience, and are not promoted as only a musical performance, to be prohibited.”

 David Cerron, NYC Parks Dept, July 3 2017

“With this concert, we’re giving audiences an opportunity to reminisce in the nostalgia of the music, while giving Pedro’s fans something fun to watch.”

Jackie Gagne, HBO marketing vice-president speaking about an event at La Marina Aug 9 2017

 


Halfway through the summer of 2017, it is time to check in on the many lies of the New York City Parks Dept under Mayor Bill de Blasio and Commissioner Mitchell Silver.

Every year Parks promises to “continue to address issues” with the concession over resident concerns about how public parkland got turned into an unaudited private nightclub.  So how are we doing so far this season?

Since La Marina’s opening in 2012, residents have been working year-round to try and get the Parks Department and elected officials to enforce the license agreement as written, as well as eliminate the serious impacts this nightclub has created for the surrounding community. These efforts usually start in reasonable questions being asked of Parks, and often end in ridiculous lies and misdirection because Parks cannot possibly explain how any of what La Marina does outside of being a restaurant or bar is legal.  It is not, and this how Parks hopes to confuse you, the politicians, and the courts into letting the concession continue without interference for another ten years.

bb2 may27

Not a concert, that’s just the cable guy fixing the wifi router.   (5/27/17)

Let’s start with the unilateral verbal extension of hours to 1 am, which you recall was extended from 11 pm.  The extension of hours is perhaps permissible,  but the extension of music to 1 am never has been.  Parks has tried many times to claim that La Marina’s events all end at 10 pm, and that any music after that is not from the main stage and is on some sort of sound limiter.  They have to say this because noise outdoors in New York is illegal after 10 pm.  But in the case of La Marina it’s pure fantasy.  The facility closes at 1 am, and the concert acts always go long past 10 pm – and are often advertised as such by sloppy promoters.  (The veteran ones, like #BrunchBounce, know to keep to the 10 pm lie.).  Even La Marina’s own website shows this when they describe a July 4th event that starts at 3 pm and features “more than 15 artists, 10+ hours of music and dancing, and special performances and surprises”  (Note that dancing is also not legal at La Marina).  And yet, when queried about the constant late-night noise, Parks will say as they did in an email of July 21, 2017 (all quotes on this page are from David Cerron, Chief of Revenue, Concessions, and Controls Oversight for Parks):

Regarding the event’s duration, we spoke to the operators of La Marina and they confirmed that the July 4th event ended at 9:30pm. The facility closes no later than 1am.

Yeah, they checked on this by calling the operators.  Hey fox, how many eggs did you steal from that henhouse you were guarding?  Oh, none?  Ok then.

And why again are there concerts happening on the site in the first place?  Parks has been asked many times in writing to clarify how this can be when the license agreement explicitly states “concerts are strictly prohibited (see 10.18).”  This is the lie put forth by Parks in an email of July 3, 2017:

jul15 crowd

Not a concert, just a lot of people standing around a space filled with concert speakers. (7/15/17)

With regard to “concerts” at the facility, as stated in prior correspondence dated August 18, 2015, it is true that the concession agreement does not define concerts. There is no indication in the agreement that live or recorded music is not permitted at the facility. The agreement contemplates amplified sound at the concession with Parks’ approval.

This first part of this answer tries to deflect by confusing any amplified music with concerts.  Amplified music is ok with some conditions, as you would expect for any restaurant or bar.  Of course it is.  The issue is the 1,500 person CONCERTS that occur in the “La Marina Beach” area and include a huge stage, ticketed entry, specific showtimes and featured performers.

concert stage jul2

Not a concert, just a nighttime TED talk.  (7/2/17)

We do not consider events that include music as part of the overall experience, and are not promoted as only a musical performance, to be prohibited. Consequently, we have approved La Marina’s use of regulated live amplified music as part of its overall concession activity, which includes its restaurant and lounge operation, marina services, and catered events.

Oh, so those are not concerts after all?  They are just “events that include music”?  That’s odd, since any six-year old would be familiar with this dictionary definition of concerts:

CONCERT /ˈkɒnsət/: A musical performance given in public, typically by several performers or of several compositions.

bb8 may27

Not a concert, they are cheering at random and not at all at whatever is happening on that stage. (5/27/17)

It is absurd of Parks to try and claim that “concerts” is not a defined term.  After all, neither is the word “day”, a word which is used in the agreement many times.   Maybe they mean a Martian Day, or a Klingon Day?  Or a language in southern Chad? Come on Parks, no judge is going to buy this.  You had an entire run of events last year that was called a SUMMER CONCERT SERIES for crying out loud.  You had HBO rent the place out for a CONCERT SPECIAL.  If a guy prances around on a stage performing sets, maybe accompanied by musical instruments, all while thousands of paying customers watch or dance, newsflash: it’s a concert.  Borough President Gale Brewer was emphatic about this point in a 2015 letter her office sent to Parks, but even that was ignored.

summer love 2016 image of a concert

Not a concert — those are just funny-looking hookah pipes.

Deep down, Parks knows they can’t squirm their way out.  They know they are in trouble here.  Go back to the language of the RFP from 2007:

heatwave-july1-lineup-1

This is not a concert, just an event that includes music.  A lot of music.  Actually pretty much only music. (7/1/17)

Proposers should note that the café will not be permitted to have any outdoor, amplified music without prior written approval from Parks. All amplified music must be at sound level reasonably acceptable to the Commissioner. The café and restaurant (if proposed) will not be permitted to operate past 11:00 p.m. on Sunday through Wednesday and 12:30 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Concerts will be strictly prohibited at the site. If the proposer plans to build an enclosed, year-round restaurant, then amplified music may be played within the structure. All amplified music at the café or restaurant (if proposed) must cease at 10:00 p.m. and must be at a sound level reasonably acceptable to the Commissioner. Music and all other noise emanating from the café and restaurant (if proposed) shall comply with the rules for noise control in Title 24, Chapter 2 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York.

aug19 event details how is this not a concert

A ticket description for an event that will have 17 musical acts on 3 stages.  But it’s not a concert! (8/19/17)

So the intent was pretty clear then.  No concerts.  This year, Parks has been trying to strengthen the “they’re not concerts, they’re events that include music” excuse by requiring that the weekend concerts describe themselves as, wait for it, “birthday parties”.  (This seems similar to the tactic tried some years ago of calling the concerts “benefits”.)  So for these “birthday parties”, you just show up like any other birthday party, only you have to get a ticket, you don’t bring a gift, there is hours of music but no singing of ‘Happy Birthday’ or cake, and there will be about 1,500 other guests.  So pretty much the same as any other birthday party ever you’ve been to, right?

not a concert aug9 hbo latino 3

Not a concert, just a smooth jazz trio performing ambient music and not in any way a HBO Concert Special (Aug 9, 2017)

And if they are not birthday parties, the concerts are called “beach parties”.  You know, like any party at the beach, minus the ocean and beach chairs, plus bouncers, tickets, a stage and multiple music acts.  And they allow 15 of these a year, on the legal basis of absolutely nothing.  Parks should be ashamed.

baefest poster aug6

Not a cartoon of a nearly naked woman.  Also, not a concert.  Also, a birthday party.  (8/6/17).

Speaking of knowing no shame, another 2017 lie from Parks is that they are blameless over the content of some of these concerts/parties.   It has long been an issue that Parks allows event promotions that feature the objectification of women, a remarkable practice for a city-owned facility in the 21st century and one that is prohibited in the license agreement (10.16).  Right from Memorial Day weekend 2017, there were problems with concert posters that fixated on female bodies.  When questioned, Parks stated on July 3, 2017:

As you know, the advertisements you referenced were not approved by Parks. We spoke to La Marina and were informed that the advertisements were not approved by them either, but instead were issued by third-party event planners. We directed La Marina to instruct the event planners to immediately replace the advertisements with something more appropriate and to firmly remind event planners to have all advertisements approved in advance. After review, it appears these advertisements were subsequently replaced. We have also directed La Marina to strengthen their efforts when monitoring online promotional material for events that is not on the La Marina website.

bikini beachwear

See, it’s not Bikini Palooza anymore.  Now a family-friendly non-concert affair suitable for public parkland.  (7/2/17)

And yet a month later, Parks pretended to be shocked!, shocked! yet again when a prominent event was booked called Bikini Palooza  which featured some of the most outrageous marketing images yet.  After the event was brought to Parks’ attention, was it cancelled?  Of course not.  It was simply renamed “Beach Wear Affair” and allowed to continue.

Again, Parks blamed others — a website redesign  — and said on July 21, 2017 that they would resolve the issue not by stopping the illegal concerts, but by asking La Marina to hire a staffer to surf Instagram!

With regard to advertisements, approved promotional material for beach events can be found on La Marina’s website and/or Facebook page. Their website was not functioning for most of June due to a site redesign, which may have contributed to the circulation of unapproved advertisements. With that said, we agree that the event in question was not promoted appropriately by the event planner – we have expressed this sentiment to the concessionaire, and they have now assigned a staff person to search event-related online posts and ensure they are in keeping with the approved event

bikini palooza 22

This sort of marketing has nothing at all to do with Parks allowing a public facility to serve as a giant nightclub. Right?

Good luck with that, since the #LaMarina hashtag is now considered so explicit that Instagram often filters it and hides search results.  But please, Parks, keep up with the good work!  Because it hasn’t stopped this poster from appearing on the La Marina website for July 30th.  Or this one from circulating on event ticket sites.  (One wonders if any other municipal facility in history has ever developed quite the street rep as the Dyckman Marina…)

lookotherway

Officer in background: Nothing to see here people (just the taking of public space).

Finally, Parks is continuing in 2017 the Great Lie about parking.  See, parking is a tough topic to spin.  It’s rather technical in that the site has none, the license agreement doesn’t mention it, the site plan doesn’t allow any, and the Parks-owned parking lot nearby has no agreement of its own to operate as a valet lot.  All of the streets near La Marina are either regular residential parking or No Standing zones.  And yet, and yet, every weekend, the barricades go up and parking staff seize public streets as private valet parking.  It’s a little hard not to notice, with the dozens of cops assigned to look the other way while they direct traffic.  And so, Parks must wiggle and squirm to try and not make it apparent that everything concerning parking at La Marina is grossly illegal.  Per an email on July 21, 2017 responding to a resident complaint about valet parking closing off Dyckman near Staff Street:

La Marina does not have authorization to close off this area of Dyckman Street. We spoke to the operators regarding your concern and were informed that the decision to close Dyckman Street was made by staff of the 34 precinct. In this instance, valet parking employees were allowed to move to the front of the barricade depicted in your photo to facilitate access for patrons traveling to the facility, and parking in the concessionaire’s designated area closer to the facility.

close off dyckman st for valet

Valet parking staff cone off Dyckman Street from public access, July 2017.  Because that’s totally normal to happen every weekend on NYC streets in violation of DOT regulations.

Oh, so it’s the NYPD’s fault?  Little problem with this lie:  there is NO “concessionaire’s designated area” for parking.  None.  Not a single space.  So Parks here is essentially saying the NYPD allowed an illegal parking operation to take over a public street to support a use that is not approved or authorized at a city-owned facility.  Nice.

End the lies.  Restore Dyckman Marina.

Not a concert, despite the same exact event being a Summerstage concert in Brooklyn.

Not a concert, it’s a fest.  Also not more than 1,500 people. (Aug 6, 2017)

#LaMarina #SolidCircle … DOLCE THIS FRIDAY AUG 11TH@

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Not a concert, it’s…. oh, screw it.  This is a concert. (Aug 6, 2017)

Yeah, and so is this. (Aug 9, 2017)


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Welcome Back, Klubber

“At the far west end of what the district refers to as the Dyckman corridor, is the unnervingly popular riverside restaurant-bar-hookah-dance venue La Marina.”

 Metro, Dec 7, 2016

only you

Welcome to 2017.  This will be the sixth season operating under the never-enforced and pretty-much-worthless concession agreement for the establishment at the Dyckman Marina basin.  The rent will still only be a measly 8% (far below the rents of 14% at Boat Basin Cafe or 12% at New Leaf Cafe) and as we’ve noted over and over, much of the money potentially owed to the city may never be seen because concert ticket income seems to not be reported.  But never mind all of those abstract numbers — a return to warm weather and the concession’s reopening means a return of illegal noisy concerts that bring unfair traffic and parking mayhem to Inwood’s 40,000 residents.

As usual, attempts have been made to correct the situation by asking Parks to abide by the agreements that were actually negotiated and signed back in 2009, rather than continue whatever fantasy they have been living in since 2012.  And last year saw a lot more scrutiny than usual, with federal corruption investigations surrounding Mayor de Blasio extending to La Marina’s majority partner.

2016 part1

Concert posters from the first half of the 2016 season.

But despite FBI rumors and calls for audits, as in past years Parks simply resorted to “alternative facts” to respond to critics.   In June 2016, a Parks spokesperson stated in an email to a neighborhood group that:

Similar to last season, La Marina is limiting the number of large Beach events, which are events on the beach that meet or exceed 1,000 attendees, to 15.

Keep in mind that there is no legal basis for even one of these “events” (which involve tickets and music and are called “concerts” by non-lying people).  Nonetheless, over the course of the summer Parks could not even manage to enforce their own invented and relaxed guideline.  In October 2016, long after the last mic had dropped, the spokesperson stated in a followup email:

La Marina is limiting their number of large beach events to 15 per year … for such an event to be included, it must meet or exceed 1,000 attendees.  Any events with less than 1,000 attendees are not counted in the 15 per year restriction.  Using that parameter, La Marina hosted 10 large beach events this season.

In reality, there were at least 40 heavily advertised, ticketed events in summer 2016, as seen in the posters on this page.

2016 part2

Concert posters from the second half of the 2016 season

At least 21 of those events, as documented here, hosted large crowds that filled the beach area to 2/3 or more (the beach alone has a legal capacity of 1,500 people):

1. May 21 Memorial Day Party
2. May 30 Brunch Bounce
3. June 12 Mega Music Series #3
4. June 18 Everyday People
5. June 19 Mega Music Series #4
6. June 25 Mai Tai NY
7. July 2 Chicken & Beer
8. July 3 Lovetrain Tour
9. July 4 Brunch n Beats
10. July 10 Mega Music Series #6
11. July 16 CRIBS
12. July 22 AfroCarnival
13. July 24 Mega Music Series #8
14. Aug. 6 Everyday People
15. Aug. 20 Summer Daze
16. Aug. 21 Rains/Powder Wars
17. Aug 26 Fiesta Empanada
18. Aug 27 Afro Caribbean
19. Sept 3 Everyday People #3
20. Sept 5 Brunch n Beats
21. Sept 10 Brunch Bounce

So how exactly does twenty-one equal ten?  How exactly do the images of all those concert posters  match up with “concerts are strictly prohibited” as stated in section 10.16 of the concession agreement?  How exactly was this creating “a significant improvement to the ambience of the park and surrounding area while providing a convenient service to the public” as required by the original concession RFP?  We’ll never know, as when Parks can’t give an answer that justifies their negligence, they provide no answer at all.

The only time in 2016 when Parks did their job properly in overseeing the concession was when they cancelled a boxing event that the operators had booked for the site.  Presumably they could not come up with a way to describe a live boxing match better suited for Madison Square Garden as being part of the approved use of “a full-service restaurant and a lounge”, so in this one rare instance it was dropped.

But one right does not make up for so many wrongs.  Will the same abuse of Inwood’s largest park as a late-night concert venue happen again in 2017?  What about the never-performed audit, or the missing EcoDock?  Will the city continue to look the other way as the alcohol industry uses a city park as a promotional vehicle?  Will the NYPD continue to pretend that Dyckman Street is not the city’s biggest illegal parking operation?  And exactly how many new explicit songs will come out this year referencing La Marina in their lyrics?

The big question for 2017 remains: will Dyckman Marina ever be restored to its intended and approved uses?


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2016 Event Tracker

“The all day (and all night) beach party fetes the collective’s new imprint, Crew Love Records, and will host raucous sets from the label’s own No Regular Play, Nick Monaco, David Marston, and — of course — extended sets from founders Wolf + Lamb and Soul Clap themselves to toast the evening into the morning.”

  Billboard Magazine, June 30 2016

2016 packages list

2016 Bottle Service Price List

Promises, laws and regulations have been broken every year since the concession re-opened in 2012.  Will 2016 be any different?  All disruptive nightlife-type events, the kind of events that are not supposed to be happening on city parkland under the concession agreement, will be posted here.

Note that many of the events will claim to end before 10 pm, since by regulation outdoor concerts across the city end at that hour.  But of course at La MArina the “house DJs” take over from 10 pm to 1 am, continuing the illegal outdoor sound and keeping the party going.

Please send any photos or videos to restoredyckmanmarina@gmail.com to be added to this page.

Restore Dyckman Marina to its intended uses as a restaurant and marina and remove the nightclub/concert venue operations and the problems will cease. 

Examples of “minor” events that are in addition to the ticketed concerts below.


May 5, 2016 – Rhythym and Style Splash

Hours – 5 pm – 12 am
Ticketed – yes, $15
Amplified music – yes, DJ and live
Promoter – Restless Media (RM) and AFLIK TV
 may5event

May 12, 2016 – Rhythym and Style Splash

Hours – 6 pm – 12 am
Ticketed – RSVP
Amplified music – yes, DJ and live
Promoter – Restless Media (RM) and AFLIK TV
may12event

May 28, 2016 – Memorial Day Party

Hours – 2 pm – 10 pm
Ticketed – yes, $53 advance
Amplified music – yes, DJ and live
Promoter – Carefree Nation

May 29, 2016 – Mega Music Series Concert #1

Hours – 5 pm – 12 am
Ticketed – yes, $30 advance
Amplified music – yes, DJ and live
Promoter – LaMega97.9

Throwback May 29th 2016 at #lamarinanyc Had a blast!

A post shared by ✝️Michelle Marie✝️ (@bellaboricuaqueen) on

Throw back May 29th 2016 at #lamarinanyc Summer beach party.

A post shared by ✝️Michelle Marie✝️ (@bellaboricuaqueen) on


May 30, 2016 – Brunch Bounce

Hours – 1 pm – 9 pm
Ticketed – yes, $20 advance
Amplified music – yes, DJ and live
Promoter – BrunchBounce

Groovy vibes right now courtesy of @zeemuffin • #BrunchBounce #LaMarinaNYC

A post shared by Brunch Bounce (@brunchbounce) on

😰 @walshyfire 🔥 • #BrunchBounce #LaMarinaNYC

A post shared by Brunch Bounce (@brunchbounce) on

Ah man damn #BrunchBounce 🔥 @walshyfire & @jillionaire 🙌

A post shared by Brunch Bounce (@brunchbounce) on

💃🏼💃🏼💃🏼 • #BrunchBounce #LaMarinaNYC

A post shared by Brunch Bounce (@brunchbounce) on

🌊🌊🌊 #LaMarina

A post shared by KeonVybz (@keonvybz) on



June 5, 2016 – Mega Music Series Concert #2

Hours – 5 pm – 12 am
Ticketed – yes, $30
Amplified music – yes, DJ and live
Promoter – LaMega97.9
Cancelled by Mother Nature, not by Parks (!)
june 5th cancelled

June 11, 2016 – Jack Daniel’s PXP FEST

Hours – 6 pm – 1 am
Ticketed – yes, $40
Amplified music – yes, DJ and live
Promoter – Jack Daniel’s Whiskey

June 12, 2016 – Mega Music Series Concert #3

Hours – 5 pm – 12 am
Ticketed – yes, $40
Amplified music – yes, DJ and live
Promoter – LaMega97.9

@messiahgram Live #LaMarinaNyc #PrParadeAfterParty

A post shared by LA FAMILLE (@willprincipe) on

@lamarinanyc performing live @messiahgram 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

A post shared by Sha_mack7 (@sha_mack7) on




June 18, 2016 – Remy Martin Producers Series

Hours – 3 pm – 6 pm
Ticketed – no
Amplified music – yes, DJ
Promoter – Remy Martin Cognac

June 18, 2016 – Everyday People

Hours – 2 pm – 10 pm
Ticketed – yes, $10 to $20 cash at door
Amplified music – yes, DJ and live
Promoter – Everyday People

Had a blast @missbelafonte #LaMarina #dyckman #washingonheights #nyc

A post shared by Brianna Colette (@briannacoletteofficial) on

Just got to #LaMarina!! It's popn!! #everydaypeople

A post shared by Brianna Colette (@briannacoletteofficial) on


June 19, 2016 – Mega Music Series Concert #4

Hours – 5 pm – 12 am
Ticketed – yes, $40
Amplified music – yes, DJ and live
Promoter – LaMega97.9

June 25, 2016 – Mai Tai NY

Hours – 2 pm – 10 pm
Ticketed – yes, $40 advance
Amplified music – yes, DJ and live
Promoter – Caesar’s Army, Carefree Nation


June 26, 2016 – Mega Music Series Concert #5

Hours – 5 pm – 12 am
Ticketed – yes, $40
Amplified music – yes, DJ and live
Promoter – LaMega97.9

Last night #Lamarina

A post shared by G-pro The Producer (@gprotheproducer_evr) on


July 1, 2016 – First Fridays

Hours – 8 pm – 1 am
Ticketed – cover charge after 10 pm
Amplified music – yes, DJ
Promoter – Drill NYC
jul1 poster

July 2, 2016 – Chicken & Beer

Hours – tbd
Ticketed – yes, $25
Amplified music – yes, DJ and live
Promoter – BrunchBounce, FeelUp

Dance still nice #LaMarina

A post shared by LivingLife2ThaFullest (@reece718) on

It was lit today #lamarina #fourthofjulyweekend🇺🇸 #lituation

A post shared by Phil (@ovo.gqpartyr0ck153) on


July 3, 2016 – Lovetrain Tour

Hours – 2 pm – 1 am
Ticketed – yes, $40-50
Amplified music – yes, DJ and live
Promoter – Crew Love, Matte


July 4, 2016 – Brunch n Beats

Hours – 3 pm – 9 pm
Ticketed – yes, $20
Amplified music – yes, DJ and live
Promoter – Intermixx Marketing Group

All the way up! #fatjoe #remyma #uptown #bx #lamarina #4thofjuly #brunchnbeats

A post shared by Nails By Lucy (@thelacquerpalace) on

#4thofjuly shenanigans part 2! #uptown #lamarina #dusse #brunchnbeats

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July 9, 2016 – Rum n Riddim

Hours – 2 pm – 10 pm
Ticketed – unknown
Amplified music – yes, DJ and live
Promoter – Everyday People
jul9 poster

July 10, 2016 – Mega Music Series Concert #6

Hours – 5 pm – 12 am
Ticketed – yes, $40
Amplified music – yes, DJ and live
Promoter – LaMega97.9
july10 poster


@cosculluela PRENDIO EN FUEGO #LAMARINA 🔥👊

A post shared by 🔱OFICIAL ROTT\VΞILAS CALI 🔱 (@rottcalicol) on


July 16, 2016 – CRIBS

Hours – 3 pm – 8 pm
Ticketed – yes, $40 – $60
Amplified music – yes, DJ and live
Promoter – Carefree Nation, Natalie

Happy bday Fran 🎂🍾🍸🎉 @_frannntastic #cribs #cribs2016

A post shared by I Am Jamishness (@debodiva) on

Found a feter! 😜#cribs2016

A post shared by Nikki (@ladybacktoblack) on


July 17, 2016 – Mega Music Series Concert #7

Hours – 5 pm – 12 am
Ticketed – yes, $30
Amplified music – yes, DJ and live
Promoter – LaMega97.9

July 22, 2016 – Boxing Event – Cancelled by Parks Dept

Hours – tbd
Ticketed – yes, prices tbd
Amplified music – yes, DJ and live
Promoter – Uprising Promotions
july22 boxing

July 22, 2016 – Soul Diverse

Hours – 6 pm – 1 am
Ticketed – $10 donation
Amplified music – yes, DJ and live
Promoter – Bang the Drum
jul22 poster

July 23, 2016 – AfroCarnival


July 24, 2016 – Mega Music Series Concert #8

Hours – 5 pm – 12 am
Ticketed – yes, $25
Amplified music – yes, DJ and live
Promoter – LaMega97.9

🌊🌊🌊🌊🔥🔥🎥🎤🍾 @alexsensation #LaMarina #live 💪

A post shared by Tomas Alotu Pacheco (@magic32_prod) on

#HappyBirthdayRalphieMercado 2016!!!!!!!!!! #LaMarina

A post shared by VAUGHN MACK ENTERPRISES (@vaughnmackenterprises) on


July 30, 2016 -OASIS

Hours – 5 pm – 2 am
Ticketed – yes, $10
Amplified music – yes, DJ and live
Promoter – Merge, Globalmixx, SoulDiverse, Brooklyn Social
jul30 poster

July 31, 2016 – Mega Music Series Concert #9

Hours – 5 pm – 12 am
Ticketed – yes, $20
Amplified music – yes, DJ and live
Promoter – LaMega97.9
jul31 poster

Aug 6, 2016 – Everyday People

Hours – 2 pm – 10 pm
Ticketed – yes, $20 cash at door
Amplified music – yes, DJ and live
Promoter – Everyday People

#everydaypeople

A post shared by Kyle C. Williams (@kcw089) on

#everydaypeople

A post shared by Kyle C. Williams (@kcw089) on


Aug 7, 2016 – Mega Music Series Concert #10

Hours – 5 pm – 12 am
Ticketed – yes, $30
Amplified music – yes, DJ and live
Promoter – LaMega97.9
 aug7 poster

Aug 14, 2016 – Mega Music Series Concert #11

Hours – 5 pm – 12 am
Ticketed – yes, $20
Amplified music – yes, DJ and live
Promoter – LaMega97.9

August 20, 2016 – Summer Daze

August 21, 2016 – Rains / Powder Wars

Hours – 12 pm – 6 pm
Ticketed – yes, $60
Amplified music – yes, DJ and live
Promoter – Ice Box Entertainment, Carefree NAtion



#Uptown #NYC #TurnUp seems folks are still in #LaMarina all #Summer16 #Dope

A post shared by B. Easy (@prodigy5002) on


Aug 21, 2016 – Mega Music Series Concert #12 (postponed due to rain)

Hours – 5 pm – 12 am
Ticketed – yes, $20
Amplified music – yes, DJ and live
Promoter – LaMega97.9
poster aug21night

August 26, 2016 – Fiesta Empanada

Hours – 5 pm – 1 am
Ticketed – yes, $10-$30
Amplified music – yes, DJ and live
Promoter – The Frat Haus

August 27, 2016 – AfroCaribbean

Hours – 4 pm – 11:30 pm
Ticketed – yes, $30
Amplified music – yes, DJ and live
Promoter – VybeAfrica
https://www.instagram.com/p/BIXc8y0joHQ/





La Marina was on full tilt last night #lamarina

A post shared by Slim Vaca (@slimvac) on

https://www.instagram.com/p/BKBU726Ddw8/


Aug 28, 2016 – Mega Music Series Concert #13

Hours – 5 pm – 12 am
Ticketed – yes, $20
Amplified music – yes, DJ and live
Promoter – LaMega97.9
poster aug28

Sep 3, 2016 – Everyday People #3

Hours – 3 pm – 10 pm
Ticketed –yes, $10-30
Amplified music – yes, DJ and live
Promoter – Everyday People

#MILLIEROCK #DAYPARTYFLOW #LAMARINA #LABORDAYWEEKEND #CHARLIEB

A post shared by Patricia Charles (@charlieblingbrooks) on


Sep 4, 2016 – Mega Music Series Concert #14

Hours – 5 pm – 12 am
Ticketed – yes, $20+
Amplified music – yes, DJ and live
Promoter – LaMega97.9

Sep 5, 2016 – Brunch n Beats

Hours – 3 pm – 9 pm
Ticketed – yes, $20
Amplified music – yes, DJ and live
Promoter – Intermixx

@prettylou11 close up…#laborday LA MARINA #theambassador

A post shared by Tali Gore (@taligore) on


Sept 10, 2016 – Brunch Bounce

Hours – 1 pm – 10 pm
Ticketed – yes, $25
Amplified music – yes, DJ and live (inlcuding Skrillex!)
Promoter – BrunchBounce

Skrillex on a beach #LaMarina #BrunchBounce #Skrillex

A post shared by Bruno John (@brunojohn117) on

Killing part 2 @iamtjr #tjr #brunchbounce #lamarina

A post shared by Adam Davis (@good_doggo26) on


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The More Things Change…

“La Marina offers a unique experience that infuses a touch of South Beach in Manhattan, setting the perfect backdrop for private social events or corporate parties.”

 LaMarinaNYC.com, April 2016

bb6

Summer is coming…

As La Marina prepares to open for its fifth season, there is cause for despair.

Many residents who lived closest to the Parks concession have now moved elsewhere; newer residents moving in are unaware that the problems at the site are things that should not be happening — to them, they are just the way they have always been.

Remaining residents, tired of successive politicians who fail to take action, have adapted their travel patterns and weekend activities to try and mitigate the damage.

In 2014, at the Community Board 12 liquor license renewal committee meeting, a huge crowd turned out, only to see the license renewed for another 2 years with stipulations (that were never met) and more lies fabricated (to justify actions that are not permitted by the concession agreement or city regulations).  And so on April 13, 2016 few residents appeared for the licensing committee meeting, knowing that the liquor license would be renewed regardless — which it indeed was, without a single stipulation.

LM Posters1

Will summer 2016 be just like summer 2015?

So what now?  Will the “private social events” (aka concerts, no, make that “experiences that include music“) be  limited to ending at 10 pm?  To not being on Sunday nights?  To occuring just a few times throughout the season?  No, of course not.  Will the community uses of the site, which now finally includes sailing, increase?  Nope, anything like a family movie night would conflict with the concerts.  (Although, for a place that takes in many millions each year, you would think La Marina could afford to donate the $25,000 needed for a floating classroom for the sailing school.)  How about that EcoDock promised in 2012?  Every year it is promised, every year it fails to appear.

A shooting in 2014 did not bring change.  Community meetings with Parks officials in 2015 did not bring change.  A corruption scandal involving uptown politicians in 2016 has not brought change (yet – stay tuned on this one).  There is simply no reason not to expect summer 2016 to be just like summer 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012.  So what can you do about it?

Take note of the impact La Marina has on your quality of life when they host disruptive concerts, or are playing music past 10 pm, or when you cannot even exit the highway. Email restoredyckmanmarina@gmail.com with your photos and observations and they will be published here.  And contact your elected officials to let them know that not all of Inwood has rolled over or abandoned the neighborhood.

Restore Dyckman Marina to its original uses, to benefit everyone, as it should be.  In the meantime, Happy 2016.

tweet from the security company showing their training

Security staff training for La Marina’s 2016 season.  Because all Parks concessions need bouncers, right?