Why is the Williamsburg Concert Series Moving from East River State Park to 50 Kent?

03/12/2012 9:57 AM |

50 Kent Avenue
  • 50 Kent Avenue

The Open Space Alliance’s summer concerts—once held in McCarren Pool, then in the East River State Park—are to move this summer to a lot at 50 Kent Avenue, between North 10th and 11th streets. It’s an “interim space,” OSA’s executive director Stephanie Thayer tells us, “because we currently have an arrangement with Parks for two years.”

Last year, locals complained about OSA’s concerts in East River Park—that they attracted drugs, that they brought litter as well as unruly crowds, who drank in public and urinated on the trees. The community’s response seemed to inspire the move.

But Thayer tells us it’s in keeping with the Alliance’s mission.

Our mission is to improve and build parks in North Brooklyn and this is a really a great opportunity to do exactly that. The Pool had been off limits to the general public before the shows. One of the reasons we got involved was to insure that the Pool was used by/for our community, rather than just decaying. Similarly, the State Park had been closed for lack of funds before we started the Williamsburg Waterfront concert series there. (With the Williamsburg Waterfront series, we donated $300,000 to the park, beyond the $280,000 paid in fees.) Activating 50 Kent for our neighborhood is a continuation of what OSA has been doing all along. The goal of our community is to see North 9th up to about Meserole Avenue as parkland—this is OSA’s way of helping that vision to a reality.

3 Comment

  • Meanwhile, when they kicked out Jelly at the start of last year they promised there would still be free rock shows. Then they came through with . . how many, one?

  • I’m glad they moved. I live on North 7th and Kent Avenue. This preceding fool previously had the temerity to suggest one was confined to eat abuse or displacement. That’s nonsense on its face and not the first time. I recall previous summers where living here meant my building shuddering to noise. Sometimes it was frightening when thinking of the L train running directly underneath and those whatever whatevers over at the Edge dynamiting or blasting the ground–all of it happening simultaneously. The next summer the volume was turned down and it was much appreciated. There was a radical difference–the floor wasn’t shaking anymore. The area they are moving to has residents diagonally across–God bless and God help them, because people like yo yo pa have no compassion for them. I want to root in the neighborhood I grew up in but am eluded by the high rent and the compulsion to quit in the face of environmental supersaturated hyper-stimulation at all hours of the day and night–and I am badgered by idiots to rush out the door. Ironically, where I am at is one of the lowest rents in the neighborhood, and my landlord, God bless him, is a forgiving man who overlooked my many past indiscretions. Leaving this place means leaving the neighborhood, and if the concerts continued, I’m certain it would have some compulsion on my more immediate neighbors who are also long-term residents. Again, God bless and God help you also, because people here don’t give a fuck about a living situation–they’re too wrapped up in a “show.”

  • And let’s not even get into the drug issue–please. Again, two summers previous, I was frequently treated, upon walking out the front door to the building, to kids shitting, pissing, making out and fondling each other, smoking joints and openly transacting right there on the front stoop, individuals who often had the temerity to be offended that I actually wanted to walk over my own front stoop and be damned! that they had to move–interestingly all elements present in the gentrification demonology of “before” and “los Sures” but different, of course, in the sense that there were 94th Precinct Officers walking in and out and about and everywhere and yet no one seemed worried in the least. Maybe it’s the volume. The next summer when the volume went down and there was that whole whipping nonsense en masse right in front of 94th Precinct Officers and several private security personnel that appeared on Gothamist and thus the L Magazine and extending outward into the actual consciousness of Williamsburg hamster universe, fewer kids were doing that same kind of nonsense outside my door. Or maybe it has something to do with the fact that I had to tell them to fuck off.