Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Other Options for McCarren Pool?

McCarren water five copy

We posted an item yesterday about our negative feelings about the big corporate shows at McCarren Pool. The nature of the media conglomerate that is producing the shows and the sweetheart deal the Parks Department gave them--which produces almost no revenue for the city or McCarren Park--isn't the only problem with them. We hate to say it, and we don't want to be an anti-McCarren concert Grinch, but noise and quality of life issue exist with all the concerts being produced at the pool, including the cool, community-oriented free ones.

Don't get us wrong: We dig the free Pool Parties. They're a great, free showcase for some cool indie music talent playing a show that is independent of the big promoters (like Clear Channel) that have a stranglehold on way too much of the music scene.

However, when we posted an item on Friday over at Curbed, a reader's words caught our attention:
I live right next door to the pool and its WAY too loud. The free concert crap needs to END - its just not right that I (and many others) have to listen to 8 hours of music EVERY Sunday (whether I want to or NOT). Let them restore the pool,make a skate park and/or anything else they want to do - but NO MORE concerts - its NOT FAIR to the people who actually LIVE here. (Not to mention that McCarren park doesnt see any $$$$ from the free shows.)
As to the latter point, of course, McCarren Park isn't seeing money from any of the shows. Quite the opposite is the case--the Parks Department is incurring clean up costs. Local residents have complained that McCarren Park was getting trashed up after the shows and that the Parks Department wasn't cleaning up. (We don't want to know what the park looked like after the Bloc Party show.) In any case, the Parks Department is now cleaning up after the pool events.

The Parks Department has been handling all the shows and events on a case-by-case basis this year, although there is still a chance that a big RFP will done for next year. Hopefully, some happy medium will be found here that allows for some concerts, some films and dance performances, but that does not involve big concerts. Any concert series that is held should be community-oriented, free and limited enough in duration so as not to constitute a sonic assault on anyone living nearby. (GL feels for someone that doesn't want to spend his/her Sunday listening to music he/she doesn't like or is forced to wear headphones for eight hours to block out the noise or to go elsewhere.)

Ultimately, McCarren Park and Pool need a conservancy or alliance to look out after its interests. And, any series of concerts or cultural events at the park needs a foundation or non-profit to curate it, not unlike what BRIC does for Celebrate Brooklyn.

A variety of interesting plans have been floated over the years that would restore at least part of the huge McCarren Pool acreage for use as a pool, while preserving adequate space for small to medium-size concerts and artistic performance. That certainly sounds like the right direction for this historic space.


Anonymous Scott said...

I believe Jelly NYC is responsible for cleanup IN the pool area and the Parks Dept. is responsible for, well, the park. Same difference, I know.

Might I ask what "community-oriented" entertainment would pass muster? If they don't want to hear 8 hours of indie rock would 8 hours of polka do? Or 8 hours of salsa? Judging by the attendance at these events (And the general population of the 'burg) Block Party et al. might just be community oriented.

7:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And listen to 8 hours of Mr. Softee.

10:01 PM  
Anonymous mrt said...

I would say that Bloc Party appeals to one segment of the community. And $35 plus $10-$15 service fee tickets are appealing to a VERY narrow segment of the community. For cryin' out loud, that's the most expensive music ticket in brooklyn and it's for a public park!

10:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmm, i think if the pool was full (which would be awesome) there would be some noise issues too. stop complaining. you live in a pretty ideal location, get outside on a sunday and enjoy your neighborhood.

11:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are always going to be conflicting interests between activity and quite enjoyment in city life. And if you live on a public park, you have to expect public usage. McCarren Park is always very active on nice weekends, with a fair amount of noise. If you don't like it, buy 100 acres in the country and keep to yourself. What are there, 15 times a year that the pool is used? It beats the 20 years of non-use and decay. Maybe the city cut a bad deal and should work out a better one next year. But I hope the pool continues to get good use as a venue if it isn't going to become a pool again. Or it should be torn out and made into open park.

4:01 PM  

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