Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Poolaid Vid Debuts Tonight

As we noted a couple of weeks ago, Poolaid, the group concerned about various McCarren Pool issues, is debuting its "We are the Pool" tonight (2/27). The video will debut at Union Pool, 484 Union Avenue (cross street: Meeker Ave.), in Williamsburg. The event is from 7–9 pm.

The Poolaid people write:
The video is intended to draw attention to the situation with McCarren Pool here in Williamsburg. Poolaid wants to encourage our community to learn more about the pool and to let the Parks Department and our elected officials know what they want done with the pool. We want the pool to be for the people!

McCarren Pool, situated on the Williamsburg/Greenpoint border in McCarren Park, was built in 1936 as a WPA project. After being shut down in the late 1980s, the pool fell into major disrepair.

In 2005 the pool was reopened as a performance venue. A local group, Jelly NYC, put on free shows every Sunday that drew huge crowds. Noemie LaFrance's dance troupe performed the dance pieces Agora and Agora II. Unfortunately, the Parks Department chose to allow Live Nation, a spin-off and business partner of Clear Channel, to put on shows in the park as well. Live Nation then chose to charge $40 for their concerts.

We think a $40 cover charge for a show in a public park is wrong. Deeply wrong. Why is our pool being used to line the pockets of a corporation known for its predatory business practices? Furthermore, what does this mean for the future of the pool? Will some backdoor deal leave our community with a mini-Madison Square Garden and no pool? North Brooklyn is already lacking in park space and public facilities, and our pool should not be for sale.

And we want to go swimming.
The group argues for diversity of programming while the pool is used as a performance venue and for events that are "cheap or free." It says that profits from ticketed events should be set aside for the pool and that the Parks Department--which has engaged in relatively private planning for the pool--set up "a community committee and have regularly scheduled meetings for discussion of community concerns." The group also wants "a clear timeline and a funding plan for turning the pool back into a pool again." Oh, and did we mention they're not fond of Live Nation and other corporate concert promoters?

Related Posts:
Free McCarren Pool Concerts Are on for Summer
Poolaid Relaunches Website

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