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City will move Marty’s concerts from Asser Levy Park

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The shows will go on — but not in Asser Levy Park.

The city will move Borough President Markowitz’s controversial summer concert series out of the Coney Island bandshell even before there’s a ruling in a suit accusing the Beep’s events of violating city noise rules.

“We’re very pleased that the city [will] move the concert series out of Asser Levy Park,” said Norman Siegel, who is representing the two synagogues that are suing the city because the amplified sound from the concerts disrupts their services. “But we still have a long way to go to solve our issues.”

The city has not decided on a new location for the performances, which have been held in Asser Levy for 20 years, but the series is likely to remain in Coney Island, according to NY1.

And Siegel says he’s OK with that.

“My clients aren’t against the concerts, they’re against having the concerts in Asser Levy Park,” said the longtime civil rights attorney representing Temple Beth Abraham, the Sea Breeze Jewish Center and various other community members in the case.

Markowitz has been mum on the reported move, only saying that the concerts, which included performances by John Legend and the Beach Boys last year, are still in the works.

“All options are on the table, and the shows will go on this summer,” said Markowitz’s spokesman, Jon Paul Lupo.

This is the latest in a four-year long battle over Marty’s music.

The borough president has held his Seaside Summer Concert Series every year since 1991, but caused an uproar when he announced a $64-milllion upgrade to the Asser Levy bandshell, which is slated to be built by 2012. Synagogue officials and other local critics called the planned venue a “monstrosity,” that destroys parkland and would overwhelm their quiet corner of Coney Island with cacophony.

In hopes of blocking an expanded amphitheater, synagogue officials last June sued to shut down the Beep’s concerts on the grounds that amplified music is illegal within 500 feet of houses of worship.

Just weeks after the suit was filed, the city passed a law that overturned the decades-old ban — but only for that summer, pending a review of the law.

The concerts continued to create contention throughout August, when The Brooklyn Paper reported that Markowitz used Rikers Island prisoners to assemble and disassemble the 2,000 seats for the series’ audiences. Locals protested that the job to set up the concert went to inmates being paid $1 an hour instead of people in need of work in the ailing economy.

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Reader Feedback

Leslie from Greenpoint says:
This is so disappointing - those concerts were so much fun! My husband are I moving to New Orleans in October; every day I read something that justifies our decision.
April 1, 2011, 4:15 pm
Dora Schwartz from Coney Island says:
They can have it on my terrace in Trump Village if they want, but we can just fit me and a few of my friends.
April 1, 2011, 5:36 pm
missy from gravesend says:
how sad for all of us in the surrounding area who get to enjoy the terror of living in southern brooklyn, the one good thing in our neighborhood during the summer is being taken away.a safe free entertaining way to spend a summer night without having to spend a hundred dollars is to much to ask of our city.thursday nights are pretty uneventful here so why dig your heels in on this one event?let us have one safe fun activity in this part of brooklyn.
April 1, 2011, 6:59 pm
catherine from coney says:
hey missy stop trashing bklyn coney you make us sound like crimanals from the underground.bklyn is the best place 2 live. there are alot of great things 2 do and famous people live here.coney is up and coming .must not be born and breed here.as for all those crybabies complaining about the concerts get over your selves its one nite and its a great thing why the heck would you people choose 2 live in the heart of coney with all that goes on there if u cant take the heat get out of kitchen stop ur balling deal with it or move out
April 2, 2011, 12:16 am
Tony from Park Slope says:
Stage the concerts in the middle of Fort Greene Park or Cadman Plaza. See the reactions you get from those communities. Concerts in Asser Levy Park were ill-advised and showed no consideration for the people that lived there. Move the concerts to one of the piers in Brooklyn Bridge Park and face the speakers toward the harbor.
April 2, 2011, 12:34 am
catherine from coney says:
this is the choice you make when you decide 2 live in coney island with all the noise that comes from the the concerts and the amusment parks. i know people that live right in that exact area and it doesnt bother them. you know this before you move there,if you decide to move there thats the thing you have to deal with.dont like noise dont live there move stop being cry babies give me a break please
April 2, 2011, 9:11 am
DL from Slope says:
I bet Ft Greene Park would welcome the concerts (except there's not really a place to put them in that park).

This really is one of the few large-scale free attractions available to southern brooklyn, and it should stay in that part of the borough, but in a location that is more welcoming to it (like, maybe where the Siren Music Festival sets up their main stage every year).
April 2, 2011, 1:41 pm
jerry from brighton beach says:
This is about the LAW people m not about the synagogues. The LAW is very clear.
Mr. Markowitz operated these concerts for the last 20 years against the LAW.
He never got a permit for these concerts.
We are a country & city of LAWS not of MEN.
There are plenty of venues in Coney Island amusement area where these types of concerts will be more than welcomed.
April 2, 2011, 2:56 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
This is good to hear. The residents never wanted concerts in this park. Also, the bandshell was way over budget in costs, not to mention that it look like an ugly potato chip. Why not just have the concerts over by the beach like they should be? Also, Asser Levy Park isn't big enough to hold that many people there anyway.
April 2, 2011, 4:12 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
That comment was not mine. I was away from my computer at 4:12 p.m., riding my bike on the beautiful Prospect Park West bike path. Having biked there, I now realize how wrong I was; I think it's great, and I am going to put a poster of Janette Sadik-Khan on my wall. With gas costing $4 a gallon, it's really smarter to bike anyway.
April 3, 2011, 12:29 am
boris from brighton beach says:
I think it is terrific that there will be a new location for the concerts.
I was unable to put my kids to sleep on
concert nights, They were very intrusive
in the quality of life for me & my family.
My kids use the park to run & play , not to have thousands of people from other neighborhoods invading our park.
Most of my neighbors agree, leave Asser Levy the way it is , we don't need an 8000 seat Amphiitheater in our Park.
April 3, 2011, 11:31 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
How interesting that someone impersonates me on a thread that has nothing to do with bicycles at all.
April 3, 2011, 11:44 am
Marty's friend Carl from Krugerville says:
Any thing that annoys or hurts the dopey BP I am in favor of!
April 4, 2011, 9:17 pm
Joey Bots says:
The voice of a few stops the enjoyment of the many!! I hope these people are happy...I guess in this society...ah nver mind.....
April 14, 2011, 1:11 pm
Debs from CI says:
These concerts have brought some sort
of quality to an other wise crmbling neighborhood. People love them and they are free. All of a sudden the Russians are complaining about noise. Pleez! They are the loudest and most boisterous people especially when the vodka is flowing!!!
May 12, 2011, 3:49 pm
Kev.. from Prospect Park says:
I totally disagree with having to move the concerts because of 'religious' sites nearby. We don't live nor should we be forced to live according to anyone's religious activities. If that is your business, fine. For 20 years these concerts have been held in the park. That said, moving the crowd closer to the 'entertainment' district could be good for all the businesses in the area. Even if they set up a stage on a small portion of the boardwalk and had patrons sit on towels like they do for the fireworks. Speakers could then be directed toward the ocean. Now there's an idea Marty!
May 21, 2011, 10:10 pm
mark from sheepheadbay says:
It's funny ...i don't see these same group of people complaing about the noise from the fireworks every Friday night (their Sabath, even). They get to pick and chose which noise they prefer? Each event brings thousands of people into the area spending money and therefore generating tax revenue for the city. I just don't get it.
June 17, 2011, 10:48 am
Laurie from right near seaside park says:
it was NOT the concert series the neighborhood objected to. it was the monstrosity of the concert hall they were planning to build. That being said, we were always happy to host the seaside concert series for over 20 years and would have been happy to continue to do so. I agreed to have whatever the BP wanted to do to improve my neighborhood. again, HOWEVER, that being said. they were NOT providing parking in a neighborhood where parking is already impossible. this venue was supposed to go more than year round, from what I recall. I will certainly miss the concert series near my place, but I will not miss the parking and traffic problems it caused.
June 29, 2011, 2:56 pm
Mike Vosburgh from Manhattan Beach says:
What blows me away is that all of the naysayers of the yearly concert venue in Asser Levy Park, Mr. Norman Siegel most certainly included, have been well aware for 20 years that concerts are provided for during the summer months. The advent of a re-stylized Band Shell should not have prompted a lawsuit yet it did - why? The issue of "noise" didn't come to the forefront as the focal point of debate for 20 years, now it has - why? A law citing required noise constraints within 500 feet of a Temple hasn't been used in protest for 20 years and now it has - why? Area residents have not banded together in an attempt to prohibit the concert venue for 20 years and now they have - why? Perhaps it's my inner-most common sense that tells me something is amiss here. Perhaps it's my own background in the legal arena that has me believing that all is not what it seems to be. I haven't read a single article about Mr. Siegel working towards a mid-line solution that would afford a continuation of these special events. Has Mr. Siegel even made a single effort to make a proposal to Mr. Markowitz or the Band Shell renovation committee which would call for completely renovating and upgrading the aesthetics of the site but modify the planned sound system? No? I wonder why? Mr. Siegel's mindset appears that it might be a bit fortuitous - or perhaps it's just me. The days of highlighting world-class talent on a stage and at no cost to the masses dates back to Woodstock and then some. There were naysayers back then also. In a world where horrific crimes all too often become a common occurrence, where mass unemployment permeates our very existence, where each and every day can be a struggle for survival for too many of us, attempting to silence the music is really what should be illegal here. Thousands of people who have enjoyed these concerts on a yearly basis, I am certain, are calling upon you, Mr. Siegel, to act in the best interests of "all" people. I would call upon you to seek resolution to the concerns of those whom you represent responsibly as well as proactively. Well beyond the aforementioned, isn't that what the Bible teaches us?
June 30, 2011, 7:13 pm
Ashley from Coney Island says:
This is obscured that the synagogue would even dare to fight against the summer park concerts!!! This has been our tradition for many many years and you are taking that away from us!! This is a huge disappointment and I hope the entire neighborhood begins a protest against to keep the concerts in Asser Levy Park. If tenants near by aren't complaining, why are you? What happened to Separation of Church and State?? Isn't this a violation of the constitution? No one wants to disrupt your prayers, but you seem to want to disrupt what the community wants. Build some stronger doors!!! Ask the community to donate for sound proof doors! I'd even donate to keep the concerts where they are!
May 30, 2012, 3:39 am

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