Sections

W’burg’s outdoor cooking critics decry Memorial Day grilling mess

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

They can’t take the heat — and they wish everyone else would go back to their kitchens.

Opponents of newly installed grills in Cooper Park claim their greatest fears were realized over Memorial Day weekend when crowds of outdoor cooking fanatics flocked to the Williamsburg green space, seared up a storm inside and outside the designated barbecue area, and left trash all over the place.

“There was lots of illegal barbecuing, people used a propane gas tank, and ashes piled up around the trees,” said grill critic Nancy Darling. “My daughter was really upset. It was not a good situation.”

Scores of grillmasters set up cookouts for the holiday in the park at the corner of Maspeth and Morgan avenues, where the city installed eight new grills and six picnic tables last month as part of a $2.6-million renovation.

The grills are popular with barbecue backers, who lobbied for cookouts at community meetings — but other neighbors have rallied against them, arguing they will leave the park riddled with trash.

And on Tuesday morning, critics say their prophesy was fulfilled.

Paper plates, plastic cups, bags of charcoal, and corn cobs lay scattered across the northeast section of the park, below a park sign warning against littering.

Supporters of the grills claim the outdoor cookouts help the neighborhood come together and said that barbecue lovers carted out the vast majority of the trash.

“There were a lot of people here but there’s not much garbage left, they picked it up,” said Williamsburg resident Pascual Reynoso.

The Parks Department called neighborhood politicians and said it has tidied up the green space.

“Parks all over the city were filled last weekend with New Yorkers looking to celebrate Memorial Day and welcome the summer season,” an agency spokesperson said. “Parks staff regularly maintains our lawns and beaches, but as always, we encourage everyone to properly dispose of trash.”

But critics say more should be done to reign in barbecuing and large crowds — especially since fire pit rules allow visitors to bring as many portable grills as they like, so long as they cook in groups of 30 or less.

“There were many fires outside of the designated area near the playground and even fires set up without a hibachi or barbecue grill at all,” said Williamsburg resident Jamaica Taber.

Reach reporter Aaron Short at ashort@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2547.

Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Reader Feedback

Rob from Prospect Heights says:
Oh god forbid people enjoy themselves. Complain complain complain.
May 30, 2012, 7:27 am
charlie from bushwick says:
Outraged about folks bbqing in a city park??? - textbook example of white people’s problems.
May 30, 2012, 9:20 am
Griller from Wburg says:
Big fan of the grilling, but people need to clean up after themselves if this is going to be allowed in the park. This is a public space. The city spends too much money on services like park cleaning as is and this doesn't help. Let's try a little harder here people!
May 30, 2012, 9:25 am
o3 from wburg says:
"There were a lot of people here but there’s not much garbage left, they picked it up,” said Williamsburg resident Pascual Reynoso."
_
much ado about nothing. get a life already
May 30, 2012, 10:04 am
JudahSpechal from Bedstuy says:
Can't even smoke in a park these days. So why bit*h about BBQ ?
May 30, 2012, 10:38 am
JudahSpechal from Bedstuy says:
Free-Dumb!!!
May 30, 2012, 10:40 am
BunnynSunny from Clinton Hill says:
"Paper plates, plastic cups, bags of charcoal, and corn cobs lay scattered across the northeast section of the park, below a park sign warning against littering."

Just like I said, people/barbecues = trash for someone else to pick up.
May 30, 2012, 11:06 am
Griller from Wburg says:
I can play the quote the article game too o3...clearly there was much ado about something. Like I said, I want people to be able to grill and party in the park but people need to be responsible and clean up after themselves. This isn't nursery school, time to be adults and be responsible for yourselves.

"And on Tuesday morning, critics say their prophesy was fulfilled.

Paper plates, plastic cups, bags of charcoal, and corn cobs lay scattered across the northeast section of the park, below a park sign warning against littering."
May 30, 2012, 11:14 am
jay from pslope says:
white people's problems? Wow, good morning to you too racist. Look, the picture attached to this artilce clearly shows trash left in the park, maybe people did take the majority of trash with them, but that means they could have taken as little as 50.1% of it. Whatever amount they took they left a fair amount behind. If you liter, you should get a ticket. If you are not responsible enough to take ALL of your trash with you then don't make the mess in the first place.
May 30, 2012, 11:23 am
Jerry from Grand Army Plaza says:
As a professional chef who enjoys grilling outdoors, I agree that one must take their trash with them when leaving the party. Something about this article really disturbs me: I was at the is park late on Monday night (yes, I've been reading about this) and guess what? There was hardly ANY trash. I'm sorry to be the one to tell you this, but the above picture is a fugazi.
May 30, 2012, 12:07 pm
anywho says:
"Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang"
May 31, 2012, 10:19 pm
we're screwed from Cooper Park says:
yeah...who needs just a stupid "green" space in NYC anyway? If you want trees and grass without ANYTHING occupying the space, leave the city! Stupid tree hugging, grass loving, clean air whining, local food eating hippies (of every color) should stick it!!!
June 2, 2012, 11:19 pm
we're screwed from Cooper Park says:
Hey Charlie from Bushwick...why do you have to bring in the race thing? huh? SO what you're saying is only non whites like to BBQ and all non whites are gong to be pro BBQing? wow!!! Newsflash, any individual of any race stereotyping another is pretty much a "racist".
June 2, 2012, 11:24 pm
Bev from 11211 says:
Had any of you actually been at the OSA meetings or Parks and Waterfront CB1 meetings about this subject you would have heard how and when race was brought into the conversation. Diana Reyna and her staffer were the first to mention that Cooper House residents, "mostly hispanic and black", really wanted the BBQs. Ask Diana why SHE brought race into the conversation. To bolster her argument that Cooper Park House tenants deserved to BBQ in the park, because they weren't allowed to on Cooper Park House's property because they deserve an entitlement because of minority status. She drug in the race issue to shut white people up and make opponents look like racists. Karen Leader and Julia Foster followed her lead. It was effective, obviously.
June 5, 2012, 10:19 am

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.