Quantcast

Kicked out of Eden

Park-goers stream out of East River State Park just when the million-dollar views start paying off. The park closes at sundown.
The Brooklyn Paper / Ben Muessig

The only way to see a million-dollar sunset in Williamsburg is to own a million-dollar condo.

East River State Park — the Northside’s only waterfront park — closes before dark, barring Williamsburgers without riverside apartments from taking in a jaw-dropping sunset over the Manhattan skyline, park-goers say.

“It’s ridiculous — sunset is not for another hour, at least,” said James Morehead, who was booted with dozens of other visitors by park employees at around 8 pm on June 8.

“It’s really a great park. It should stay open as late as possible.”

Morehead is not alone in his grousing, according to Community Board 1 member and City Council candidate Evan Thies.

Thies says that the park’s short hours, its ban on dogs, and lack of a stoplight near its entrance on Kent Avenue between North Seventh and Ninth Streets, have actually deterred visitors.

“I would go as far as to say that people almost had more access to it when it was an abandoned lot,” Thies said. “Even though there was a fence, for years people would just walk through holes in the fence and sun themselves in front of one of the most beautiful views in the world. Now people are actually locked out.”

Park officials say they cannot keep the park open after dark because it lacks outdoor lighting.

“We have to close at dusk because of health and safety requirements,” said Rachel Gordon of the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

“We are in the process of doing design work to see how soon we can get outdoor lights there,” Gordon said. “But there is no way that it could happen this summer.”

More from Around New York