Residents Complain Asser Levy Bandshell Falling Apart Because of Loss of Summer Concerts

Neighbors: Loss of concerts to blame for bandshell decay

The Brooklyn Paper
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The music died — and neighbors fear the venue will, too.

Brighton Beach and Coney Island residents say the centerpiece bandshell in Asser Levy Park is falling apart — and blame its disrepair on the campaign that booted Borough President Markowitz’s summer concert series from the space.

The Parks Department said Hurricane Sandy pounded the performance space, and the agency has already removed its shredded canopy and stabilized the structure — but says it doesn’t have the money to renovate the crumbling stage.

“We are making isolated repairs to ensure that the area is safe, but we do not have funding for a full reconstruc­tion,” said agency spokeswoman Meghan Lalor.

Neighbors predict the bandshell will continue to sit derelict until it falls down, since it can no longer host music thanks to the 2010 ruling that stifled the Beep’s Seaside Concert Series. The judge in the case decided that the three-decade-old string of live music shows violated city law by using amplification within 500 feet of two synagogues. Markowitz was forced to relocate his concerts to a vacant lot near the corner of W. 21st Street.

“Why would they spend a dime fixing it, when they made it so you can’t play any music there?” said longtime Brighton Beach resident Joe Armel.

Neighborhood leaders agreed, lamenting the loss of the concerts and the deterioration of the park stage.

“They were a great thing we had here, and we never had much,” said Brighton Beach Neighborhood Association founder Pat Singer. “Asser Levy was a great place to go during the summertime.”

The lawsuit also destroyed Markowitz’s controversial plans to replace the bandshell with a $65 million, 5,000 seat amphitheater — a vision he has since relocated to the Childs Building on the Boardwalk near W. 21st Street.

Longtime amphitheater advocates say that the community should have accepted the original plan — which would have refurbished the greenspace — instead of fighting it.

“Those people had an opportunity to have something new, and they didn’t want it,” said Coney businessman Dick Zigun, self-declared mayor of Coney Island. “Now nobody’s trying to do concerts there any more.”

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at
Updated 10:11 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

judahspechal from bed-stuy says:
yes, welcome to the dark-side of nimby. Why spend $$ to fix something that can't be used.

I wonder what is the nimbist plan now?
June 13, 2013, 9:45 am
kew from Across the Street from Asser Park says:
Why do we have to have a giant, year-round ampitheater to have them do anything to the park? This park is a mess! Since Sandy you can't have a rainstorm with out the playground and pathways flooding for DAYS! It's absurd! They can't allocate funding to renovate or at least repair because of a lawsuit that was against something completely different? People who were for the summer concerts didn't walk their dogs in the park the day after the shows having to avoid garbage everywhere, they didn't have to worry about parking on the street when they closed the street parking on the side of the park and certainly didn't have small children who had to walk on the sidewalks or cross the street. Not to mention the noise! The lawsuit is an OLD issue and it's over and done with, the concerts have found a new, better suited home. Lets deal with the current issue, the state of the park right down - and it's not good.
June 13, 2013, 10:35 am
JAZ from Hunting Redbeards says:
The city can't afford to fix up the park, but can waste tons of money allocating excess police to protect the asparagus armed, bearded matchstick invaders playing their urban pioneer games all over Bushpointburg.

Seems fair
June 13, 2013, 1:11 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Williamsburg has a welcome mat out for visitors. Southern Brooklyn doesn't want anyone to come. So it makes sense to spend the money in Williamsburg.

A deteriorating park should make a lot of people happy. It can remind them of Old Brooklyn and won't attract the type of people who prefer nice things.
June 13, 2013, 3:43 pm
Brighton Fist from Brighton Beach says:
For want of seven or eight more totally quiet nights in Coney/Brighton... The neighbors got what they asked for. Marty was/is a dooosh but the original Asser Levy series was probably the best thing he ever did.
June 13, 2013, 9:58 pm
Liz from Midwood says:
Agree with you, Brighton Fist. I'm always amazed at people who move in across the street from a park and then are surprised that other people want to come and use the park, too. Also, Mike from Williamsburg is onto something--other parts of Brooklyn accept concerts and use them to negotiate for more services and improve the area instead of fighting for fewer options and opportunities.
June 14, 2013, 11:30 am
Irina from Coney Island says:
To Liz & Fist who think that they invented Brooklyn: Believe it or not, but there were people living here BEFORE Marty Markowitz's concerts came to Asser Levy Park. We moved here because it was a park, not a concert hall. Believe it or not, there were and still are, loads of people who use the park. They are called families. Believe it or not, we not only enjoy "nice things" but we work long hours to earn them. We live in beautiful buildings with expensive landscaping that is no longer fouled with the trash and worse left by the concertgoers. And all of you great minds keep forgetting one thing: Everyone had a grin & bear it attitude towards several concert nights a year, but there was no way we were going to put up with all of that crap for several nights a week, four months a year, with other events the rest of the time. The community tried to negotiate with His Highness, to scale back his monument but he wouldn't budge an inch. It was then that it was discovered that his concerts were illegal, he never had permits for any of them. We all hope that you will be very happy at His Highness's new amphitheater in the Mall of America, oops, I mean Coney Island.
June 14, 2013, 4 pm
Menachem Schneerson from Ohel says:
They really should tear it down and put a nice gas station there or something which would be useful to the community.
April 23, 2014, 5:37 pm

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