Backing hipsters, pols demand MTA run trains to Williamsburg big fest

The Brooklyn Paper
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Music-loving hipsters hoping to hop on the subway and soak in some Har Mar Superstar at the Northside Festival in Williasburg this June are going to have to either hitchhike or take the bus because their beloved L train will be closed for repair.

But a group of Brooklyn pols wants to make it as easy as possible for them to rock on, and are demanding the Metropolitan Transportation Authority keep the trains running from June 15 to 17 so the more than 80,000 who descend on the coolest place in the world will be able to get there via the underground.

“It is very important that the MTA follow through on its commitment to community engagement and reschedule these shutdowns,” reads a letter sent to the authority and signed by Borough President Markowitz, state Senators Daniel Squadron (D–Brooklyn Heights) and Martin Dilan (D–Bushwick), Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D–Greenpoint), Assemblyman Joseph Lentol (D–Greenpoint), and Councilman Stephen Levin (D–Greenpoint).

The pols said that the MTA was breaking an agreement it had made at a meeting last year to consult with community leaders before choosing weekends to shut down the L, as well as to keep the line, which runs from Manhattan to Canarsie, running during all three-day weekends.

But the MTA is scheduling service on the line during one of Williamsburg’s busiest weekends of the year, replacing the fast trains with slow-moving shuttle buses between Bedford Avenue and Canarsie, the Northside Festival, which will this year be spread out from June 13 to 20 and will include music, film and technology, typically draws upwards of 80,000 people to North Brooklyn, according to Nicole Conner, a spokeswoman for the festival.

Local businesses say Northside is Williamsburg’s biggest weekend and the MTA will be seriously harming them if customers will have to struggle to get there for three days during the festival.

“Why can’t they do this in August? That’s a tough time around here,” said Caitlin Dourmashkin, manager of the Northside Merchants Association. “Or it would have been better to do earlier in the spring.”

Squadron said he knows that maintenance is essential, but that it should be done on weekends that are not as crucial to the livelihood of so many local businesses.

“North Brooklyn small businesses depend on weekend visitors that come in on the L — especially on major weekends like the Northside Festival,” said Squadron. “That’s why it’s so important for the MTA to work with the community to help mitigate the impact of L train shutdowns.”

MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz refused said his agency is drafting a response to the complaints.

The MTA typically increase services before and after events that draw a crowd, including Yankee baseball games in the Bronx and events at the new Barclays Center.

Of course, the MTA’s construction will have no effect on a the Danish “Northside” music festival interestingly taking place on the same days in Denmark across the pond. Still, there will be no mass-transit trains taking hipsters to that festival, which features Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Artic Monkeys, Fun, Modest Mouse, the Flaming Lips, and a host of other acts, despite the fact that its two stages are clearly located next to some form of rail transportation.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at

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Reasonable discourse

Mike from Williamsburg says:
I would have assumed that the Brooklyn Paper style guide would identify the residents of Williamsburg as hipsters, and as such don't need the L to get there. May I suggest the weekend visitors to Williamsburg be dubbed "tripsters?"
May 6, 2013, 8:03 am
KC from Williamsburg says:

"Of course, the MTA’s construction will has no effect on a the Danish “Northside” music festival"

May 6, 2013, 9:38 am
Johnny Hammersticks from Brooklyn says:
My puppy can write a more compelling article than Danielle Furfaro. Why is the Brooklyn Paper turning into the Hipster Gazette? Day after day, its 6 articles about the same 3 neighborhoods. Then every now and then, someone peppers in an article about a neighborhood not falling under the Hipster jurisdiction.

This isn't even news. The borough of Brooklyn is home to 2.5 million people. Yet the mindless nitwits of this paper continue to write articles that cater to 20,000 people.

Apparently hipsters are the only people who are affected by train construction. Lets delay construction so these idiots can go to a concert. This city isn't behind enough on important projects.

I'm glad this paper employs "journalists" that get their credentials from an online certificate course.
May 6, 2013, 1:06 pm
SwampYankee from ruined Brooklyn says:
The MTA will run extra M and G service plus 2 bus lines have been added. Let them use bike-share! I suppose the Hipster community would like the work done on a weekday between 9-5 so they would not be impacted. Tough break. Lucky the area is so well served by bike lanes. You don't see the Hasidim ——ing about not subways do you?
May 6, 2013, 2:09 pm
Junior Pop from Flatbush says:
here comz the choochoo!!!
May 6, 2013, 3:20 pm
JAY from NYC says:
ummm ok first of all those are NOT hipster bands, Nick cave is like a billion years old at this point and arctic monkeys got played all the time on k-rock, when k-rock still was in existence.
Second, the MTA damn sucks and should not be shutting trains down at all. These fools claim its for maintenance, but because of work rules they literally only work 4 hours out of 8 hours, and half of those 4 hours they are goofing off, hence why it took so long for the MTA to fix one stupid station in Brooklyn.
Alot of people apparently are going to this even and they need to get there, its either by train or by car, if the city is going to always be screwing up the trains then people WILL drive and that is just the way it is.
We all get held hostage by the MTA and I am so tired of it. Charge me five buck each ride if thats what it takes for it to work, but for f-s sake make the dumb thing stop SUCKING so much, OR if the MTA refuses to fix itself then please stop making it so miserable to own a car here so that I am not out of luck when the MTA decides to go on yet another extended goof-off-slacker-smoke-break-binge- spending-holiday.
May 6, 2013, 5:26 pm
SwampYankee from runined Brooklyn says:
While I agree that the MTA is worse than useless track maintenance and repair work must be done. The L line is slammed. It was the fastest growing line but there is nowhere to grow. It runs at standing room capacity more than any other subway line. They can't fit any more trains on the line or cars on the trains. There is no good time, just less bad times. Ridership is lower on the weekends and lower in the summer. This work has been deferred for a while and there is still post-Sandy work to do. Drive , take another subway line, take the bus, walk or bike.
May 6, 2013, 6:33 pm
Pat from 11249 says:
They should do it during one of those stupid Williamsburg Walks weekends.
May 6, 2013, 7:17 pm
Johnny Hammersticks from Brooklyn says:
The MTA may be the worst run organization in the country. I'd love to know where all their money goes between subway and bus fares and tolls.
May 6, 2013, 7:28 pm
Jay from nyc says:
Swamp I agree that track work needs to be done, the problem is that it does not because these guys work two freakin hours a day and get paid for 8, or they "sub-contract" the work out which is even worse and you get 20 minutes of work done in 8 hours. I am sorry but in 1850 using mules you could put down 10 miles of NEW track, including the rail bed, in one day. News Flash the L line is not that long.
The MTA spent 443 million on new cars for the L train in 2002, and they have been closing stations and running reduced etc for 2 years on the L, and what do you get for all of that? Dangerously packed platforms, lousy service. It is a JOKE a total JOKE.
May 6, 2013, 7:38 pm
SwampYankee from runined Brooklyn says:
Jay, we are in violent agreement. Can't fix the MTA this week but it doesn't mean the work can wait. Let some NY Daily New or Post photogs down there to watch them work. Every time I see track work it's one guy with a hammer and 6 guys watching. Nothing to be done about the L short of digging a new tunnel and that is not going to happen
May 7, 2013, 3:59 am
Johnny Hammersticks from Brooklyn says:
Swamp Yankee, the only thing infuriating than that is sitting in stand still traffic only to pull past a truck with 5 guys watching 1 guy fill a pot hole.
May 7, 2013, 4:59 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Although I do agree that the MTA does need to be reformed, they shouldn't be privatized. Doing such could actually result in fewer stations, and most of them would only be in the rich neighborhoods while ignoring the rest. Sometimes, renovating certain lines isn't that easy especially the way they were originally built, and it won't be cheap either. However, the problem remains the fact that riders don't cover the majority of the costs from the fares they pay, it's actually the motorists such as myself who are using their tolls that are covering these costs more, which is where the profits are really coming from. As for the TWU, I wouldn't blame everything on them, and let's not forget that they are doing the jobs that most of you would never want to take in your lives, so think about that before you start making such attacks on them, plus their pay raises are nothing compared to what the MTA executives are making, which is way more.
May 7, 2013, 6:34 pm

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