Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Stop the SuperNoise - Community Meeting
Before I talk about the community meeting regarding the noise and influx of drunkards into the North East Village's Avenue A, I have to say one thing. A few weeks ago, someone told me that the owner of the new loud bar Destinations was a guy who got famous from a ham commercial. I had no idea what he was talking about until today's meeting when Mason Reese showed up, owner of the bar. Ha, that was funny.
Before I talk about the community meeting regarding the noise and influx of drunkards into the North East Village's Avenue A, I have to say a second thing. There are 11 bars in the 2 blocks between E 12th - E 13th Street on Avenue A, including the few bars that are just off the avenue. Eleven. In two blocks.
At the community meeting, with guest speakers Rosie Mendez and Susan Stetzer, and special honored guests the owner of Destinations and the manager of SuperDive, we learned "how to complain," a handout that was copied from Jeremiah's blog (and attribution was given). We also listened endlessly to a woman from 11th Street complain about how her complaints are never given the time of day and that Rose is on the take. She left and then returned with a fistful of documents to further her complaining and interupting.
We also learned that Death & Company was denied their liquor license renewal, and they sued the SLA, which upon further reflection, approved their license for two years and also allowed them longer operating hours. They also paid a $5000 noise fine and continued to refuse to put up insulation to help with the noise problem. All proving the point that complaining and other methods of action are useless.
We learned that Mason Reese very defiantly feels that once the patrons go through the Destinations doorstop and onto the sidewalk, they are definitely not his problem. Not legally, not at all, and he doesn't care to stop their noise or be a good neighbor. On the other hand, CB3 says they have not had any complaints about them. In my opinion, they are the most egregious noise polluters of the North East Village's Avenue A and the complaints need to start NOW.
But mostly we learned that there is nothing we can do about the overwhelming number of bars. It seems that the best thing to do is to call 311 constantly and name the establishment you are complaining about, to develop a history so that their liquor license renewal won't be a rubber stamp. It will be a rubber stamp with stipulations.
It was pretty depressing that there really is nothing that could be done. The heart of the problem is that the liquor licenses are regulated by a state agency, and they won't change the state laws for these reasons: 1) the bar lobby is gigantic, 2) upstate NY doesn't have this problem so from a legislative point of view nobody cares, and 3) Bloomberg doesn't give a shit.
Luckily the people of 13th Street are much more organized than the people of 12th Street. I suspect it has to do with the amount of employment and alcohol ingested on a per person basis is healthier as you go north.