Thursday, February 11, 2010

Clash Over Plans for a Brooklyn Park

Piotr Redlinski for The New York Times

Free summer concerts are offered at the band shell at Seaside Park, also known as Asser Levy Park, on the edge of Coney Island.

The way Marty Markowitz sees it, the rundown nine-acre park where Coney Island and Brighton Beach meet is ripe for a sparkling transformation, according to the New York Times.

Mr. Markowitz, the Brooklyn borough president, envisions Asser Levy Park, also known as Seaside Park, as the gateway to a spruced-up amusement complex evoking Coney Island’s splashy past. An enormous new outdoor amphitheater would have room for 8,000 people and draw top entertainers, he said — maybe even favorites of his like Carole King or Neil Diamond.

“It’ll be absolutely gorgeous,” Mr. Markowitz said, and “a really great attraction for the future of Coney Island.”

City officials hope to have the amphitheater, the largest in a city park, ready for the 2013 outdoor concert season.

But for many neighbors, the project is about as subtle as a spaceship. They say they like Asser Levy Park just as it is — a quiet oasis with a modest band shell — not as a place, they say, that would draw more traffic, disrupt services at two synagogues and, perhaps most critically, diminish their only decent patch of open space.

“His dream is our nightmare,” said Al Turk, president of Temple Beth Abraham, on Sea Breeze Avenue, opposite the park. “They’re destroying a park to turn it over to a concrete amphitheater. This thing is right on top of us.”

Read More:

Clash Over Plans for a Brooklyn Park
New York Times - February 10, 2010 - By Mireya Navarro

New amphitheater could leave neighbors with concrete slab
Bay News January 19, 2010 - By Joe Maniscalco

Bay News - January 12, 2010 -  By Joe Maniscalco

Amphitheater critics anticipate hearing
Bay News - January 4, 2010 -  By Joe Maniscalco 


  1. With all the monies being cut from the school system, Fire & Police dept., why is the city going to spend 64 million dollars on a needless amphitheater?
    Just a few blocks away from Seaside park is Keystone park, a beautiful baseball stadium where Brooklyn Cyclones play. Have the concerts there and save 64 million bucks.

  2. What a disgrace! The Bloomberg administration steals another park from the people to make way for an outsized entertainment complex. Who exactly will benefit from this $64 million amphitheater?

    These politicians have no shame -- and no one challenges them. In the Times story, Adrian Benepe talks about tradition as a way to get around the desires of the community. This is typical Bloomberg nonsense. What tradition is he talking about? The City of Brooklyn bought the land for a public park in 1875. It's a park, with tall trees, green grass and shaded benches, and it's been a park for 135 years. If the neighborhood loses this space, everyone loses. The city won't replace the green space, and the nearest park is a couple of miles away.

    I don't live in the area, but I do live in Brooklyn. My family uses the beach across the street all summer long, and we like the park and playground. It's a nice cheap outing for all ages, something that's become increasingly rare in New York City. Go ahead, Mike, screw the working man again so your rich friends can see Tina Turner in style.

  3. Mr. Markowitz you have alot of chupztah.
    You are in total disregard of the wishes of the residents of West Brighton Beach & Brighton Beach. We have over 12,000 signatures against this boondoggle of a venue.
    You have alot of arrogrance towards the neighborhood. You together with Councilman Recchia are just blind to how this venue will destroy the quality of life for over 70,000 residents.
    We like to be good neighbors & have your 5-6 concerts during the summer. But to subject our neighborhood to a 4-5day week concert venue 4-5 moths a yerar is outrageous. It's a small park, it's our only open Green Space Park. We don't want or need over 40,000 people coming into our neighborhood 4-5 months per year. It's not Manhattan.
    Not everbody has a driver to take them here & there. When we get home from we have to look for a parking space. This venue will only addto that problem among others like noise, pollution, safety , traffic jams etc. etc. etc.
    Move your DREAM to Coney Island Amusement area, where it belongs. This is our NIGHTMARE !

  4. This project is an absolute disgrace. It does not belong across the street from people's bedroom windows. Everyone has begged Marty Markowitz to move it a few blocks west to the entertainment district in Coney Island, but he refuses. This is one man's vanity project, plain and simple. No one gives a damn about the public.