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Seaside silence! Marty’s concerts go out with a whisper

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Bring the noise!

Angry patrons of Borough President Markowitz’s Seaside Concert series in Coney Island were fuming over the city’s noise crackdown at the controversial venue, where a new law kept performer’s voices — and their jams — at a whisper Thursday night.

“It’s like music on mute!” said Louis Perez of Sunset Park, who didn’t have to raise his voice while standing in the middle of Asser Levy Seaside Park. “The performers should start doing sign language!”

For the second week in a row, the volume was turned down because the concerts — which have been held at the venue since 1991 — now must conform to a law that demands the music not exceed 10-decibels above the normal street sound level near two synagogues facing the park.

“This is terrible!” said Lillian Rowlett, who was “listening” with family and friends. “We can’t hear anything, we don’t know what’s going on.”

At times, it seemed that even the performers, including Judy Torres, Noel, and Angel and Aby, were having trouble hearing, as they were often wildly off-key.

And several times during the show, when performers, including Judy Torres, Noel, and Angel and Aby, asked the audience, “How do you feel Brooklyn?” the crowd replied with resounding boos. At another point, a performer asked, “Can you hear me?” The crowd unanimously replied, “No!”

Markowitz did not hide his irritation with the new rules when addressing the audience.

“We’re under terrible constraint,” Markowitz said. “We didn’t ask for this, it’s being imposed on us. Next year, we’ll get this straightened out one way or another, we’re so sorry.”

The “10-decibel law” was a last-minute measure pushed through the City Council by Mayor Bloomberg in June as a way to keep the concerts going this summer after it was discovered that the shows had, for years, been in violation of a law that prohibited amplified music within 500 feet of a house of worship.

As it turned out, the concerts could not even adhere to the new law.

The opponents of the shows — who dispatched their own sound expert to document the excessive noise levels — said they were not party poopers.

“The city is breaking their own laws, don’t blame us!” said Al Turk, a vice president of Temple Beth Abraham. “If the city can’t follow its own laws, then something is wrong!”

The obscure noise regulations were discovered by opponents after Markowitz proposed a state-of-the-art amphitheater at Asser Levy Park that raised the prospect of many more concerts there — something some residents don’t want to hear.

Another opponent, Ida Sanoff, said that the city now faces possible penalties for repeatedly surpassing the noise levels, and may be on the hook for the opponents’ sound expert and legal fees, depending a judge’s ruling.

The “10-decibel law” expires at the end of the summer, meaning that Markowitz and Bloomberg will likely try to craft legislation that allows the concerts to proceed at a normal level of amplification.

The promoter of the concert series, Debra Garcia, pledged that it would continue next year.

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Reader Feedback

jose from coney island says:
Mr. Markowitz should be smat enough now to move the Summer Concerts & his Amphitheater to the Amusement area of Coney Island. He wouldn't have any noise restrictions here.

Come on Down here Marty !
Aug. 27, 2010, 4:22 pm
manny from brighton beach says:
What Mr. Markowitz has shown & said is that although his friends at City Hall & with the Mayor's blessings he still can't abide by the law.He doesn't "Like It" . It didn't work for HIM.
His buddies made the law. This law exists for everyone in the City of new York.
When he said " next year, we will straightne this out , oney way or the other.." What did he mean by that?
I hope Mr. Markowitz meant he'll move the Summer Concert Series & the proposed Amphitheater to another part of Brooklyn, and NOT IN THE BEDROOM COMMUNITY OF BRIGHTON BEACH !
Aug. 27, 2010, 5:38 pm
LJS from Brighton Beach says:
Unfortunately Mr. Markowitz is no different than any citiizen. He too MUST follow the law, whichhe has not done for years. He just can't abide by the law and there are penalties for ALL whop can't. These laws are for ALL to follow and Markowitz should stop pointing the finger atcertain people. HE and only HE did this to himself.
Hopefully he will get some message or the fight will go on until he goes down.
Aug. 29, 2010, 10:05 am
Native Son from Clinton Hill says:
Looks like the handwriting is on the wall Marty. Take your amphitheatre appropiations o the Coney Island Amusement area where they will be more appreciated. The area, as you know - is slated for redevelopment of amusement facilities anyway. The amphitheatre and the sound shouldn't bother anyone there.

I wonder what the two synogues would feel about a mosque being built near their sites?

Just curious.
Aug. 29, 2010, 11:48 am
Isis from Brighton Beach says:
To Native Son - A very large, lovely new mosque was indeed built recently, just a few blocks from the two synagogues in question and practically around the corner from another synagogue. It's also about two blocks from an old, established Catholic Church and down the block from another mosque that has been here for years. But since this is multi-culti Brighton Beach, the mosque is just another neighbor. This neighborhood could teach the United Nations what world peace is all about.
Aug. 29, 2010, 9:11 pm
Eliot from Prospect Heights says:
The noise regulation is not obscure, as the paper's author claims. The application for a sound permit, which one obtains from the local precinct, asks whether the event will take place within 500 feet of a house of worship.
Aug. 31, 2010, 2:08 pm

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