Marty eyeing Ringling site for Coney concert series

The Brooklyn Paper
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The new greatest show on Earth may be Borough President Markowitz’s Coney Island summer music series.

The Beep is reportedly hoping to relocate his “Seaside Concerts” to the W. 21st Street parking lot that Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus abandoned after a two-year run. The planned relocation, first reported by NY1, was expected after the city formally booted the controversial weekly shows from Asser Levy Park last month after noise complaints — and a lawsuit — from neighbors.

Those same neighbors were hailing the relocation this week.

“It’s a win-win for everybody,” said Ida Sanoff, one of the plaintiffs in the pending suit, which argued that Markowitz and the city violated noise rules barring amplified sound near houses of worship.

But the newly located concert series is much farther from the two synagogues in question, and sits just to the west of the already-amplified MCU Park, whose Cyclones baseball team will have no problem batting to a rock ’n’ roll soundtrack, according to spokesman Steve Cohen.

“It’s the more the merrier in Coney Island,” Cohen said.

But there is at least one neighbor who may pose a problem for the Seaside Concert Series: The Greater Eternal Light Church, whose website lists a Surf Avenue location that’s across the street from the planned venue.

Like the two synagogues that filed the lawsuit, the church could claim that the concerts are too close to its building, as city law says amplified music cannot be within 500 feet of houses of worship. The farthest point of the lot is about 500 feet from the church, though the closest point is about 160 feet, according to a measurement taken by this newspaper.

“We do have evening programming, so there is a possibility that we could hear the concerts,” said Pastor Robert Moe. “Occasional­ly, the circus got a bit too loud.”

The new site isn’t perfect for Markowitz, who for 20 years got his permit for the city’s bandshell at the bargain price of $25 per event, allowing him to reduce costs for his free performances at W. Fifth Street and Surf Avenue. Concert organizers are negotiating with property owner Taconic Investment Partners to use the W. 21st Street space, though Taconic spokesman Blake Deboer would not comment on the Beep’s probable bill.

And Markowitz would have to build a stage for the first time.

Last year’s shows were funded by several companies, including Forest City Ratner and the soon-to-be Brooklyn Nets, but The Beep still found ways to cut costs, using Rikers Island prisoners — paid just $1 an hour — to set up and remove the 2,000 seats for the series’ audiences.

Markowitz has been doing these concerts for decades, but the controversy didn’t begin until 2009 when the Beep announced plans to build a new, state-of-the-art, $64-milllion bandshell. That’s when synagogue officials sued on the grounds that Markowitz was violating city laws forbidding amplified sound within 500 feet of a house of worship.

Just weeks after the suit was filed, the city temporarily overturned the decades-old ban so that the shows could go for the 2010 season. But the 500-foot rule is back in effect and the city moved the concerts out of Asser Levy Park even before there is a ruling in the suit.

Updated 5:24 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

KEW from across the street from Asser Levy Park says:
That's GREAT! Now will the city fix and clean up our park? Please start by eradicating the drunken homeless that sleep under the trees and urinate & defecate in front of playground... enforce the scoop-your-poop law, repair the broken fence that surrounds the perimeter of the grass, the grass that could also use some TLC. Ohh, and the can SOMEONE do SOMETHING about the drain that backs up every rain shower, causing the entire area to flood for days, leaving it completely impassable... just to name a few things...
May 5, 2011, 8:55 am
KG from says:
Marty Markowitz collected funds for seating at these concerts to support the parks department and other crews for security and clean up! Seabreeze Park(Asher Levy Park)has been restored, kept clean and a great place for children to play, Thanks to the help of those concert goers and Marty Markowitz for his caring of Brooklynites! Thank you Marty Markowitz for all your hard work in keeping all together enjoying our borough!
May 5, 2011, 12:04 pm
Zvi Gates from Seagate says:
Oy, now the music will be Ringling in my ears!
May 5, 2011, 12:04 pm
john from brooklyn says:
"restored"......? Really?
May 5, 2011, 8:23 pm
jerry from brighton beach says:
I would like Mr. Alex Rush the author of this story to get copies of the signed Permits for Mr. Markowitz's Seaside Concerts for ther past 19 years.
Whoever signed off on these permits were in violation of the LAW. There are Civil Penalties for faslying permit applications. The fines are $ 100 per event. That's alot Fines for these 20 years.
In addition Mr. Markowitz never got an Assembly Permit either, which is required by NYC Admistrative Laws.
It's great for Coney Island to have these Concerts there. Thenew venue will have all the parking facilities needed for the crowds, the Stillwell Avnue. Transportation HUB are just blocks away.
It will be close to the new revitalized
Luna Park amusement area. Can't wait to go & hear Marty do his thing.
May 6, 2011, 8:16 am
Rita from Coney Island says:
For years people have begged Marty to move his concerts into the Coney Island entertainment zone. This is a long overdue, BRILLIANT move and he deserves a medal for it.
May 6, 2011, 8:39 am
Jane from Markowitz says:
Marty only eyes this site because of the proximity to hot, Russian ——. He wants one deep in his bom bom. For a squirt. Beef strokin' off!
May 8, 2011, 4:52 am
sypaman from coney island says:
This really disgusts me .... the enjoyment of the many is put to a halt because of the complaints of the few ... how many hundreds of thousands of people, in the neighborhood and outside of it enjoyed those free concerts by the sea, seeing many a great act that they could not otherwise enjoy? How many folks, young and old came together, for a night out, without incident to sing and dance when they couldn't do so otherwise without this series, one that was so rich in tradition. And the park was spotless every Friday morning after .... I live in Trump Village and no one can pull the wool over me and tell me these wonderful free concerts were a nuisance. and they were a boon to all the businesses around them.

How does a small group of individuals get to decide what goes on for an entire community? Because a disgruntled group decided that they didn’t want the concert series to continue, they simply lobbied to have them end, without any other input from anyone else in the area? What kind of sense does that make? Why wasn’t the issue put to a vote? Why wasn’t everyone allowed to weigh in? Coney Island has long been known for its wide diversity of entertainment, music being one of them. This has been what has drawn the large crowds to the neighborhood. Throughout its history there have been all sorts of celebrations and types of entertainment, and to eliminate it so unceremoniously, without the approval of the entire community smells of corruption. There has been an influx of outsiders into Coney Island over the last decade and more, and because of that, few today truly understand what Coney Island represented to so many in the past, and I believe that this is the reason why revitalizing the area has become so difficult. But if we continue to dismantle and destroy what we have always known and loved about the area, it is doubtful that Coney Island will ever rise to the glory that it once was – because how will we ever recognize it again when we see it?

What small, selfish, miserable people you must be to ruin this, you should all be ashamed of yourselves !!!
May 13, 2011, 7:02 pm

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