Markowitz Not Pleased About New Home for Seaside Concerts

Monday, May 23, 2011

Looks like Marty Markowitz’s epic battle against two Coney Island synagogues is over — for now.

Since 1991, Brooklyn Borough President Markowitz has hosted the Seaside Summer Concert series in Asser-Levy Park on the border between Coney Island and Brighton Beach. But last year, two neighborhood synagogues sued over noise complaints, starting a protracted fight with one of Brooklyn’s biggest personalities. Markowitz took the case to Brooklyn Supreme Court and eventually lost when the city’s corporate counsel decided that the concerts had to be moved.

Markowitz announced on Monday that he had found a temporary new home for the series: a cement lot on West 21st Street and Surf Avenue in Coney Island. But he isn’t happy about it.

“The reason why it’s not as good? We had a stage. Now we have to rent a stage for the summer. We had electricity. Now we have to bring electricity in for each show,” said Markowitz.

He also bemoaned the lack of grass in the new spot for concert-goers to lounge on, and the fact that he has had to wait until May to start booking artists due to the uncertainty around the future of the concert series.

Markowitz said he had a one-year lease on the new space with Taconic Investment Partners. In past years, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus has set up shop on the lot.

Markowitz said he planned to continue the fight by overturning city noise laws from the 1930s and eventually move forward with a planned project to build a new bandshell at Asser-Levy Park to host the concerts back at the original location for many years to come.

“It just shows you how the few who are intent on spiteful actions can deprive the many of happiness. And that’s a sad day. And I’m telling you I’m not going to sit back on this -- that’s for sure,” said Markowitz. “And so the struggle continues. In the meantime, we will have our shows.”

The Seaside Summer Concert series, which runs from July 15 to Aug. 26, will feature free performances from Neil Sedaka, The Beach Boys, Aretha Franklin, John Legend, and the B-52s, among others.


More in:

Comments [9]

Bee from NY

Tell the complainers to sound proof their walls and ceilings, then they won't hear the music anymore. Dang, we pay taxes too. I bet most of those complainers do NOT pay any taxes. Doesn't the majority rule in this country? We all have rights as those complainers too. It's unconstitutional.....obvioulsy they have not read the preamble to the constitution of the United States. Synagogues do not have activity late at night. They're just doing it because they believe they control NYC!!

Jun. 10 2012 11:52 PM
Jesse from S.Pk. Slope

The synagogues is what has to go! And those people who think our lives ought to revolve around them! As far as booking local talent Hank, there is prospect park concerts which features local performers. Perhaps a deal could be arranged so that you and others open for a name act? For a few Thurs. nights during the summer, you'd think the local businesses would jump for joy for the money it brings into the neighborhood. Look around Brighton, looks like its hurting. It'll hurt even more now. These days every bit counts.

Jun. 30 2011 08:23 PM
Angelo Savino from Staten island, NY

I am a former Brooklynite who looks forward to The Summer Seaside Concert Series in Coney Island. It make absolutely no sense that the few hours of joy weekly for about six summer weeks are being manipulated and ruined by a few chosen few. Those summer crowds bring money into the neighborhood and joy to many people. Hang in there Marty, don't take no stuff from nobody. Obviously some people are looking to gain. Move the party down the street, and let's have a great time.

Jun. 15 2011 02:40 PM
jodi from nj-formerly Coney Island

21st street and surf? Is it even safe to go there right in the heart of Coney island....years ago it was safe but now? What are you thinking? Your opening it up to be a war zone!

Jun. 07 2011 10:21 AM
Craig Andersen from Brooklyn NY

I'm with you Marty.... Keep on rocking and rolling.... I brought my 83 year old mom to all the shows last summer.We would come early to picknik before the shows.... Milly passed away in November.Those evenings gave her such joy.Come on people.... lighten up,enjoy life and if the noise is bothering you.... Move to the country! Marty.... you go girl!

Jun. 06 2011 12:10 PM
Lorraine from Bath Beach,

I don't understand how all of a sudden, there is a synagogue that has services on Thursday evenings. What happened to the services that began on Friday at sundown? Sounds mighty selfish to me when thousands of people have enjoyed the concerts for years, somebody woke up one day and said let's squash it.
Keep fighting Marty and God Bless You

May. 27 2011 05:55 PM
Paul Sternblitz from Brighton Beach

Mr. Markowitz claims that a few disgruntled resident of Brighton Beach are depriving the many of his concerts. Well there are 13,000 signatures of those few who oppose his neighborhood destroying plans for a profligate 64 million dollar amphitheater which will occupy 3/4 of the open park space of Asser Levy Park. This project will entail the loss of open park space as well as bring the associated problems of noise, traffic congestion and urulely crowds to a quiet neighborhood.

May. 26 2011 02:24 PM
Ben from Park Slope

Marty needs to go. From Atlantic Yards to Coney Island and beyond, he is out of touch with the needs of the actual people of Brooklyn. He'd rather have a bullhorn than happy and comfortable constituents. So sad.

May. 24 2011 11:34 AM
Hank Johnson from Brooklyn, New York

I remember when Marty Markowitz and his "Martin Lurther King Concert Series" was thrown out of Dodgertown! People double parked, urinated on private property, unsavory people came into the neighborhood, stabbings, etc. I am a jazz musician and love music and concerts. However, Marty does nothing for the local musician like myself. He books name acts not local talent. We need work here in Brooklyn. I feel he has neglected the local musicians and only pays big money to name acts. There are lots of local musicians who need a break. Besides, where is all that big money coming from?

May. 24 2011 08:43 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.



Supported by