The Asser Levy Park bandshell in better days. (Source: senarchitects.com)
City Council candidate Chaim Deutsch is looking to revamp Asser Levy Seaside Park, saying the space is going to waste and the bandshell – abandoned after a court ruling that barred amplified music in the park – has become an eyesore.
Deutsch told Sheepshead Bites he’s been spending time in at Asser Levy, most recently on Sunday, to survey conditions and talk to patrons about their visions for the space. The park, located on Surf Avenue and Ocean Parkway, has fallen into disrepair, he said, and the bandshell has become a useless, tattered husk that the Parks Department refuses to repair.
Huey Lewis and the News (Source: hueylewisandthenews.com)
The 35th annual Seaside Summer Concert Series will kick off July 12, featuring another year of all-stars coming to the shore community, hosted by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.
All shows take place on Thursdays, beginning at 7:30 p.m., except the opening night, a Friday, and the closing night, a Wednesday.
Here’s the full lineup, released this week by the beep’s office:
July 12 – Cheap Trick
July 18 – TBA
July 25 – Smokey Robinson
August 1 – The Go-Go’s, Tom Tom Club
August 15 – Huey Lewis and the News – “Sports” 30th Anniversary Tour
August 21 – Chicago
This summer, the shows will again be held at West 21st Street and Surf Avenue, next to the home of the Brooklyn Cyclones.
A limited number of $5 rental chairs in a specially designated area are available on a first come, first served basis.
Performers are subject to change without notice. Call the concert hotline for updates at (718) 222-0600 or visit www.brooklynconcerts.com.
After years of performances at the Asser-Levy Seaside Park on the Brighton Beach – Coney Island border, the series moved in 2011 to the West 21st Street location after Markowitz announced controversial plans to turn the park into an amphitheater. Neighbors opposed the plan and pressed the city to enforce laws the prohibited amplified noise near religious facilities – two of which are near the park.
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowtiz has long dreamed of building a permanent amphitheater in Coney Island to house the popular summer concert series and now it seems that the dream will come true. According to a report in the New York Times, Markowitz and other city officials have reached a deal to build a brand spanking new $58 million music hall and theater. It will be announced at the beep’s State of the Borough address tonight.
The 5,000-seat theater will be built out of the remains of the landmarked Childs Theater, near the boardwalk’s western end. Markowitz has $48 million in his capital budget with the city pledging $10 million extra for the project. The theater is being developed by iStar Financial.
If built, the Times describes where the theater would fit in the community and how the theater would serve a variety of events:
[T]he theater would occupy part of a building on the Boardwalk that once housed a branch of the Childs Restaurant chain and is protected by city landmark designation. The theater would also occupy an adjoining lot that has been used as an unauthorized community garden. The concerts would be run by a nonprofit operator. The theater could be used for year-round events, including graduations. There are also discussions about designing the theater so that hundreds of additional people can watch from an adjacent lawn when the weather is warm and dry.
The developer is planning to revive the 90-year-old Childs building as a restaurant, retaining the palatial facade, which is famed for its terra cotta seashell ornamentation, wide-mouthed smiling fish and Neptunes. Part of the building’s western wall would be breached to create the backstage area for the theater.
Borough President Marty Markowitz has been tight-lipped about the 2011 Seaside Summer Concert Series, forgoing the usual name-dropping in the months ahead of the concerts. But Sheepshead Bites has done some sleuthing, and our sources tell us that rock legend Joan Jett will play the opening show.
A source close to the Borough President’s office has confirmed that the first show of the 33rd Seaside Summer Concert Series will feature “Godmother of Punk” and the “Original Riot Grrrl” Joan Jett, who Rolling Stone named one of the greatest guitarists of all time.
The rather gloomy looking lot that will soon host the Seaside Summer Concerts. (Source: Google Maps)
The show will go on!
Borough President Marty Markowitz has announced the new location for the 2011 Summer Concert Series: West 21st Street in Coney Island, the former site of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
“While the shows are in a slightly different location, tens of thousands of Brooklynites and all New Yorkers will still get the same high quality, free concerts on Thursday evenings this summer. Mayor Bloomberg, the City Council led by Speaker Quinn and Coney Island’s own Councilman Domenic Recchia were unwavering partners in our efforts to keep the concerts in Coney Island,” said a joint statement issued by Markowitz and Seaside Summer Concert Series Executive Director/Producer Debra Garcia.
First there was the amplified sound law, which local synagogues are only just noticing have been violated for years. Now there’s the issue of using free labor from city and state prisoners to help set up and break down the Summer Concert Series shows.
According to the New York Post, “busloads of inmates in red-and-white-striped jumpsuits paying their debt to society by setting up and breaking down 2,000 chairs for the overflow audiences” are commissioned by the borough president’s office. And that’s fueling criticism from the amphitheater’s opponents.
“I’m shocked people are making a big deal out of it now after all these years,” Debra Garcia, the series organizer, told the Post.
Markowitz’s office is trying to reassure residents that the inmates aren’t a security risk, saying they’re “carefully selected” low-risk inmates. They’re also pointing out that it saves the nonprofit organizer thousands of dollars annually.
What do you think? Is this a legitimate danger, or are amphitheater opponents grasping at straws?
There won’t be no R-E-S-P-E-C-T for the bad news that Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin has cancelled her two free Brooklyn shows, but, considering the circumstances, it’s possible that I Say A Little Prayer… (Ed. — Hah! Get it?)
Aretha Franklin has canceled two free concerts in Brooklyn next week because of an injury.
The shows — at Wingate Field in East Flatbush, on Monday, and Asser Levy Park in Brighton Beach on Aug. 12 — were part of two series presented by Marty Markowitz, the borough president, and they were to be Ms. Franklin’s first concerts in Brooklyn. But she will not appear, according to Debra Garcia, who organizes the concerts for Mr. Markowitz. There was no immediate word on the nature of Ms. Franklin’s injury.