Tuesday, March 11, 2008
It has been a whirlwind few days of investigative reporting for the New York Post. Sunday, in an EXCLUSIVE, the paper told of a "shady Atlanta businesswoman armed with a gallon jug of silicone and syringes . . . offering to inject women seeking 'J.Lo butts.' " Yesterday, they turned to another blight of our city: Noise pollution, in particular the racket made by the many bars and clubs in the East Village and Lower East Side. (How much better would our city be without noisy bars and women with J. Lo butts?)
The paper reported, "between July 1, 2007, and Jan. 31, 2008, Community Board 3 -- which covers the two youth-dominated neighborhoods, as well as Chinatown -- recorded 1,872 complaints about the pounding din coming from nightspots. That represented 26 percent of the 7,157 complaints for bars, clubs and restaurants in Manhattan."
"Pounding din?" Nice.
Well, this isn't really any surprise for people who have lived here for more than, say, a week. Yes, it must really suck to live above a bar or club (or even near one), especially since the smoking ban forced people to congregate outside. And since so many seemingly hideous night spots opened. (Won't get into any names here. Let's just say there are a few on Avenue B around 4th Street that attract a heinous mix of jackals. Do you see me throwing up or peeing in the parking lots of your malls in Paramus?)
Oh. Well, back to the Post article. The article was accompanied by a photo of Manitoba's on Avenue B, a bar that I happen to really like (earlier in the evenings, anyway -- I just don't like crowds of any sort). The caption reads: "The sidewalk outside Manitoba's bar, in the East Village, exceeded the danger level of 80 decibels, on a recent night of rowdiness." As you can see from the above photo, there are roughly six people in the bar at the moment (usually when I'm there). Obviously the photo was taken at a different time. (There are even two different photo credits.) Manitoba's isn't even mentioned in the article. What annoys me is that there are dozens of places in the neighborhood worthy of being singled out.
Curious what Handsome Dick Manitoba's reaction was when he saw the piece. The bar does have a history of noise problems, particularly back when they were doing live music on Monday nights. (Blame one prudish couple who bought a place above the bar for this -- not that I'm taking sides!) Still, Manitoba's stopped the music nights. Manitoba seems like a real decent guy and good neighbor. He lives around the corner. I like what he does with the bar.
Finally, on a related note, I do sympathize with folks who are stuck near or above noisy spots -- at least the places in which the residents were there first, and a bar/club opened later. Not quite as sympathetic to people who chose to live above a bar. For instance! A former college roommate moved to New York years back, settling in a nice apartment above the Grassroots Tavern, another bar I like very much, on St. Mark's. She didn't last there too long. Why? "It's too loud." What did she expect? "I didn't think it would be this bad."