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Residents Complain Asser Levy Bandshell Falling Apart Because of Loss of Summer Concerts

Neighbors: Loss of concerts to blame for bandshell decay

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The music died — and neighbors fear the venue will too.

Brighton Beach and Coney Island residents say the centerpiece bandshell in Asser Levy Park is falling apart — and blame its disrepair on the campaign that booted Borough President Markowitz’s summer concert series from the space.

The Parks Department said Hurricane Sandy pounded the performance space, and the agency has already removed its shredded canopy and stabilized the structure — but says it doesn’t have the money to renovate the crumbling stage.

“We are making isolated repairs to ensure that the area is safe, but we do not have funding for a full reconstruc­tion,” said agency spokeswoman Meghan Lalor.

Neighbors predict the bandshell will continue to sit derelict until it falls down, since it can no longer host music thanks to the 2010 ruling that stifled the Beep’s Seaside Concert Series. The judge in the case decided that the three-decade-old string of live music shows violated city law by using amplification within 500 feet of two synagogues. Markowitz was forced to relocate his concerts to a vacant lot near the corner of W. 21st Street.

“Why would they spend a dime fixing it, when they made it so you can’t play any music there?” said longtime Brighton Beach resident Joe Armel.

Neighborhood leaders agreed, lamenting the loss of the concerts and the deterioration of the park stage.

“They were a great thing we had here, and we never had much,” said Brighton Beach Neighborhood Association founder Pat Singer. “Asser Levy was a great place to go during the summertime.”

The lawsuit also destroyed Markowitz’s controversial plans to replace the bandshell with a $65 million, 5,000 seat amphitheater — a vision he has since relocated to the Childs Building on the Boardwalk near W. 21st Street.

Longtime amphitheater advocates say that the community should have accepted the original plan — which would have refurbished the greenspace — instead of fighting it.

“Those people had an opportunity to have something new, and they didn’t want it,” said Dick Zigun, self-declared “mayor” of Coney Island. “Now nobody’s trying to do concerts there any more.”

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderman@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at twitter.com/WillBredderman.
Updated 11:52 am, March 21, 2014
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Reader feedback

Rainbow from Coney Island says:
Zigun has the nerve to say something? He's making out like a bandit with his buddy Marty's new setup at Child's. Zigun is getting a 10 year, no bid, sweetheart deal to run it. Pat Singer lives on the other end of Brighton. She never had to put up with the crowds, the traffic, the noise and the drunks relieving themselves in front of her building as they staggered home from the concerts. Our kids can finally play on the grass which looks like a carpet now that it isn't trampled into dust. This Joe Armel doesn't seem to realize that this is a neighborhood park, not a concert hall. People live here. They should rip down that bandshell already and expand the playground.
June 13, 2013, 12:11 pm
Tanya from Brighton Beach says:
Interesting. No money to fix a community park, but enough money to build an amphitheater. No money for children and elderly but enough money for "dirty deals". Kudos to those who had enough strenghts to fight. Sname on "professional community leaders" who do not care about community
June 13, 2013, 8:13 pm
Jerry from Brighton Beach says:
What also is interesting is that Party Hearty Marty Markowitz had enough money to revamp the Parachute Jump for over $ 2 million . The first round cost taxpayers over $ 4 million dollars , which proved to be a boondoggle of a project.
Party Hearty Marty Markowitz swore NOT TO PUT in a single $$$$ into Asser Levy Park after he lost his case in the courts with his Monument of an amphitheater.
By the way folks if he had built this Monstrosity Monument in Asser Levy Park Hurricane Sandy would have relocated it to West 5th St & Surf Ave. LOL.
I won't shed a tear for in six months Party Hearty Marty Markowitz will be term limited out of office.
He's just another political HACK , good riddance !
June 14, 2013, 3:30 pm

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