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Tonight and tomorrow, the Lowdown Hudson Blues is taking place this year, once again. It is produced by Brookfield Properties.
The event takes up the entire public space of the esplanade by the marina, and blocks off the only bike and pedestrian route between the south and north communities of BPC. Because of the Brookfield Place renovations that are behind schedule, pedestrians can no longer walk through the World Financial Center (now called Brookfield Place), and have to dodge bicyclists along the esplanade.
That is on a good day. When an event like the Hudson Blues takes place, all cyclists have to dismount and walk their bikes through a narrow path, bumping into pedestrians sharing the same space.
As a reporter, I walked to the marina and esplanade to take some photos, using an interchangeable lens camera. As I raised the camera, a private security guard hired by Brookfield told me that photographs with such a camera were not allowed, however one could film all they wanted to with a cell phone camera. It seemed like an odd policy to me, especially since Brookfield had numerous expensive professional video cameras stationed throughout the event.
Knowing that the BPC community was being inconvenienced by the event that promotes the brand recognition of the private real estate company more than entertains the local community, I wondered if Brookfield had the proper permits.
I asked Brookfield staff near the “VIP” party to see the permit. They sent me to a different tent of Brookfield staff, and again, no permit could be produced.
At this time, a tall security manager for the Mulligan security company began to harass me. He wanted to see my ID, which I refused to show him. He then said, “We do not have to show you our permit”.
I left without argument and spoke to several NYPD officers nearby. I also called the precinct, which was finally able to confirm that a permit existed.
If you have any comments about this two-day event of loud noise and inconvenience, please send us your comments.