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June 11, 2014– By Steven E. Greer
The nationally recognized music groups that played Pier 26 last year for Gay Pride Week were the first taste of culture that Downtown had seen since 2001. Groups such as “Fun”, “The Nationals”, Cher, and Lady GaGa all performed.
However, because of strategic mismanagement by the CEO of the Hudson River Park Trust, Madelyn Wils, who seems to instinctively solve problems with stealth (She is now in trouble for trying to sneak a MOU through regarding Pier 40 air rights, then had that rejected), the community was not informed in advance of the concerts. Therefore, this being New York City of course, that gave the moral high ground to the curmudgeons and obstructionists.
There is nothing but huge commercial buildings directly adjacent Pier 26, such as Citigroup and BMCC college, with one exception. The rent-controlled complex, Independence Plaza, faces Pier 26.
The publisher of the Tribeca Tribune lives in Liberty Terrace and began to post articles about Liberty Terrace residents who were irate. In reality, fewer than 10 of them ever attended a CB1 meeting. The organizer of the events told BatteryPark.TV tonight that only 35 or fewer emails of protest were received.
The cultural void Downtown is so bad that hundreds of millions have been spent by the LMDC, Downtown Alliance, BPCA and private corporations to run lame programs, such as the River to River Festival (which might get better soon). The vast majority of residents Downtown welcomed the concerts, but a few dozen people in rent-controlled Liberty Terrace got their way.
Tonight, the HRPT presented updates on Pier 26, and summer activities were detailed. This year, the Gay Pride concerts have been banished all the way to 55th Street at Pier 96. So, no one will have to worry about those noisy gays in Tribeca this year.