Op-Led: The Crusade Against La Marina

BY Led Black (@Led_Black)

La Marina

We here at the Uptown Collective have been unabashed supporters of La Marina and what it means for this neighborhood since it first opened it’s doors. For many of us who are long time residents and have lived through the troubles, tumult and tribulations that are a part of the not so distant past, La Marina stands as a shining symbol of the progress we have made as a community.

In it’s first summer, La Marina has received some of the biggest stars in the world and has garnered unprecedented positive coverage around the globe. That we now have a world-class destination in the very heart of our neighborhood is not only a source of great pride, but more importantly, it speaks volumes on how far this community has come. Like I have said in the past, 20 years ago, this community was rocked by riots, crime and the crack epidemic and today we are welcoming some of the brightest luminaries on the planet. That to me is progress.

With that said, there exists a small but vocal and highly organized group of semi-professional agitators who would have it closed. While they are in no way, shape, or form truly representative of this community they know what buttons to push and who to send a letter to, with all the right buzz words included, to create utter havoc. They have even made a Facebook page dedicated to shutting down La Marina. These are the very same people who waged unrelenting war on Mamajuana not too long ago.

It is high time that those residents that patronize and support La Marina’s right to exist, begin to organize and agitate with the same intensity as those that oppose this groundbreaking establishment. This is what we are up against, so either we stand up and be counted or watch as they kill not just La Marina but the entire, burgeoning business and cultural revival that is taking shape in the community. The choice is yours.


The Roc is in the Building – Jay-Z & Beyonce Spotted @ La Marina 

Open for Business: La Marina

Drinks and Seafood on the Waterfront

Leonardo DiCaprio Spotted at La Marina | DNAinfo

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  • janice
    October 16, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    I’m glad i dont live on Seaman or Dyckman or riverside near the noise of alcohol alley, but those who do live there deserve quality of life and peace at night. by the way is the food and drinks really that great to dodge pigeon poop to go to La marina?

  • Art By Dj Boy
    October 17, 2012 at 9:50 am

    I don’t think you’ve realized what you’ve done Led lol

  • Seaman Drake
    October 18, 2012 at 8:39 am

    I think you are presenting the situation without some key facts. No question that La Marina is awesome architecturally. It is fantastic to see this concession back in service, and when the actual marina part comes next year it will really show how much things have changed in our neglected uptown parks. Many Inwood residents are very, very happy with La Marina… during the daytime.

    The issues with La Marina are solely related to some shiftiness regarding what the owners stated about evening operations to Parks and the community board to get their lease and their approvals. The owners knew exactly what business model they were pursuing and what kind of hours and patronage that would require. But they downplayed and hedged those numbers in their negotiations, because they knew their plans would not be accepted if they were truly honest about them. That is one of the major problems. Many people living near by have no problem with live music running to 10 pm, which is what the agreement states. Yet all the time on twitter you see photos and tweets at, say, 11 pm like this one that come from the DJ themself: http://instagram.com/p/P8RRBXHXze/. Sometimes La Marina has a special permit for extended hours; in the case of this photo they did not. It’s no way to get along with the neighbors, who live in the most noise-plagued part of the city (#1 in noise complaints), by misleading them about your live music hours. Many businesses (such as the Inwood Local beer bar) have gone through this process to reach accommodation on such matters, and they stick by their agreements – so why does La Marina not have to play by the same rules? Just because it’s super cool and Jay-Z goes there? Uh-uh.

    The second major factor, which you fail to mention completely as a source of the “crusade”, is the traffic. If you look at another big Parks concession venue, the Boathouse in Central Park, you will find that they have no valet parking, do not advertise driving to their location, and offer a shuttle that takes you from the restaurant/banquet hall to the subway. The geography of the streets around La Marina is highly constricted and there is only so much traffic that can be accommodated. Some people will drive, of course. But La Marina blatantly advertises their valet service (that parks on city streets!) and encourages driving to the site. When you get gridlock in the area that lasts 8 hours solely because of La Marina, that becomes an issue that cannot be ignored regardless of cultural and economic benefits. La Marina should not have a valet service at all (they can tell people to park in area garages) and should be running a shuttle to the Dyckman A train. But this is not the case. So what exactly do you expect people to do when confronted with such traffic? Express their undying love for La Marina’s economic symbolism? Of course not – they get mad, and understandably so.

    There is no reason at all that La Marina can’t do what they do and be wildly successful. Good for them, good for Inwood. But they need to come clean on their hours and numbers, and in return for more generous limits offer a shuttle service, discontinue their valet, and show some good-neighbor intentions by, say, sweepinh and clean the litter on Dyckman St between La Marina and Henshaw (which has increased due to the patronage La Marina). That’s what good businesses do to survive and thrive in dense NYC where everyone needs to get along.

  • TonyCreative
    October 18, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    Wow. I mean, look…can I share my two cents? I don’t live in Inwood anymore, I moved south, but I am pretty upset with the way traffic and rowdiness in that area has escalated since La Marina opened. Led Black I respect you for taking a controversial stance, but as being someone who doesn’t live in the middle of that, you can’t call the people who are living in “agitators”

    These are grown men and women with families who should not have their streets subjected to unruliness because of a restaurant that allows all kinds of people and things to go on.

    And, yes I gone to La Marina. Twice. I love it there. But I can’t stand with them when they are not considerate of the people who live around them.

  • La Marina Owners Address Traffic and Overcrowding Concerns
    June 1, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    […] Led Fuentes, who is known as Led Black on the uptown blog Uptown Collective, defended La Marina, too. He published an op-ed on the blog Tuesday. […]