BY Led Black (@Led_Black)
Here we go again!
Now that the bad weather is finally starting to break and the light can be seen at the end of the proverbial tunnel, the forces of obstruction have once again decided that their voices are the only ones that matter as it relates to the future of this neighborhood. The small but vocal and highly organized group of semi-professional agitators have used their considerable pull to once again place La Marina on the agenda of the committee board meeting taking place tonight.
Understand this: They will not stop at La Marina. Their unstated goal is to shut down the entire burgeoning business, social and culinary resurgence that is the Dyckman Strip. To add insult to injury they are using sleight of hand by calling themselves Moving Forward Unidos as to imply that they have broad community support. Nothing can be further from the truth. In fact, much of what they are rehashing as evidence against La Marina reeks of rabid racism. The truth is that La Marina and the other businesses along the strip have been a boon to the community, bringing jobs and much-needed revenue Uptown. Simply stated, La Marina stands as a shining symbol of the progress we have made as a community. From rampant drugs, crime and riots 20 years ago to a world class destination that is patronized and celebrated by so many.
They are counting on our apathy to dictate to us how things will transpire. We cannot let that happen. Like I have said before: 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.
You are either at the table or on the menu.
The Roc is in the Building – Jay-Z & Beyonce Spotted @ La Marina
Drinks and Seafood on the Waterfront
Leonardo DiCaprio Spotted at La Marina | DNAinfo
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RoughAcresApril 1, 2014 at 10:18 pm
“The small but vocal and highly organized group of semi-professional agitators” is a phrase I’ve seen used more than once in the discussion on this issue.
The truth is very different; there are a growing number of long-term Inwood residents who live near West Dyckman’s restaurant strip who – having lost sleep every spring and summer – have finally had ENOUGH.
Turning this into a racial or cultural thing does the whole community a great disservice; this is about lack of adequate traffic and noise law enforcement (the number of officers assigned to the area in the summer is inadequate), and the mix of cars, motorcycles, and liveries in an area never meant for such traffic.
It is time for the DOT, the police, elected officials, and the stakeholders (both the restauranteurs AND residents) to find a solution. TOGETHER.
ReasonableApril 1, 2014 at 10:42 pm
“La Marina’s right to exist” is very clearly defined by their agreement with the Parks Dept. All that people are asking for is that they abide by it.
JamesApril 2, 2014 at 1:45 am
I can back up bull shit with facts. Can you?? Follow the link. A whole history from start to finish of pics, lies, cronyism and corruption. Nice try with the race card.
Inwood ResidentApril 2, 2014 at 8:41 am
I hope readers will recognize this piece as likely having been written by one of the owners or an interested party who stands to lose big bucks if LaMarina is held to its agreement with the Parks Department, which is all the local residents ask. It operates a largely cash business, breaking local laws with impunity. Locals who are suffering from a serious deterioration of quality of life from the traffic, noise, litter and general chaos that LaMarina breeds are an extremely diverse bunch, not the “highly organized group of semi-professional agitators” misstated here, so the race card is completely ridiculous. Stating “their unstated goal is to shut down the entire burgeoning business, social and culinary resurgence that is the Dyckman Strip” is a lie, and writing it here doesn’t make it true. Really, no one should take a side on this issue without first witnessing the scene on a weekend night. Even if you believe the outrageous hyperbole that “La Marina stands as a shining symbol of the progress we have made as a community,” you’ll leave being glad you don’t live there.
JohnHopeApril 2, 2014 at 8:51 am
The Dyckman strip needs to be relegated. The restaurants need to stop acting like clubs and be more organized in their business. It is causing havoc towards the residents that live in the area. The places are mostly filled with wannabe drug dealers. Fernando Mateo is a corrupt person that everyone hates but cannot do anything because of the backing of Charlie Rangel.
UptownGalApril 2, 2014 at 10:13 am
Led! You’re breaking my heart with this kind of stuff. Moving Forward Unidos came together because there were two camps who were the most vocal about the insane nightlife going down on Dyckman. On one side was business owners who told people to accept their unruly patrons, noise, traffic, etc. or LEAVE. On the other side was the activist set who wanted to bring lawsuits about and shut the places all down. MFU strives to cut it to the middle and the message has always been striving for coexistence. Nobody wants to shut anything down and nobody is out to “get” any other race/keep anyone down. Moreover, despite what you’re seeing at meetings, etc., it’s not just one race, class, group, etc. doing the work behind the scenes in the name of preserving the neighborhood. When you attack MFU, you’re attacking the hardworking people from all walks of the rainbow who LOVE it here and want to find a way to make things work for everyone. I would gladly meet with you sometime and show you what the deal is/talk about it if you’re open to that. Right now, you are misinformed.
rowanApril 2, 2014 at 11:20 am
i think you’re missing the point. nobody has a problem with a local business doing well. people do have a problem with said businesses being bad neighbors. traffic congestion, noise into the small hours and garbage are what leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. turning it into a racial thing doesn’t help anyone. find a solution mutually agreeable to everyone: both business owners and residents.
Jason M.April 2, 2014 at 11:22 am
Trying to make this an issue of race shows nothing but unprofessionalism and immaturity.
This whole movement you’ve had going here is based entirely on lies, and you should be ashamed of yourself. Nobody is trying to shut down La Marina or the restaurants on Dyckman. The money and jobs they’ve provided uptown are a boon to the neighborhood, and everybody is aware of that.
What the residents living on or near Dyckman want is for those establishments to behave within the law (drugs, underage drinking, noise pollution, loitering, etc.) and within their permits (hours of operation, number of patrons allowed). There are also greater concerns, such as the traffic and pollution issues caused by the thousands of cars moving in and out of La Marina, which neither La Marina nor the local precinct has made any real effort to solve.
Most of the people who live near or above those establishments probably have to be up by 7 a.m. or earlier on weekdays. Please, tell me, how does wanting someone to turn off music that shakes your windows until 2 or 3 a.m. make one a racist? How does not wanting to accidentally step in vomit on your way to the subway in the morning make someone a racist? You are using racism as an excuse to discredit a large group of people with a very valid argument, and doing so speaks clearly to your character.
DrewApril 2, 2014 at 12:26 pm
This is a City!! I am correct in saying that right? In a city it is congested, there is noise everywhere in Manhattan. If your looking for serene pastures please move to the suburbs. If you lived in the area during the 80’s and 90’s it wasnt the nicest area. So I think what Led was saying is that this movement that is happening is far greater that was was prior. Things change, areas change, etc, the meatpacking district downtown has completely changed in the last 10-15 years. Now that area is loud and crazy at night. I guarantee you people don’t complain as much as they do uptown about this area because they accept it and theres all sorts of high end stores and clientele there. It’s impossible to make everyone happy.
adminApril 2, 2014 at 12:47 pm
First of all, I want to thank everyone for their comments and sharing your thoughts. It is appreciated. I also want to say that there are real and rational concerns being voiced by all parties. I fully understand that. I could not agree more with commenter “Rough Acres”, whom I know, when she states, “It is time for the DOT, the police, elected officials, and the stakeholders (both the restauranteurs AND residents) to find a solution. TOGETHER.”
But my issue is that while most of the comments posted on this issue sound rational enough, the so-called “report” that has been making the rounds produced by Moving Forward Unidos is needlessly salacious and replete with distortion, misinformation and went way too far in it’s use of social media as some type of scientific evidence. While there are certainly valid concerns in the document, they are drowned out by lies, innuendos and insinuations that I found offensive. There is a subtle race-baiting vibe that permeates the entire document. Again – that is just my take on it. This is America and we all have our right to express ourselves.
Check out the report: https://app.box.com/s/qs5vkh0a53zgn4y7n7ud
For the record: I do not own a business on the Dyckman Strip but I do patronize many of them especially La Marina because it is frankly gorgeous and has become of one of NYC’s premiere destinations. In fact: The Uptown Collective had an epic Holiday Party there in 2012. As a person that has deep roots in this community, it feels awesome that I no longer have to go downtown to spend my hard earned money and have a great time and enjoy a great meal in the neighborhood that I grew up in.
Should there be limits on the businesses? Of course but the discourse on what those limits should be must be based on facts and truth not emotion. The discussion on how to peacefully coexist are ultimately diminished by a cherry-picked “report” that is quite distorted and disturbing and that is being chivalrous. Listen – Uptown has always been and will always be a diverse and dynamic community. We want and welcome that. Thanks again for your comments.
UptownGalApril 4, 2014 at 5:57 am
“Subtle race baiting vibes?” I think you’re confusing it with diversity, which is quite the opposite. I offered to let you see what Moving Forward Unidos or MFU is about and you brushed it aside accusing me of abbreviating the name to somehow sidestep the embarrassment of being called out. I’m a reporter by trade and abbreviating is very common after the first reference of a long name. Obviously, we can go back and forth on this til the sun comes up. Is the PDF extensive? Yes. Could it be better? Of course. Putting all that aside, I would love to know: where in proximity to Dyckman do you live Led?
JamesApril 2, 2014 at 1:03 pm
“is needlessly salacious and replete with distortion, misinformation and went way too far in it’s use of social media as some type of scientific evidence. While there are certainly valid concerns in the document, they are drowned out by lies, innuendos and insinuations that I found offensive. There is a subtle race-baiting vibe that permeates the entire document. Again – that is just my take on it. This is America and we all have our right to express ourselves.”
At its simplest is La Marina licensed to be a restaurant or Night Club?
It’s your opinion the report is full of lies, innuendos and insinuations. In which part do you believe this the case?
You visit as a patron I live 3 blocks away.
If you have a problem with the information state what and where the problem is. What do you believe was misrepresented. So far you speak in generalities with nothing of substance to back up what you say.
adminApril 2, 2014 at 1:16 pm
Hey James – thanks for your comments. I do not believe that my honest opinion on the topic deserves such scorn. I will say this. I believe the “report” speaks for itself. I found the usage of tweets and instagram pics to infer, besmirch and defame the establishment and the people that patronize that establishment as particularly nasty. Thanks again.
Jason M.April 2, 2014 at 2:10 pm
I do see some errors in the reports. Quotes from Facebook have the user names blotted out. Permission should have been sought so quotes could be verified with these users instead of making them anonymous. Also, there are several pages of random quotes with no attribution at all. Same problem there. Could have been written by anyone.
But I think the social media use in the report is valid. If the complaint is that La Marina lets people in past capacity, and someone tweets a photo of 6,000 people, then using that photo as evidence is completely valid.
La Marina operates under very specific permits and must abide by specific city ordinances and laws. The social media posts prove that La Marina is not doing this. It doesn’t matter whether the photo was taken by the complainant or a La Marina customer, the photographic evidence is valid either way, whether you approve or not.
I question how closely you even looked at the report. You are accusing others above of acting on emotion, but I think your’e doing the same. What it comes down to is this: La Marina is in blatant and severe violation of nearly every single section of its agreement with the Parks Department. The way La Marina chooses to operate is illegal in about three dozen ways.
All I hear from your side is “They want to shut us down!” “They are racist!”
Have you ever stopped to wonder WHY so many people are so angry? Instead of flinging baseless accusations, did you stop to look at the permits? Did you stop to consider those who had to walk through the smell of vomit and urine to their morning commute as you were leaving the neighborhood to go rest somewhere quiet?
I can tell you this. If La Marina operated under its permitted hours at its permitted capacities, and abided by its liquor licenses, MFU and other “agitators” as you call them, would disappear overnight. As long as they continue to bring in thousands of people each night to take up all the parking spots, leave trash everywhere, and piss all over every inch of Riverside, the neighborhood residents are going to have a problem with it.
It’s not defamation if it’s true.
JohnHopeApril 2, 2014 at 2:32 pm
ReasonableApril 2, 2014 at 4:01 pm
“If La Marina operated under its permitted hours at its permitted capacities, and abided by its liquor licenses, MFU and other “agitators” as you call them, would disappear overnight.”
This is absolutely true. Even the first 30 odd pages (!) of the above linked document offer nothing but glowing praise about the restaurant and overall renovation. I don’t think anyone has a problem with La Marina the restaurant, which after all is what was approved in the first place.
The restaurant operation is wonderfully diverse and the shining symbol of progress; that is the part that is the business, social and culinary resurgence that everyone wants to celebrate (holiday parties and all). No argument there. The nightclub is the issue.
C VasquezApril 2, 2014 at 5:35 pm
Please note my last name. You cannot accuse me of racism. LaMarina has consistently violated each and every term of its agreement with Parks. The blame for that lies with LaMarina and Parks. It is unfortunate that LaMarina continually insists that all complaints are false – – despite the countless VIDEOS taken to combat LaMarina’s allegation. I concur that no one has a problem with a legitimate business doing well. LaMarina has, however, incessantly claimed that anyone who disagrees with anything LaMarina does is a racist. LaMarina has continually demonstrated itself to be a terrible neighbor. I am a long-time resident of this neighborhood and experience the noise, the violence, the utter chaos that LaMarina has wrought in this neighborhood. Worst of all, LaMarina is a safety hazard – emergency vehicles couldn’t get through that traffic mess and someone could well die as a result. LaMarina, stop whining and start being a part of the community instead of a bully. The only one making false claims is LaMarina. It’s propaganda is just that – propaganda, false, inflammatory, and insulting that clearly shows that LaMarina has no interest whatsoever in anyone or anything other than LaMarina.
C VasquezApril 2, 2014 at 5:38 pm
Photos don’t besmirch – they show the TRUTH of the fiasco that is LaMarina and THAT is what LaMarina can’t tolerate – the truth. The photos have been taken precisely because LaMarina accused the entire neighborhood of fabricating complaints. Now, they complain that photos are inaccurate. Come on!
adminApril 2, 2014 at 6:59 pm
Listen folks – I do not want to stifle dissenting views – I actually welcome them but please do not insult my intelligence. To name yourselves Moving Forward Unidos is disingenuous at best and is nothing more than sleight of hand. I think we can agree, if we are honest, that you are now referring to yourselves as MFU as a result of being called out on the ridiculousness of choosing that name. Again, if you folks don’t find anything wrong with the pictures of cocaine, the insinuations and the cherry-picking of information then that is your choice but I feel otherwise. Your valid concerns are drowned out by the nonsense. I actually read the report and was present at the community board meeting where I had the pleasure of sitting through a presentation of the document. The “report” bothers me and I will not apologize for that. Thanks again for all the comments. Please keep them coming but I implore you to keep it civil.
Not a New ResidentApril 2, 2014 at 11:52 pm
Led, I’m wondering why you are cherry-picking what the “report” contains. Most of it seems to repeat what nightclub customers or DJs said online, or news articles, or legal documents, that collectively raise questions about what Parks said and what La Marina actually does. You object to the more judgmental “Quality of Life Issues” section near the end – agreed.
But so what, strike that section entirely. Does that somehow invalidate the 200+ preceding pages of objective questions and information? One of the photos depicts DJ Boris’s massive dance music show – does that make it anti-Russian? What are the specific lies that you are referring to?
More to the point, are you defending La Marina’s operation as a 3,000
person nightclub? And if so, on what grounds? Thank you.
LiamApril 2, 2014 at 9:03 pm
If I may be so bold, Led, if the Uptown Collective is to be true to its stated mission and objective to be transformative and positively redefine the scene, you MUST take into account the local populace’s issuers here with earnest desire to understand our situation.
Your opinion piece is not facing the progressive dorection set forth in your mission or objective. It’s actually turning the tide against what you say you want. You say that you believe that the report is racist. Fine. But to call an effort to bring the community together, namely Moving Forward Unidos, race-baiting is in and of itself wrong headed. You should be embracing an effort by the people who live in the area and championing it.
This area is not “your” community’s playground. If people are being negatively impacted, and they are, you and your organization have a duty according to your mission to find the solution and NOT calling out names, even if the report is on the whole racist, which I don’t believe it is, taken as a whole. Parts of it could be construed as such.
Your intelligence will not be insulted by me, since I don’t know you. But you must use objective facts rather than your feelings for any kind of real discussion. It’s very easy to hide behind one’s feelings or opinions when faced with something you may find challenging.
Step up and be the community leader that it seems like you want to be.
UptownGalApril 2, 2014 at 9:24 pm
Actually, I refer to it as MFU because it’s faster to type the acronym…truth
JamesApril 3, 2014 at 4:29 pm
“Now that the bad weather is finally starting to break and the light can be seen at the end of the proverbial tunnel, the forces of obstruction have once again decided that their voices are the only ones that matter as it relates to the future of this neighborhood.”
Who’s voice is more important in regards to Inwood, it’s future and it’s quality of life, the citizens who live here or the weekend warriors who come to party? Do people who do not live in our community have equal say as to what is and is not exceptable insofar as quality of life? I think not.
I would argue that those who get drunk and party at La marina could care a rats ass about quality of life or the problems that ensue. There only concern is having a good time.
“Understand this: They will not stop at La Marina. Their unstated goal is to shut down the entire burgeoning business, social and culinary resurgence that is the Dyckman Strip.”
Your proof? You provide nothing. Because you say it it makes it so.
“To add insult to injury they are using sleight of hand by calling themselves Moving Forward Unidos as to imply that they have broad community support. Nothing can be further from the truth. In fact, much of what they are rehashing as evidence against La Marina reeks of rabid racism.”
Again sweeping accusations with no proof of anything to substantiate this opinion.
” The truth is that La Marina and the other businesses along the strip have been a boon to the community, bringing jobs and much-needed revenue Uptown. Simply stated, La Marina stands as a shining symbol of the progress we have made as a community. From rampant drugs, crime and riots 20 years ago to a world class destination that is patronized and celebrated by so many.”
I can agree with you here to some extent. I am however not sure how you equate a night club that caters to a specific crowd, using a party atmosphere as the “Shining Example” of how far Inwood has come progress wise. That seems a pretty shallow observation. Inwood is now a better place because Jay-z, Beyonce and Leonardo Decaprio have visited La Marina? To me that shows your complete lack of respect to our community.
” They are counting on our apathy to dictate to us how things will transpire. We cannot let that happen. Like I have said before: 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.”
You have not explained what you believe “should” transpire. You have a right to your opinion as do I. I write this rebuttal as a response to your one sided argument, which lacks any proof of its charges. You dismiss the evidence provided and yet fail to make any effort to defend your reason in doing so.
You made an op/ed but refuse to defend its content.
With all respect and best regards.
AliciaApril 4, 2014 at 3:27 pm
“Their unstated goal is to shut down the entire burgeoning business, social and culinary resurgence that is the Dyckman Strip.” As a regular patron of many local businesses, including several of the restaurants on Dyckman, AND as a member of MFU, this comment offends me. Personally, I wish all those businesses nothing but success, and I was very sad when Il Posto closed recently. However, in order to support those businesses with my hard-earned cash, I have to get up in the mornings and go to work, so I don’t appreciate it when I am kept awake until 1am or 2am by La Marina’s bass. Yet, I don’t want La Marina to close. I just want them to be better neighbors!
“To add insult to injury they are using sleight of hand by calling themselves Moving Forward Unidos as to imply that they have broad community support. Nothing can be further from the truth.” I’m not sure how the name of the group implies “sleigh of hand”, but I do know that HUNDREDS of residents signed the group’s petition (in English and Spanish) requesting that quality of life issues be addressed.
“In fact, much of what they are rehashing as evidence against La Marina reeks of rabid racism.” I’m sorry you feel this way, but I think this is a nasty accusation, and I don’t see the evidence to which you refer. By the way, in case you didn’t realize, Moving Forward Unidos members are black, white and Latino.
TitoAugust 6, 2014 at 8:04 pm
F@ck La Marina! Shut the sh!t down!
Inwood4EverDecember 10, 2014 at 2:51 am
Simply stated, La Marina stands as a shining symbol of the progress we have made as a community. From rampant drugs, crime and riots 20 years ago to a world class destination that is patronized and celebrated by so many.
“….riots 20 years ago….” Oh please Led, you make it sound like a war zone. I’ve lived in Inwood all my life – Dyckman and Post to be exact, and no I’m not white, I am Dominican. You make it sound like the alternative (la marina) makes up for the past. People who don’t live near the nightclub strip that is now Dyckman, West of Broadway are insensitive to those who do live in the area and have to deal with this mess. I don’t live in the area and I feel their pain. This is akin to living in an apt building and having neighbors blast music all night long without consideration of their neighbors, selfish behavior. C’mon lets have consideration and respect for those who live in the area. Let’s not play the damn race card, give me a break!!! The elected officials, the restaurant owners and community board should spend one night (sleep over) in the apts of those who are being affected and really understand what these residents go through!!!
I did see the report and it was very informative. The only thing I didn’t agree with was the pics of the girls dancing at the Marina, it was suggestive, other than that I think the report made very valid points.
running_bondApril 29, 2019 at 10:37 pm
And so 5 years later, every single reasoned, documented, cross-referenced point of criticism of La Marina turns out to have been absolutely correct. Now the facility lies shuttered, bankrupt, suing the city, stripped of its liquor license — and the credibility of anyone who ever backed it completely shredded.