#3) Concerts at McCarren Park Pool
Friday, August 1, 2008
McCarren Park Pool, the emptied-out, rotting cement basin that once served as an actual pool and now serves as hipster paradise, is going to be turned into an actual pool once again. With $50 million pledged by Mayor Bloomberg, the plan only has to pass one more stage of approval before McCarren Park Pool reverts back to its original state.
At first, the idea doesn’t seem too terrible. I mean, even hipsters like water on a hot summer day. But considering that the Tuesday night movie showings and the Sunday concert series sponsored by JellyNYC are about the only things that will motivate a hipster to assemble, stand in line for hours at a time in the scorching sun, and even dance shuffle around in pouring rain, the transformation of McCarren’s pool basin into an actual functional pool/ice skating rink will likely extinguish any chance Williamsburg’s hipsters may or may not have to become some kind of functional movement, forcing them to retreat back into their smoke-filled artist lofts.
The New York Times featured an article today discussing the plans.
That McCarren Pool will be filled with water again has pleased many longtime residents and activists. But at several recent concerts the prevailing opinion was: bummer.
The article quoted Phyllis Yampolsky, founder of the McCarren Park Conservancy, as ideologically describing McCarren Pool as some sort of community venue that should serve people other than white hipsters with trust funds.
“The basic need of that pool is as a pool and recreation center for all the peoples of North Brooklyn, which includes a lot of black people and a lot of Latino people,” Ms. Yampolsky said. “Its basic needs are not for the fashionistas of Williamsburg.”
What?! Blacks and Latinos at McCarren? Whatever happened to gentrification?
The article also cited one astute hipster girl who is in cahoots about the matter and plans to take action as soon as cool becomes cool again (note: this is the hipster equivalent of pigs flying):
“It was a good run,” said Emmy Tiderington, a 27-year-old Williamsburger with a tattoo snaking down her right shoulder. “Nothing lasts,” she added.
The New York Landmarks Preservation Commission (which has a title as ironic as hipsters strive unsuccessfully to be) is scheduled to meet to pass the final stage of approval later this month. While the Times article cited Stephanie of the Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn as saying that the hipsters have been (surprise!) apathetic about the matter and haven’t shown up for any community board meetings to protest or anything. But who does she think they are? Dirty hippies? Even if a hipster cared enough to stand up for the McCarren pool summer concert series venue, could find out WHEN the meeting was (this website is a fucking enigma), he would likely be too hung over to make it there – let alone suffer through all the boring other topics. Also, hipsters eyes are offended by lack of neon in any given room, and I suspect there would be an abundance of beiges and grays at this meeting.
But the likely truth is, the decision is already made, though not formalized, and the people in charge never wanted the input of the hipsters. If they did, they would serve Bloody Marys at their meetings.
But one keen hipster has an idea: hope everyone else is as lazy as she is.
Elena Gilbert, 22, a Bard College student whose summer plans include five pool shows, looked up briefly from what appeared to be prolific texting to note the one hope for the future of the pool events: bureaucratic delays.“Hopefully it’ll be like the Mermaid Parade,” she said, “where they keep telling you it’s the last summer and it never is.”
I guess this is one big fail for the hipsters. Good luck to JellyNYC for trying to get them all to see concerts in Bushwick. I’ll bet that one will go over as well as any new feature on the Facebook.
I recently came across this website containing a petition circulated – err, stationed – by JellyNYC urging the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to open an alternate concert venue in Bushwick. Judging from the turn-out so far, it looks like the hipsters will have no choice but to revert back to their isolated iPod bubbles come next summer.
JellyNYC, you’ve got quite a task ahead of you. Do you realize that trying to get hipsters to sign a petition is like trying to get neocons to be factual?
Pool image by Gowanus Lounge. Not an actual rendering of the projected plans, just a photoshopped creation. Commentary my own.
Ice sk8ing image is an actual rendering of projected plans. I don’t know why they render lame people in there but I guess that’s their prerogative. Commentary my own.