As is often the case, just when there was a nightlife project to get really excited about, the local community rises up as one to try and stop the project in its tracks. So are West Village residents up in arms over a new mega-club, hotel roof bar or beer garden? Not quite. According to a report in the Villager, the newest nightlife enemy is a Department of Transportation plan to install a series of granite blocks (in addition to re-paving, bike racks and indigenous plantings) in the intersection at Jane and W. Fourth Street and Eighth Avenue. A rendering is to the right. Normally transforming an empty plaza into a usable space would make residents happy, but not in this case.
West Village residents believe that the only people who will enjoy the concrete blocks are smokers and drunks who congregate at the local bars, like Emery Ungrady, who said "nobody’s going to want to sit on these granite benches unless they’re drunk, it’s early in the morning, and they’re smoking cigarettes." Several other residents emailed CB 2, with one whose bedroom looks out onto the plaza exclaiming that "the thought of our kids (as well as ourselves) being regularly woken up by drunken fun-seekers is enough to make us cringe," and begged for the plans to change.
Downtown residents are making it hard to take them seriously when almost every single application for a liquor license and even street benches in what looks like will be a nice plaza are threats to the survival of the community. Unfortunately for the complainers, CB 2 recommended the project be approved, and it is currently out for bid.
· Granite Seats Go Over Like Lead Brick [Villager]
· Nightlife Coverage [~ENY~]