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‘Clinton-Washington Neighbors Against Noise’ & Jelani Lounge meet w/ Leticia James

December 10, 2008

    dsc01792

 

 

    Councilwoman Leticia James was called on Monday December 8th to mediate an issue between a few residents calling themselves ‘Clinton-Washington Neighbors Against Noise’ ( A Google group was started under this name, it has 8 members) and Jelani Lounge’s owner Guy. Jelani Lounge is located on the desolate block of Waverly ave. between Atlantic ave. and Fulton street, closed from Sunday to Thursday, it usually holds events on Fridays and Saturdays. The issue at hand was the noise emanating from the lounge during the hours of operation.

     

    Upon arrival looking at a group of about 15 people it was quite obvious who was who, Ms.James sat at the head of the table, Guy to her left along with his supporters (employees, residents and proprietors in the area) and 3 members of the CWNAN group sat directly across. The meeting was cordial, a prospective resolution was reached in a concise manner but it was also a chance for dialogue and to clear up some false accusations that were made about the lounge in the comments section on Clinton Hill Blog (I think the post has been taken down). Councilwoman James said she spoke with the 88th precinct and there were ZERO complaints about Jelani Lounge on file. It was also brought up by Ms.James about how segregated the room was, it’s a dynamic that’s here in the community that we cannot always skate around or act like it doesn’t exist, so I respect that she addressed it( for the record I sat in the middle). One member of the CWNAN group stated that there is an “untrust there” between the two groups of people in the neighborhood…To which I replied:

 

If you have a distrust about a group of people, then maybe you should conquer that distrust within yourself before you move to a neighborhood predominately occupied by those same people…if you’re able to do that then you may see that those you distrust are more than willing to welcome you with open arms…until you do that it will continue to harbor, possibly get worse because although it’s not being said overtly, body language is universal…”

 

 I sincerely believe that…

 

      The neighborhood staple Miss Jenny spoke about how Guy fed her family and over 200 hundred people this past Thanksgiving. A young lady from the CWNAN apologized for whatever harsh comments were made on Clinton Hill Blog, she stated she asked Robin Lester, the website owner (a friend over here at clintonhillchill) to remove the post, I think she obliged. Like I said the solution was simple, I think Guy’s going to add an entrance similar to Kush on Putnam, which should muffle some of the noise.

 

       It was agreed by all parties involved that it shouldn’t have had to come to starting a Google group, nasty comments/accusations on a blog, getting the Councilwoman involved, to get a simple resolution that could have gotten resolved by phone calls or person to person interaction.

 

      HOWEVER… I’m amazed that the CWNAN group were able to get the Councilwoman for what I deem as a minor issue. I know of a few businesses in the area that Ms.James has yet to welcome, others were sent her representative. I know of another instance where there was a fundraiser for what should be a legendary institution in our neighborhood, they sent her representative. Then there was last year when my daughter’s school was giving her an award, once again they sent her representative… See a pattern?!

Edit- I forgot to mention District Leader Olanike Alabi was also in attendance.

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29 Comments leave one →
  1. saultee permalink
    December 11, 2008 12:02 am

    Wow this is disgusting on so many levels. Speaking as a new person to the neighborhood, these people need to get their mind right. The passive aggressive mud slinging does nothing to unify the community. I’m glad they at least came to their senses enough to actually sit and talk face to face, but was it necessary to get a Council member involved? IIt sure seems as if certain groups of people feel they are entitled to everything, not ever considering who came before them. I better leave it at that before I get nasty.

  2. bknesto permalink
    December 11, 2008 1:37 am

    Trust me I couldn’t believe that not only did Tish James arrange a meeting between the parties but that she would be showing up to spearhead the meeting. She also said something to the affect that she has to be more sensitive to the recent residents needs because after all, they’re the new arrivals… Wow Tish…Thanks alot…you should be EQUALLY sensitive! But I get what’s going on, she’s a politician…Be careful Ms.James and don’t sleep on the older residents ability to mobilize and after this recent election there is alot of children of the oldtimers registered to vote…they can be easily motivated to vote for a local election… Geofrey Davis was an easy win…Some homegrown talent who was not only about the progression of the hood, sensitive to all residents needs but still empathized with the struggles of those who were here before it was an “in” neighborhood could make it harder.

  3. December 11, 2008 6:16 am

    The picture just leaves me speechless. In this case, a picture really is worth a thousand words. It sums up the entire situation of our neighborhood in one picture. 3 of them vs. 11 of us and a councilwoman???!!! Unbelievable yet sadly we are living it.

  4. wasder permalink
    December 11, 2008 2:19 pm

    bknesto—well written. As someone who was formerly a “newcomer” (white, moved to Clinton Hill in 2002) I can testify that if one embraces one’s neighbors and attempts to communicate in an open manner there is a welcome for all in Clinton Hill. If one comes in and tries to change the neighborhood into something else, something more along the lines of what the new folks are used to, then there is naturally resistance. I hope that what happens long term in Clinton Hill is that the established nature of the neighborhood is respected and that the people that do end up moving here from elsewhere do so because they like what they see, not because they want to make it something else.

  5. December 11, 2008 8:14 pm

    You can’t say that the problem is that these people are white… it’s that they’re snowballing towards the middle-aged, domesticated types while living in a young area. Being a bitch-ass about a bar making noise on the WEEKEND has no color.

  6. December 11, 2008 8:20 pm

    Also, I gotta say, what right do these people have to complain? You live in New York. You do not live in the suburbs. People congregate during the weekend and make noise. Seriously, if people chatting disturbs your friday night organic bathes, find a new neighborhood.

  7. bknesto permalink
    December 11, 2008 9:32 pm

    Thanks wasder..I’d have to agree w/ you alec BUT in this case the dynamic could not be ignored. A few of the attendees were parents of former classmates of mine (middle aged and over) and they kind of alluded to your point…It’s a bar/lounge thats ONLY open two days! The young lady in the CWNAN group said she moved on waverly and fulton street for peace and quiet…as the c-train rumbled the floor in jelani lounge and screeches from the bus brakes sounds off continously(soon to be to be back to 2 way which means more noise. And to be honest I wonder if these people would have the same complaints and qualms if they lived off DeKalb, where the buzz of people socializing is continous through the night on Fridays and Saturdays…

  8. la duchessa permalink
    December 12, 2008 4:44 pm

    um… fulton street is about the last place i’d move if i wanted peace and quiet and it has nothing to do with that bar. it’s a major thoroughfare for cars, buses, the subway rumbling underneath and foot traffic. in all of clinton hill that woman couldn’t find a quieter block?

    i cannot get over the fact that a councilwoman took the time from her schedule to mediate this situation. i also can’t believe that these folks went straight to the us vs. them place of starting a google group and getting politicos involved. that would be a sad state of affairs if this type of action becomes the norm.

  9. kyle permalink
    December 12, 2008 5:01 pm

    Its unfortunate that a dialogue with the owner wasn’t their first step but it does seem like a resolution was reached that satisfied both parties.

    I think this is a really good point too BK: “It was also brought up by Ms.James about how segregated the room was, it’s a dynamic that’s here in the community that we cannot always skate around or act like it doesn’t exist, so I respect that she addressed it( for the record I sat in the middle).”

    Its better to engage this than to pretend that cultural differences aren’t at least a partial cause of friction in some of these situations.

  10. bknesto permalink
    December 12, 2008 10:28 pm

    Thank you for your comments… It’s funny once upon a time you knew that newer arrivals were comfortable w/ their neighbors because they CHOSE to live in the area for what it was…Now I think alot of ppl have moved in the area on the basis of what they think the neighborhood will become or what they want it to be. Sometimes it feels as if ‘we’ (old-timers) are not in the equation for what people want the neighborhood to become so we get treated as if don’t exist, rather than dealt with on a person to person neighborly basis…

    One person other than myself spoke up in the defense of Jelani lounge on CHB but when long time parishioners of Queen of All Saints had the nerve to complain about the noise, not being able to find parking, ppl walking in during service cause they had to take a dump, pissing in the street etc., the whole blogsphere was in an uproar. Comment after comment people trashed these church going folks, all the while being insensitive to these people having their tranquil sundays interrupted by hordes of people…the media even covered it. Tish James immediately took the side of the flea market. People were acting as if this flea market was a neighborhood institution and the parishioners who had been attending the church for decades had no right to complain. It’s like these people lives didn’t exist before before the arrival of a flea market and the people who “discovered” the neighborhood in recent years (the target consumer).

    People even intimated that the parishioners wanted the hood to go back to the “crime days” of the ’80′s-early 90′s. Years that they were no where near the neighborhood by the way( so how would you really know how “bad” it was)!

    And let me not even get into how damn near every business that ‘we’ primarily patronize gets scathingly commented on through out the blogsphere/forums and people are not shy saying they want them GONE. Then claim they can’t see the corelation between wanting the businesses a group of ppl patronize GONE and those same ppl GONE.

  11. TEST permalink
    December 13, 2008 1:24 am

    The flea market does nothing for the neighborhood did he donate any food to any group or food pantry ? lets put him to the test tell him to give out gifts to kids in the neighborhood for the holidays. lets start a blog and see how many new comers respond to it. BK start the blog, lets put the new comers to the test!!!

  12. Putnamdenizen permalink
    December 14, 2008 4:10 am

    Does Jelani Lounge donate food to a food pantry? Come on, is that the standard for any business? I really enjoy reading this blog because it presents a very different an under-represented view of the neighborhood (I hope you caught “Taking Over” at the Public for a similar take on “gentrification.”) Sometimes, however, the chip on the shoulder can be a bit much. James appearance at and mediation at meeting to resolve and ongoing neighvorhood dispute is all good. Our neighborhood is bereft of many figures who could serve as such mediators. Perhaps she should have shown up to an award ceremony as well (who was being honored, btw) but it seems a bit harsh to take her to ask on this issue, especiallly given that you acknowledge she called out the racial dynamic. I live across the street from the Mechanics hall on Putnam, so I understand how even parties on Friday and Saturday only can be exhausting. Often it is not because the party-goers are being evil – just that they continue talking in club voices after they leave their party. This complaint is shared by my neighbors, all of whom are darker in hue than me, and long-term residents. But I live in the city, so I moved my bedroom to the back. I hope the meeting reported in this blog had a happier tone and a greater sense of trying to find common ground than some of the comments above.

  13. bknesto permalink
    December 14, 2008 7:15 am

    Well Mr.Denizen, if you read the post above it says the owner of Jelani Lounge Guy, provided dinner for not only Ms.Jenny’s family but 200 hundred other people. And while it is not a requirement of a business or person to do so, I think we can all agree it is admirable to give back.

    There is no chip on my shoulder, the things I stated were fact. If you don’t think it’s over the top to get a local elected official involved to mediate a dispute before even attempting to reach out directly, person to person…then I dont know what to tell you. But I will say this since you bring up hue. If the owner had the same hue as the ppl who made the complaints, Tish James would not have been called on before attempting to talk face to face or over the phone. So had this happened there would be no need for any mediator, elected official or otherwise. Mediiators are only needed in neighborhood disputes in EXTREME cases, because ppl…atleast used to actually..ahem…TALK to each other. And this wasn’t what I would call an “ongoing” neighborhood dispute, it was complaints and false allegations made by a little more than a handful of ppl (only 3 of which thought it was important enough to attend) towards a longtime business owner in the hood. You’re a frequent reader of the neighborhood blogs MrDenizen, so surely you saw the talk of RIOTS, GUNSHOTS, BROKEN CAR WINDOWS, MAYHEM, etc. all attributed to Jelani Lounge.The 88th precinct as reported by Tish James says otherwise. So what do you think is worse hearing a little noise in a major urban center on the weekend or having an upstanding citizen’s business and livelihood be denigrated in a public forum? A citizen who’s also longtime contributer and resident in this neighborhood.

    Tish James shoudln’t have been involved this…I mean whats next? Will my parents neighbors call on Hakeem Jeffries when my ol’ Dad is pumping his James Brown at a high volume?! If she were more grassroots, she’d be helpiing the tenants at 400 & 420 clinton ave. Constituents are SUPPOSED to take their elected officials to task Mr.Denizen. My concerns or what I choose to question may not mirror yours HOWEVER, it is my right. You read ALL the neighborhood blogs, where ALL people do is complain about damn near EVERYTHING but come to mine to accuse I of having a chip on my shoulder?! Very selective Mr.Denizen, very selective indeed, as is what you chose to speak on in your comments. Nothing I said about Ms.James was harsh, they were FACTS.

    FACT: I’ve NEVER seen Ms.James at a neighborhood block party.
    FACT: I’ve NEVER seen Ms.James at any neighborhood basketball tournament.
    FACT: Ms.James did not show up at a local school to recieve an award in her honor
    FACT: Ms.James did not show at a fundraiser for a legendary local institution named after an american icon
    FACT: It was a pretty easy win for Ms.James running against Geoffrey Davis
    FACT: A lot of longtime residents feel as if Ms. James is “for the new residents”, rightfully so as Ms.James stated herself thats she’s more sensitive to newer residents needs.
    FACT: One CWNAN member stated his “untrust” of longtime residents. People he lives amongst and walk past every day.

    These are FACTS Mr.Denizen, I think allegations based in fallacy are harsh, FACTS are what they are, FACTS. The facts I stated may not be important to you but look up how ol’ Marty Markowitz used to get his grassroots grind on… we all see where that got him. You empathize w/ CWNAN but I wonder if I looked up your stance about the issue w/ Queen of All Saints and the flea market if I would find such empathy. I know I didn’t see much from everyone else. The facts I stated outweigh any imaginary chip you bring up. Your long-term neighbors of a darker hue may complain among each other but like alot of ppl all over the city they’ve dealt w/ worse…some noise on the weekend is a small thing in comparison, they know that. If it was more than that I’m sure their first course of action would not be to start a Google group or going to councilwoman.

  14. Putnamdenizen permalink
    December 14, 2008 4:50 pm

    As I said, nice blog, and a welcome point of view. The fact that I often find you over the top (as evidenced in your response to me), doesn’t make it any less interesting. Given the history of (false) allegations against Jelani Lounge, it sounds like it was helpful to have a mediator present. Many newcomers are not as familiar with the other possible mediators (clergy? Community Board? District Leader?) and thus turn to their elected officials. I don’t get your outrage about James’ involvement in this. I have taken many blog posts to task or called into question their basic assumptions. Or agreed whole heartedly. I suspect that you and I might agree on many of the class and race undercurrents inherent in demographic change in this neighborhood. It just amazes me how you managed to take what sounds like a fruitful (and long-overdue) sit-down between a business and its neighbors and turn it into something negative.

    As far as Queen of All Saints – I think that the flea market has put in porta potties, and a bike valet. In renting the space from Loughlin HS and now from the Masonic Temple they are helping long-time community institutions.

    Most of what I write and what you write are opinions or our personal interpretations of what we observe. I think that you ultimately have a goal of making sure this neighborhood continues to be a good place for you, your family and others to live. That you are suspicious that others (newly arrived white folk) may not be similarly inclined is not surprising. You will, of course, continue to speak the truth as you see it. And I will enjoy reading about it. I hope you realize that I respond not out of disrespect, but because I believe that the conversation is an interesting one, and one which I wish to be part of. Have a great rest of the weekend.

  15. December 14, 2008 9:06 pm

    SRSLY, I’m sure people are stumbling over themselves to make friends of long-time residents like bknesto.

    “I hate these dynamics! And I’ll do nothing but voice loud complaints and make shrill accusations to counter the perceived prejudice of others!”

  16. bknesto permalink
    December 14, 2008 9:55 pm

    You really are a piece of work Mr.Denizen. I hope you have better grasp of the FACTS w/ your work in the Bronx then you do here. The history of false allegations came from ONE side. Let me reiterate for you, had that same side made an attempt to reach out to the business, who happens to be their neighbor, there wouldn’t have been a need for a mediator. A mediator should only be needed between neighbors in EXTREME cases and this isn’t one of them. If you read the FACTS simple deductive reasoning will point to why ONE side felt the need to reach out for a mediator in this situation (hint: “untrust”). FACT is the same side said during the meeting that a mediator shouldn’t have been needed and that they should’ve reached out before taking it that far. Let me help you w/ something else:

    out·rage (o̵ut′rāj′)

    noun

    an extremely vicious or violent act
    a deep insult or offense
    great anger, indignation, etc. aroused by such an act or offense

    There hasn’t been expressed outrage for Ms.James anywhere, once again only FACTS. If you’re an advocate for Tish James thats fine, it doesn’t mean you can dismiss my FACTS or blog as over the top because you’re in a bubble, disconnected from the pulse of many in the neighborhood. As you know FACTS are not opinions or “personal interpretations of what we observe”. There’s nothing to interpret about a local elected official who’s job it is to represent ALL of the area, saying that they’re more sensitive to one portion of the areas needs when they should be EQUALLY sensitive. If you and ppl like you really cared about relations in the area that statement would bother you. As I’m sure if Ms.James said she was more sensitive to older residents needs ppl would be comparing her to Charles Barron.

    The flea market is not helping LONGTIME institutions, they’re simply utilizing their space and paying for that service to make money from their business. It is not some great deed, simply a location for their business venture. LONGTIME institutions were here before a flea market and will continue do so if the flea market was discontinued today. Another FACT. Good deeds are done from the kindness of ones heart not to line ones pockets. Once again you’re being very selective in regards to Queen of All Saints, the reaction to the parishioners making the complaints were harsh, indifferent, and dismissive to say the least. Many were mad that the parishioners even had a meeting about the issue without talking to the organizers FIRST. All of this is archived on the internet.

    Please feel free to cite over the top, suspicious of white ppl posts on clintonhillchill( there’s PLENTY on other nabe blogs/forums suspicious of old residents) or where I made this meeting out to be negative. Listen, I have to walk on egg shells on the blocks I’ve been walking on all my life because I don’t want to alarm or scare someone. I’ve had people think I was following them because I happened to be getting off on the same floor going to my parents house…The apartment I grew up in. I see ppl brace themselves or clutch their purse as they’re getting ready to walk past me. I get run up on by police while barbecueing in the park w/ my wife and kids during the summer. Don’t talk to me or accuse me of being suspicious of anyone ESPECIALLY based on race Mr.Denizen.

  17. bknesto permalink
    December 14, 2008 10:01 pm

    alec,
    Anyone that reads this blog who happened to meet me in person can attest to how welcoming I am to EVERYONE. It doesn’t mean I am a drone without an opinion or brain or that I won’t put FACTS out there as it relates to me and others in the neighborhood.

  18. Putnamdenizen permalink
    December 14, 2008 10:18 pm

    Best to you, man. I am not sure you read my last post, but I was trying to reach out and create some common ground. It is hard to be a human being in these times, and it behooves us all to look for the best in each other and give each other the benefit of the doubt. I am sorry that you feel so alienated in the neighborhood you grew up in. While I find it hard to jibe your assertion that you are welcoming to EVERYONE (what’s with the caps?) with your attitude toward my slightly different point of view, I am willing to chalk it up to internet miscommunication. Have a great holiday season. I thought this might be place to engage in a much more vital and interesting conversation than the tiresome real estate discussion they have over at Brownstoner, but I see that I was wrong. I hope you don’t mind if I pop in once in a while to rerad your points, even if I will now desist from sharing my tboughts, since I clearly, even on my best behavior, drive you crazy. Peace out.

  19. bknesto permalink
    December 14, 2008 11:58 pm

    Mr.Denizen I have no problem with a different point of view, I have a problem with ppl characterizing the difference as over the top or as having a chip on ones shoulder because of those said differences. That came from you kind sir. At the same time none of the posts on this blog are malicious in tone or divisive. Simply speaking on things does not make it divisive.

    Yes, Mr.Denizen EVERYONE who I’ve happened to meet that later found out I did this blog can attest that I am nothing but welcoming. Ask around we may know someone in common.
    And I can’t lie that brownstoner jab was a low blow for I’ve never accused businesses of being needed to be crackdown on by 88th precinct or called a group of ppl “dodgy” w/ no basis or…I can site examples all day. At times I do feel alienated in my neighborhood but as stated above I hope ppl can conquer whatever distrust and fears they have so it won’t have to be this way. My family and others in the hood are more than willing to be welcoming, it has to go both ways though. People have to stop acting like others don’t exist or confining themselves to a bubble if they’re seriously interested in a communal neighborhood. There is nothing divisive about me saying that. Mr.Denizen you’re free to read and comment on my blog anytime you want but if I feel the need to reply I will.. May you and your family have a happy holiday season.

  20. wasder permalink
    December 15, 2008 4:15 pm

    Well as someone who feels like he knows both of you (even if I don’t really in person) I do think this website is a great place for a more nuanced conversation about Clinton Hill’s social dynamics and you two are good people to be involved. I hope there is a chance for dialogue between you guys because you are both smart and sensitive.

    For me, I like the Flea Market and feel that they have done enough to assuage the feelings of the parishioners of QAS. However, I agree that to pretend that the needs of the Flea Market come before everyone else’s would be wrong. I do not believe that is the sentiment of Tish James or anyone else in city government but in as much as it is a prevailing attitude among some in the neighborhood I can see why bknesto is wary of it.

    Similarly with the BID, I am a big supporter in concept because I know something has to be done to improve Fulton Street. I don’t want to see long time businesses driven out but I do want to see all the empty storefronts filled and I think the BID will do that. Bknesto, I hope that as much as I try to think about the concerns of the already existing businesses, that you will do your best to think about the long term health of Fulton Street. I haven’t seen anyone of any race or class say that they think Fulton Street is doing well so there should be plenty of common ground to be found on that issue.

  21. JELANI LOUNGE permalink
    December 15, 2008 6:13 pm

    Putnamdenizen…. YES JELANI LOUNGE HAS DONATED FOOD TO A FOOD PANTRY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD AND I ALSO ASKED WAS THERE A FAMILY IN NEED OF HELP FOR THE HOLIDAYS. SO THERES YOUR ANSWER . I GIVE BACK ALL THE TIME AND I DID THIS BEFORE BLOGS WERE INVENTED ASK AROUND THEY WILL TELL YOU. SOME PEOPLE MIGHT KNOW ME BY GUY OR GUYTINA!!!!

  22. Test permalink
    December 15, 2008 6:22 pm

    Has Mr. Brownstoner donated anything to any food pantry, has he took the time to see if any family was a little short on gifts !!! (he could of found somthing at his flea market)

  23. wasder permalink
    December 15, 2008 6:56 pm

    Test, go to brownstoner.com and ask him. He will probably answer you.

  24. January 5, 2009 1:03 am

    Wow. Putnam Denizen does it once again. Sad. Denizen, You are the only one I have seen bring up race or color in this entire discussion (“of a darker hue”). You clearly don’t get it and are never going to get it. You need to work on overcoming your massive guilt and fear that is apparent to everyone but you. You think you are so “liberal” and “open minded” and “embracing of all hues” but it seems you need to dig much deeper. Happy 2009 to you.

  25. jelanineighbor permalink
    February 22, 2009 4:23 pm

    I’m curious what the “prospective resolution” that “was reached in a concise manner” was. Can you summarize? No entryway to muffle the sound has yet been built and it’s nearing the end of February. If it is built, I hope it is more substantial than the one on Kush — ie, built from glass with real doors and enough space so that the club door can be closed before the next one to the sidewalk is opened so that sound is truly damped down.

    I wish I had known that this meeting was taking place. I certainly would have gone — and not because of the color of my skin. But because either one or two weekend nights every weekend I have to sleep on my couch rather than in my bed because my living room doesn’t face the club while my bedroom does.

    When I first moved into this neighborhood it was quiet. Jelani either opened or started getting popular a few months later. I recognize that the street is zoned for commercial use and shame on me for assuming that it might not become the problem it is. Maybe the best solution was to go talk to the club owner at the beginning. But frankly, this being New York City, I didn’t expect much to come of it given my assumption that he was a business owner who would only benefit from the club’s popularity. After all I was just one resident who couldn’t sleep. Perhaps that was short-sighted on my part.

    So I did what I felt was the only recourse: I called 311, often every weekend. (I am shocked that there is no file at the 88th precinct on noise complaints about Jelani. It suggests an utter breakdown in city services. I had assumed, after I received a letter last year from the Department of Environmental Protection telling me they were coming to test the sound, that there must be a record of complaints. But I can assure you that after I read this blog this weekend, I called both the precinct and 311 at 2:45 am on Friday night into Saturday because of how loud the music at the club was.)

    For me it’s an issue of quality of life. I lived here before the club started playing music til 4 am every weekend night (and sometimes during the week). I think it’s unfortunate that my life has to be made worse because someone is following their dream of having a successful business. Believe me — there are times when I feel like there’s nothing I can do – I feel totally powerless – and so I simply suffer through it. When I use what I had until now assumed were working city services to try to deal with the problem, it was in search of making the community better. After all, I figure i can’t be alone. It has had nothing to do with whether I am a new-comer or white. It’s true that I’m white, but I moved to this neighborhood because I have no desire to live in an all-white neighborhood filled to the brim with hipsters. And I’ve frankly been surprised by how much the discussion about the club’s noise revolves around race.

    I’d invite those of you in the community who believe that this has to do with my race or my newness in Clinton Hill to spend a month of weekend nights in my apartment and then give me some constructive advice about what can be done.

    Again, I ask: can you summarize the constructive resolution? And if it seems like there’s now the chance for open dialogue with the club owner, I will take advantage of it. It might have been short-sighted on my part not to do so til now, but the club’s noise had made me think from the beginning that Jelani’s owners had no concern for their impact on me and the rest of the community.

    I love this neighborhood. I just don’t love not being able to sleep night after night. It’s no more complicated than that.

  26. bknesto permalink
    February 23, 2009 11:19 pm

    Hey, how do you deal with hearing the bus ALL day and night?! Plus cars and subway?! This is NYC, if you want to hear crickets at night or you moved to you apt. for peace and quiet like the other lady I feel bad for you…BUT this is the city and we all make sacrifices to live here. If the club was breaking the noise ordinance it get fined, it isn’t obviously. Remember ALL businesses, bars/lounges clubs(even the ones you frequent) have neighbors that live in the
    confines of these places, they have to deal with it or move.

  27. March 2, 2009 5:59 pm

    It’s funny but I think most people who are enraged by the noise of city life are angry because they’ve been priced out of a dream neighborhoods.

    It’s a major compromise to live in a bustling urban area and yes sometimes you may lose sleep due to noise, neighbors and other urban realities.

    This is the tradeoff for not being able to afford the dream house/loft/brownstone in that perfect residential focused enclave.

    New Yorkers of every socioeconomic class have adjusted — why shouldn’t these people?

  28. jelanineighbor permalink
    March 9, 2009 1:05 am

    Where some people seem to see socio-economic motivations in the complaints about Jelani Lounge for others it’s much simpler. It’s just noise. I have no problems with the bus or the subway or cars, although I’m not that fond of car alarms that go off for hours and which have certainly caused me to lose sleep at times. Those are normal city sounds.

    But with Jelani the situation is entirely different. in fact, it’s chronic. The lounge quite often has music blasting loudly until 4 am on both Friday and Saturday nights. It is also sometimes open on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays and those nights the music has been known to play until well past midnight.

    I call the precinct and 311 precisely because I think the lounge is breaking the noise ordinance and I’d like for the city to investigate. I am not aware that they have been found to not be breaking it. If that’s the case then I agree that I will have to move.

    Also, bknesto, could you provide more information on the “prospective resolution” that was reached — do you know if it was the addition of the entrance way that you mentioned in the original post? Anything else? Also, was there any agreement on when it would be put up?

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