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

December 10, 2008




    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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