You'll recall that Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz is pushing hard to build a big $64 million amphitheater in the nine acre Asser Levy Park, so that Lionel Richie and Neil Diamond can bring their smooth sounds to the people of Coney Island and beyond. You'll also recall that many of the locals despise Marty's plan, because they see the little park as their own quiet oasis. The battle over the proposal is now boiling over, but at least nobody's getting hyperbolic or anything.
"His dream is our nightmare," thundered Al Turk, president of Temple Beth Abraham, opposite the park, in an interview with the Times. "They’re destroying a park to turn it over to a concrete amphitheater. This thing is right on top of us." Locals fear all these easy listening fans are going to cause traffic gridlock, disrupt services at two synagogues, and cost them trees and serenity. The plan would also force the relocation of the playground closer to traffic and car fumes, critics say, and they're going to insist that concerts aren't be scheduled on Friday nights and Saturdays, because city law bans amplified sound within 500 feet of a place of worship during religious services.
But you know Marty—once he gets an idea in his head, there's no stopping him. His office would put in the bulk of the money for the new park, and he tells the Times the neighbors need to broaden their minds: "They don’t want anything that attracts anyone who doesn’t live a block away. I’m not going to allow folks who have such narrow vision to stop the future." Besides, once these NIMBYs get a taste of Lionel Richie live, they'll be dancing on the ceiling all night long.