Monday, October 17, 2016

At Islanders' home opener, a commandeered "public" plaza, illegal parking, and a confrontation with security

Yesterday's New York Islanders home opener, according to the team, had a lot going on:
Fans are encouraged to arrive early for a pre-game fan fest on Barclays Center's Resorts World Casino NYC Plaza and for an exciting in-game opening presentation.
The festivities begin at 3:30 p.m. on the plaza, with music from band The Zoo and DJ Razor, as well as interactive games, appearances by Islanders legends and Sparky the Dragon.
...Guests will notice an Islanders brand takeover at Barclays Center, starting with the newly renamed team store, the Swag Shop at Barclays Center, which will feature the Islanders year-round.
So yes, the Resorts World Casino NYC Plaza, as I have written, is often less public open space than an arena safety valve.  (The game was reportedly a sellout, though tickets distributed never equals gate count.)

As noted in photos below, there was rampant illegal or unpermitted parking, with vehicles in traffic lanes, no-standing zones, or behind the MPT (maintenance and protection of traffic) fence.

As I describe below, Barclays Center security officers were rather zealously trying to prevent photography being taken from a public sidewalk/street.

At the plaza

A DJ and a stage for the band
Islanders merch!
A chance to take some slap shots
A "rink" for the kiddies
Parking on Atlantic Avenue
Inside the construction fence for the MPT: VIP Parking

Inside the construction fence for the MPT: VIP Parking
Parking on Dean Street

As I walked on the sidewalk outside the arena loading dock on Dean Street, I took out my phone to take a picture.

The security guard in the red jacket (pictured below) rather aggressively told me I couldn't take pictures of "my loading dock." I told him it was legal to take pictures from public property and invited him to check with the cops.

The guard told me I couldn't take pictures from the sidewalk. I moved a few steps to the street. That didn't change his posture, as he made unspecified threats.

(I didn't want pictures of the open elevators but rather wanted to show the SUV with taxi plates that was parking on the "pad," in the center below, encroaching on the public sidewalk. According to the Design Guidelines, the minimum sidewalk width is either 18' or 13'4"; the available sidewalk seemed smaller.)

To deescalate, I moved across to the south side of Dean Street. Then, in unbidden synchrony, Dean Street activist Peter Krashes, in the blue jacket below, was walking home on the same sidewalk. He took out his phone to take pictures. A similar discussion ensued.

The female security official in the black jacket approached. I crossed the street to join the conversation. The guards got on walkie-talkies to talk to superiors. Finally, they concluded we were "community" people and not scoping out a potential sabotage attack, cordially de-escalated, and said it was OK to take pictures.

Arena parking encroaches on public sidewalk

Below, a truck and a (team?) bus parked on Dean Street outside the arena, protected by construction fencing.

On Dean Street outside the arena

Below, illegal parking with some get-out-of-enforcement cards.

Car blocks hydrant on Carlton Ave. between Bergen & Dean Sts. Dashboard had Detectives Endowment Association card.


Cars block bus stop at Dean Street and Carlton Avenue. No ID on the
dashboard of the first car, but the second had a permit from
the NYPD's 104th precinct, which is in Ridgewood, Queens.
The new Cielo Garage at 670 Pacific; a place to pay for parking
Improving the atmosphere (update)

Newsday reported on how the Barclays Center has tried to improve the experience for fans and team:

There’s more Islanders imagery and branding. There’s more merchandise in the team store. More LIRR trains were added for the postgame commute.
There’s also now a VIP room for the players’ wives and a suite for them during games.
Then there’s the ice, which drew bad reviews last regular season.
“We’ve brought on board an ice technician to really manage the ice,” Yormark said. “I think we’re getting really good marks from the players.”
Around the arena

Yes, the Nets Shop is now the Swag Shop
The side facade of the B3 tower. No windows in part of the health care facility?

No comments:

Post a Comment