Skip to main content

The Barclays Center as giant neighborhood sub-woofer: the rumble from Jay-Z concert continues, but 311 proves highly ineffective

Over the past several nights, during certain songs, the bass rumbles out from the Jay-Z concerts at the Barclays Center such that you can feel it on the streets and even inside apartments on adjacent blocks. The arena thus serves as a giant neighborhood sub-woofer, or a low-level volcano.

Everybody knows. The arena staffers working outside, the cops on the beat, the security guys at the nearby parking garage--they all, with a knowing wink, can identify the concert leakage.

So too do neighbors posting incident reports on Atlantic Yards Watch and contacting 311, which, as the screenshots below show, proves highly ineffective.

Operators apparently convey reports to the police who dutifully examine what is classified as "Loud Music/Party" or even "Loud Talking" (!) and, when the concert is over, determine "No evidence of the violation... police action not necessary." (Note the comment below that explains that the police don't have the equipment to address the issue.)

I spent some time yesterday in an apartment on Dean Street west of the arena, while others reported back east of the arena. The rumble is impossible to capture with my basic video recorder--more sophisticated sound equipment is necessary--but it was palpable.

Official query

I contacted representatives of Forest City Ratner and the arena operator. No answer. Ditto for the mayor's press office and Lolita Jackson, the official in charge of the "Day Two" Task Force, which is supposed to monitor arena impacts.

I did get a response from Empire State Development (ESD) the state agency overseeing Atlantic Yards, and the nominal arena owner. "The [city] DEP [Department of Environmental Protection] is involved and aware of this concern," responded Cassie Harvey, ESD Director of Public Affairs. "We will continue to monitor this issue and get back to you as more information becomes available." (The DEP should have the equipment to measure the impact.)

However, Jay-Z's final concerts are tonight and tomorrow. I'd bet nothing changes. After all, who has the power to tell Jay-Z to turn down the bass?

What next?

Turns out Jay-Z will be live-streaming his final concert, tomorrow night, on his YouTube channel. Some in the neighborhood, apparently, will be able to view it in a local version of Sensurround.

Other upcoming concerts won't necessarily pose the same volume profile, but I suspect that the Sensation electronica event Oct. 26-27 and the Nov. 2 Caribbean Fever will be bass-heavy--though the latter will be in the "Cushman & Wakefield Theater" version of the arena and thus have a smaller audience.

Also, the penetration of bass has to be a question for the designers and future residents of the buildings adjacent to the arena.

Incident reports

No 311 report associated with this one

The concert was over by then.


  1. The police do not have the equipment needed to measure in octave bands - only DEP or a private expert can take the kinds of measurements provided for under the law for commercial music.

    By the way, isn't Barclays Center nominally owned by NYC? If so, the responsible party is the landlord.

    G Locker

  2. Anonymous11:55 AM

    no its n0t owned by the city. Its nominally owned by NY State.

    1. Both NYS and its Ratner leasee are obligated to abate the unlawful sound levels, Ratner by turning down the volume and/or by sound-insulating, NYS by demanding that its Ratner leasee cease creating a neighborhood nuisance.


  3. Anonymous1:02 PM

    Why would you expect them to start caring about the neighborhood now?

    Anyway, on the plus side, Jay Z is probably the loudest, bassiest act we'll see here for a while.

  4. Anonymous3:29 PM

    Is the sound being conveyed more thru the ground than thru the air as the arena is partially below ground level?

    1. That's certainly reasonable speculation. I've heard it from a couple of people.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Barclays Center/Levy Restaurants hit with suit charging discrimination on disability, race; supervisors said to use vicious slurs, pursue retaliation

The Daily News has an article today, Barclays Center hit with $5M suit claiming discrimination against disabled, while the New York Post headlined its article Barclays Center sued over taunting disabled employees.

While that's part of the lawsuit, more prominent are claims of racial discrimination and retaliation, with black employees claiming repeated abuse by white supervisors, preferential treatment toward Hispanic colleagues, and retaliation in response to complaints.

Two individual supervisors, for example, are charged with  referring to black employees as “black motherfucker,” “dumb black bitch,” “black monkey,” “piece of shit” and “nigger.”

Two have referred to an employee blind in one eye as “cyclops,” and “the one-eyed guy,” and an employee with a nose disorder as “the nose guy.”

There's been no official response yet though arena spokesman Barry Baum told the Daily News they, but take “allegations of this kind very seriously” and have "a zero tolerance policy for…

Behind the "empty railyards": 40 years of ATURA, Baruch's plan, and the city's diffidence

To supporters of Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards project, it's a long-awaited plan for long-overlooked land. "The Atlantic Yards area has been available for any developer in America for over 100 years,” declared Borough President Marty Markowitz at a 5/26/05 City Council hearing.

Charles Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, mused on 11/15/05 to WNYC's Brian Lehrer, “Isn’t it interesting that these railyards have sat for decades and decades and decades, and no one has done a thing about them.” Forest City Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco, in a 12/19/04 New York Times article ("In a War of Words, One Has the Power to Wound") described the railyards as "an empty scar dividing the community."

But why exactly has the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Vanderbilt Yard never been developed? Do public officials have some responsibility?

At a hearing yesterday of the Brooklyn Borough Board Atlantic Yards Committee, Kate Suisma…

No, security guards can't ban photos. Questions remain about visibility of ID/sticker system.

The bi-monthly Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Community Update meeting June 14, held at 55 Hanson Place, addressed multiple issues, including delays in the project, a new detente with project neighbors,concerns about traffic congestion, upcoming sewer work and demolitions, and an explanation of how high winds caused debris to fly off the under-construction 38 Sixth Avenue building. I'll have more coverage.
Security issues came up several times at the meeting.
Wayne Bailey, a resident who regularly takes photos and videos (that I often use) of construction/operations issues that impact residents, asked representatives of Tishman Construction if the security guard at the sites they're building works for them.
After Tishman Senior VP Eric Reid said yes, Bailey asked why a guard told him not to shoot video of the site, even though he was on a public street.

"I will address it with principals for that security firm," Reid said.
Forest City Ratner executive Ashley Cotton, the …

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what might be coming (post-dated pinned post)

This graphic, posted in November 2017, is post-dated to stay at the top of the blog. It will be updated as announced configurations change and buildings launch. Note the unbuilt B1 and the proposed shift in bulk to the unbuilt Site 5.

The August 2014 tentative configurations proposed by developer Greenland Forest City Partners will change. The project is already well behind that tentative timetable.

How many people are expected?

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park has a projected 6,430 apartments housing 2.1 persons per unit (as per Chapter 4 of the 2006 Final Environmental Impact Statement), which would mean 13,503 new residents, with 1,890 among them in low-income affordable rentals, and 2,835 in moderate- and middle-income affordable rentals.

That leaves 8,778 people in market-rate rentals and condos, though let's call it 8,358 after subtracting 420 who may live in 200 promised below-market condos. So that's 5,145 in below-market units, though many of them won't be so cheap.


Barclays Center event June 11 to protest plans to expand Israeli draft; questions about logistics

At right is a photo of a poster spotted in Hasidic Williamsburg right. Clearly there's an event scheduled at the Barclays Center aimed at the Haredi Jewish community (strict Orthodox Jews who reject secular culture), but the lack of English text makes it cryptic.

The website explains, Protest Against Israeli Draft of Bnei Yeshiva Rescheduled for Barclays Center:
A large asifa to protest the drafting of bnei yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel into the Israeli army that had been set to take place this month will instead be held on Sunday, 17 Sivan/June 11, at the Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn, NY. So attendees at a big gathering will protest an apparent change of policy that will make it much more difficult for traditional Orthodox Jewish students--both Hasidic (who follow a rebbe) and non-Hasidic (who don't)--to get deferments from the draft. Comments on the Yeshiva World website explain some of the debate.

The logistical questions

What's unclear is how large the ev…

The passing of David Sheets, Dean Street renter, former Freddy's bartender, eminent domain plaintiff, and singular personality

David Sheets, longtime Dean Street renter, Freddy's bartender, eminent domain plaintiff, and singular personality, died 1/17/18 in HCA Greenview Hospital in Bowling Green, KY. He was 56.

There are obituary notices in the Bowling Green Daily News and the Wichita Eagle, which state:
He was born in Wichita, KS where he attended public Schools and Wichita State University. He lived for many years in Brooklyn, NY, and was employed as a legal assistant. David's hobby was cartography and had an avid interest in Mass Transit Systems of the world. David was predeceased by his father, Kenneth E. Sheets. He is survived by his mother, Wilma Smith, step-brother, Billy Ray Smith and his wife, Jane all of Bowling Green; step-sister, Ellen Smith Alexander and her husband, Jerry of Bella Vista, AR; several cousins and step-nieces and step-nephews also survive. Memorial Services will be on Monday, January 22, 2018 at 1:00 pm with visitation from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm Monday at Johnson-Vaughn-Phe…

Atlanta's Atlantic Yards moves ahead

First mentioned in April, the Atlantic Yards project in Atlanta is moving ahead--and has the potential to nudge Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn further down in Google searches.

According to a 5/30/17 press release, Hines and Invesco Real Estate Announce T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards:
Hines, the international real estate firm, and Invesco Real Estate, a global real estate investment manager, today announced a joint venture on behalf of one of Invesco Real Estate’s institutional clients to develop two progressive office projects in Atlanta totalling 700,000 square feet. T3 West Midtown will be a 200,000-square-foot heavy timber office development and Atlantic Yards will consist of 500,000 square feet of progressive office space in two buildings. Both projects are located on sites within Atlantic Station in the flourishing Midtown submarket.
Hines will work with Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture (HPA) as the design architect for both T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards. DLR Group will be t…