Occupied: Fashion Week takes over public park


New York Fashion week has trekked its heels through Bryant Park and is now sashaying its way down to the Lincoln Center, leaving neighborhood residents to complain about excessive noise and restricted access to a public park.

“The public looks at tents for most of the year now,” Geoffrey Croft, the founder and president of NYC Park Advocates, said Tuesday. Under a 10-month permit, the city Parks Department has allowed Fashion Week to fashionably occupy the complete 2.4 acre Damrosch Park on West 62nd Street behind Lincoln Center.

“Obviously the law says you can’t use parks for non-park purposes,” Croft said.

According to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the event is a gold mine for the city’s economy. But local residents feel they haven’t been invited to the party.

From mid-August through June, the public is restricted from entering the park. Residents complain about the lack of parking, the noise of 24-hour generators that are used to power the tents, and the loud sounds of blaring construction hired to situate them.

“It’s dreadful for the people living remotely near here,” said Andreas Damien, a 21-year old resident. “My parents stay on 61st and I still don’t understand how they take 24 hours of obnoxious noise.”

According to the Parks Department, the semi-annual Fashion Week will generate an economic impact of $865 million.

Although the idea of another Fashion Week has residents riled up, on the other hand, designers, photographers, and high-class consumers favor it. Fashion Week includes a suite of initiatives such as a new mini-MBA program developed to ensure that New York City remains a capital of the fashion industry.

But park lovers still aren’t applauding.

“I love Fashion Week, but sometimes it is a bit much,” said Stephanie Herzog, 25, of 58th Street. “I would like the option to at least be able to use the park and hey, maybe not be blocked by a police brigade and barriers.”

On Tuesday, a group of residents from the neighborhood air jordan 3 gathered at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park to protest of what they said is an unfair and unlawful use of the park. t They voiced complaints about the park being used illegally for private and commercial events like the Big Apple Circus and Fashion Week.

“It’s not just the residents, it’s city property too,” said Croft. “The city should be ashamed of themselves for allowing them to have it; it’s a public park.”

On Monday, Croft sent a cease-and-desist letter to the city, but has yet to hear anything back.

“The park itself is altered, because they cut down the trees. There’s tremendous noise from generators, and it’s a nightmare for the people that live in that community,” said Croft. “It seems to be the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

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