With Little LES Outreach, Night Mayor Holds Another Meet and Greet Tomorrow Night [Updated]
Newly appointed Night Mayor, Ariel Palitz, is headed home. The so-called victory lap – aka the “Office of Nightlife Listening Tour” – takes another lap tomorrow night.
It is the fifth and final such gathering around the Five Boroughs in the last couple months, and as before, was barely publicized. Indeed, there has been virtually zero outreach to the Lower East Side about the event – held at Town Hall in Times Square – not even from Community Board 3 nor District Manager Susan Stetzer, who was appointed to the Nightlife Advisory Board by Mayor de Blasio back in July.
When confronted about the lack of announcements regarding the tour, a spokesperson stressed that “the Office of Nightlife has conducted extensive outreach to publicize the five-borough listening tour. Every Community Board in Manhattan was notified by email and follow up phone call, as was every Council Member and the Borough President.”
We can likely expect the same at this meeting. The veritable alphabet soup of “elected officials and city agencies” will be in attendance to explain the purported benefits of the nascent office. NYPD, FDNY, the New York State Liquor Authority, 311 and the Department of Buildings will likely rejoin the conversation.
However, many disenfranchised residents in the district allege that said lack of publicizing is a concerted tactic to quash the voices of opposition to the the Office of Nightlife, as well as the proliferation of nightlife on the Lower East Side (and around the city). This narrative suggests that this department exists strictly to promote the industry at the expense of residents.
It’s also worth a reminder that the Lower East Side has some of the highest noise complaints, public safety and quality of life issues related to nightlife and liquor license saturation across the city.
The appointment of former Sutra owner Ariel Palitz to “Night Mayor” last March caused concern given her prior stance that, for club operators, the neighborhood was ripe for the picking. She now acts as liaison between the nightlife industry, the city, and its residents. Her support roster includes a 14-member advisory board of DJs, advocates, Kurtis Blow, Susan Stetzer, and others.
Palitz will also announce a “one-stop-shop” website for nightlife information, such as NYPD best practices, liquor license protocol, and how venues are brought up to code.
The event starts at 5:30pm tomorrow night, 123 West 43rd Street (between 5th and 6th).