what to do about VERY loud music from neighbors' regualr outdoor party? - Brooklynian

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what to do about VERY loud music from neighbors' regualr outdoor party?

 They blast their powerful speakers outdoors into the backyard and it penetrates my house 6 doors away with the windows closed.  Has anyone else felt this way about the parties on Sterling place between Nostrand and New York Ave?  It is not that I resent not being invited. I just need the sleep.


  • Try calling the 77th directly at 718-735-0611
  • I'm on St Johns but facing into the block so I get the noise too. Yesterday was especially bad. Seems like 311 is generally useless & 911 off limits, so I appreciate the direct number! Also, I feel more motivated to call if someone else is too — maybe volume of calls wld encourage police to do something.
  • Police show up based on number of calls.  The first time they come with a warning.  If the music stops suddenly you can assume that's what happened.  If the music/noise starts up again, make sure you file another complaint.  This is when the police will start handing out tickets instead of just telling them to turn it down.

    I have never had any luck with calling the precinct directly.  They just refer you back to 311 and don't appreciate the call.
  • edited July 2014
    Does anyone know the exact address? is it 889?  It feels like a Rave party with speakers meant for an arena.
  • It does sound like arena speakers. At 830 on a Monday evening. Sigh. Calling 311 now & hoping the persistence/volume approach works.
  • Question for the mods... What happened to the previous comment in this thread that was of a different opinion from the rest? I believe it would have been on the 20th.
  • edited July 2014
    It was removed because it violated several rules of the site. We had no problem with the poster's opinion, but did have problems with how the opinion was expressed.
  • Thanks for the help calling this in when ever you feel it is just too loud. It is especially louder than previous years.
  • The gist of the deleted post was that the party in question has been long standing and that those people who want a quiet, pristine neighborhood should pack up their silkscreen band t-shirts and move to a different neighborhood. 
  • edited July 2014
    The poster must have been a Native American. They were here first.
  • I guess they are feeling the change and making their last stand.  Crime and general lawlessness has been long standing in this neighborhood, but now change is coming and long time neighbors and newcomers will get to rest easy after a period of unrest. Keep up the good fight.
  • If they are renters, their lease could be expiring at the end of July and they could be burning their bridges.
  • Well, I am not new here, or is 12 years not long standing? This Brooklynian is the first time I feel there is a community that has a chance to speak without getting flack for it.
  • Apparently according to some if you like things such as sleep and pictures not falling off your wall you don't belong in Brooklyn.
  • edited July 2014
    You don't have to go that far back to remember when Park Slope or Prospect Heights had different noise than it does now.

  • IF you're here 12yrs, as you claim, you would've been well aware that this neighborhood (and, in this particular case, THIS backyard party) has been here WAY before you!

    Why would you move into the hood, which is predominantly of Caribbean roots, with it's culture and lifestyle that might NOT fit your cookie-cutter expectations of this "now-oh-sO-hipTV-Brooklyn"!?!?
    Crown Heights does NOT equal W'burg!!..
    although ppl like you obviously can't wait to see it's roots uplifted so they can white-wash it and spread like cancer!..

    Feels empowering to gather the trolls (clearly plenty!) on this WHINE & cheeese blog for your ignorant agenda?!?
    Complaining about e v e r y t h I n g from "ethnic" shops to the parade!
    Your first statement sums it up nicely: "I call in complaints ALL THE TIME!"..

  • pathetic to want unlawful behavior to stop? Really?
  • edited July 2014
    I doubt many Brooklynian readers can afford Williamsburg.     Prices are even higher there:
  • This may be as good a time as any to remind you gentle readers of
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    Here is a snippet:

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  • I would like to remind EZ up that there was culture here before the West Indians moved in, and that change does not stop just because you want it too.  Everyone has roots and a right to enjoy themselves as long as it doesn't infringe on their neighbors rights to enjoy themselves. You seem to think that only your rights and preferences matter. I shouldn't have to ask my neighbors to turn down their noise so I can enjoy a nap or be able to listen to my own music.  AND I didnt buy a building here because of the Caribbean "flavor".  I bought because location to transportation to the city and quality of housing stock and depressed real estate prices made this a good choice.   
  • Migration and Adaptation
  • edited July 2014
    I would like to remind EZ up that there was culture here before the West Indians moved in, and that change does not stop just because you want it too.  Everyone has roots and a right to enjoy themselves as long as it doesn't infringe on their neighbors rights to enjoy themselves. You seem to think that only your rights and preferences matter.
    This.  It's like subway dancers "show time!"  I think those kids are crazy talented - but don't force me to listen/watch if that's not what I want to do now.  If I want to see dancers, I'll go to a dance performance - or at least do it outside where I can choose to walk away.  A captured audience - but them on a subway train or in their own apartment - isn't a polite thing.

    I've only lived in West Indian areas and until recently only worked in West Indian areas as well.  I love the food, I have many friends/coworkers whom I adore from the Caribbean, and enjoy the parade and the music.  I don't enjoy music late into the night when I want to sleep - and what the poster above doesn't seem to realize is, I know many Caribbeans who don't either.  My neighbors call 311 as often as I do for noise and they've been here for decades.  A few who don't respect other people's jobs/schedules/preferences do not speak for an entire group of people.   
  • Thank for that xizellx ; I lives in PLG, rather that CH (it'll be 40 years this fall) and I know my West Indian neighbors would NEVER put up with the kind of behavior the OP complains about.
  • I grew up on Prospect Park West in the 70s-80s when believe it or not the parkside was considered undesirable & dangerous -- mostly because the park at the time was dirty, unmaintained & a lot of people hung out, drank & slept there in the summer. Every now & then things got loud, either music (boomboxes of the day) or a fight, and my dad wld call the cops. They came by & usually just chatted w whoever it was & everything was fine. It wasn't a violent confrontation or a judgement on anyone. Just a parent who worked at home, often nights, and kids who needed to get some sleep.

    What frustrates me more than the noise (& owners of over-powered stereos come from all cultural backgrounds) ) is feeling powerless to get any help about it. It's not a big deal. It's not solving a crime. It wld only take a few words to help me & everyone on the block. But 911 operators or police precincts are rude on the phone that I'm wasting their time, and 311 is nothing more than a sop. The person on the other end politely & sympathetically tells me my problem is not a priority & the cops will get to it when they get to it, no guarantees. Nothing happened when I called the other night: nothing's happened other times I called. My only escape is to close my windows on a beautiful breezy summer evening & put in earplugs under my headphones.

    The "broken window" in modern policing - what a waste. A little graffiti on a building wall or never hurt anyone, but this is a real quality of life issue for which official channels have been effectively closed. My peace of mind, my privacy in my own home, and a good night's sleep are all at the mercy of someone thoughtless.
  • edited July 2014
    I've actually had a much better response simply going up to people and asking them to turn their music down rather than calling 311. Not with house parties, but at least with the "parked car - music blaring" scenario, people seem to just be oblivious that they are disturbing someone else.

    However, I don't think that the "there was culture here before West Indians moved here" argument is going to resonate much with the long term residents. My SO's grandfather was the first black to buy on his block of Union Street in the 1940's. Within a year six other families had sold their houses and moved out specifically because they didn't want to live near blacks. The culture that was here RAN, when black homeowners started showing up which is exactly NOT what is happening now. You can't compare the two and suggest that current residents are being hyper-sensitive. I say this even as I agree with @BobMarvin and @xlizellx that what is being argued over isn't in any way a cultural norm of West Indians generally.
  • edited July 2014
    In terms of parties, I have found it helpful to meet with neighbors the day afterward. While this requires that I endure the noise for the night, it allows me the comfort of:

    - meeting the person who I am reasonably sure is the leaseholder/owner

    -meeting said person when s/he is more sober

    -meeting said person when s/he is not with friends they may want to show off in front of.

    The approach fits with my perspective that loud parties are great for special occasions, but such occasions don't happen every weekend.
  • This is not a special occasion but seems like the noisemakers think of it as a regular event. It's been Friday, Saturday, starting in the afternoon & going till 4 or 5AM, & now tonight so loud I can hear bass in my ribcage & lyrics thru closed windows from across the block. Now I know what it's like to live by the Barclays Center!

    Did notify 311 at 7:30PM when I got home from work & the email response said "could not gain access". Which probably means it's so dern loud that the residents cant hear the desultory knocking of an unmotivated cop...
  • You might also try contacting your Community Board. They can get the attention of the local precinct. If it's something where they are selling tickets, try the Dept of Buildings to see if they are exceeding max occupancy. If they are selling tickets or food, other city agencies might prove useful (dept of consumer affairs, for ex).
  • I say this with the assumption that they are hosting these as events, not private parties. That's what it sounds like.
  • If they are charging a cover for the events and alcohol is being served "free", they can get in trouble with the State Liquor Authority, which can argue that they are implicitly charging for the drinks.

    If they are actually charging for the drinks, the job of the SLA is easy.

  • Incorrect. The SLA only gets involved if they are applying for a license or misusing one they already have. If you call the SLA to report the scenarios you mention above, they will tell you to call your local precinct.

    Posting this to save people time, so they can avoid the runaround I experienced :)
  • edited August 2014
    I'll take your word.

    I'd always been under the assumption that the SLA would work with the police to shut down places that were selling drinks (yet had no liquor license).

  • You'd think, right!?
  • Can anyone open a music venue and blast music in a residential block? Will the local elected represenatitive be helpful.  I Really feel for the neighbors.  Is this becoming a building code violation too?
  • If the pct isn't being responsive, try these folks:

    "CEU attorneys regularly participate in field enforcement operations, including the execution of closing orders under the nuisance abatement law and participation in multi-agency enforcement operations to target crimes and safety conditions associated with businesses engaged in the sale of alcoholic beverages (whether licensed or unlicensed)."

  • I've never heard of a "boom box" car getting seized in NYC.
  • Prior today, I had never even seen the term "boom box car".

    ....If I had one, I'd outfit it with LED lights under the chassis.
  • boom box cars have the huge speakers under the trunk. Open all the doors and trunk...voila, a boom box.
  • I believe one can also mount the speaker on the roof.

    As seen in the movie Blues Brothers:

  • for sale: Boom Box Victorian on Sterling guaranteed to devalue restful nights and neighboring properties.
  • Is there a formal (or informal) block association?

    ...is it time to form one?
  • I live on this block too. It has been insanely loud this afternoon.
  • wannabe music promoters reading this blog too would not likely respond to a block association forming.  The world is their stage.
  • edited August 2014
    One does not need to reach consensus.

    The block association could cause the pct to respond, which could be able to communicated effectively with the DJ.
  • edited August 2014
    If you desire, sing this song by NKOTB as you go about the task:

  • 311 works
  • 311 works
    Umm no it really doesn't. Unless by works you mean 6 to seven hours they dispatch a cop who arrives after the party ends and then closes the ticket.

  • Welcome to a new summer and the open bar. Tickets selling fast. You have to get up early you say? Oh, you must Be in the wrong place, this is never never land.
  • FYI for all who live on this block - the usual offender is 848 Park Pl. This is an HDFC, 8 unit coop that seems to have some kind of party space on the basement level that opens to their small backyard. They've been having these kind of parties since we moved in - summer 2006. Usually they wind down around midnight but they were still jamming at 1:30 when I went to bed last night. 
  • Bergen between Kingston & Albany has these parties all summer long. The best way to draw attention the issue is with MULTIPLE 311 complaints. NYPD brass is all about stats, and numerous complaints from one person does you no good. Rally your neighbors -- text them when the noise begins and get them to help by filing complaints. Also, reach out to the Community Affairs Officers at your precint. They will respond.
  • edited April 26
    This was why I ended up moving to north sunset park/boro park. Over the years of living in east Crown Heights and Sunset Park , Ive grown tired of the endless block parties, wall shaking double bass stereos, and late weekday night stoop gatherers.

    311 never worked. I also implored many of my neighbors to complain. Most were scared of retaliation, or did not care.
    Calling your local precinct may result in either being ignored or blacklisted as a chronic complainer, especially if you cannot get others to join in with your complaints.
    Community boards have very few options, aside from urging police to step up enforcement. However, don't be surprised , if some of the community board members are either families/friends of the noisemakers. Some of the offenders may be very entrenched, well known and liked in their community.
    I know during my struggle, I did not get a lot of support from neighbors, the precinct, or the community board, which was too busy handling worse offenses like drugs.
    Also some of those noisemakers own the properties in question like many in Sunset Park owned their houses, there is really nothing you can do but move.
  • edited April 26
    FYI for all who live on this block - the usual offender is 848 Park Pl. This is an HDFC, 8 unit coop that seems to have some kind of party space on the basement level that opens to their small backyard. They've been having these kind of parties since we moved in - summer 2006. Usually they wind down around midnight but they were still jamming at 1:30 when I went to bed last night. 
    streetview of 848 Park Place:  https://goo.gl/maps/hAcA0
  • Precinct just needs then to read this blog.
  • edited April 27
    In defense of the precinct, I doubt they "need things to do" to the degree that they will read this blog.

    The squeaky wheel gets the oil, and typing here alone is unlikely to get results.

    @psycho-ologist details how she tried to squeak, yet was not successful.

    While other readers may have better luck using the techniques she describes, because this is a HDFC, I would consider calling HPD.

    HPD could be useful in that it could inform the members of the HDFC coop that by operating a business out of the common areas of their building, they are placing its status at risk.

    "The Board of Estimate and City Council resolutions that grant these caps stipulate that this exemption is effective only as long as the project is owned and operated by an HDFC that is in conformity with the requirements of Article XI of the PHFL. HPD Is authorized to revoke this partial real estate tax exemption if it determines that the HDFC is not properly owned or operated."



    That might get their attention.

    If you were to present your evidence of how the HDFC was being used as business, your local council rep might be willing to make the call to HPD on your behalf....
  • I am optimistic Whynot_31 , Pycho-ologist and great posts!  I think weve done enough work for another article in a local newspaper again.

  • I'm impressed that no one has told us to move out yet.

    Is it just me or by and large are the Cbs not very useful and frequently obstructionist?
  • My perception is that a well performing CB effectively provides people a place to complain and argue, so the city agencies can go about their work undistrubed.

    When a CBs fails to achieve this essential role of distraction, its members should be replaced.
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