'An assault on the neighborhood': Upper West Siders try to ban New York Fashion Week
When New York Fashion Week moved from Bryant Park to the Lincoln Center last year, downtown fashionistas and Brooklyn-based sartorialists were dismayed to face an even longer trek uptown.
But any complaints about the extra 20 blocks have fallen on deaf ears compared to the gripes of the Upper West Siders who are fed up with the invasion of their home turf.
Their outrage centres around a number of issues to have arisen thanks to the bi-annual fashion event such as the increase in foot
traffic, the noise created by generators and the
removal of 67 trees from the area.
Residents who live near the Lincoln Center are furious about the disturbance of New York Fashion Week and the event's infringement on public spaces
But highest on the list of grievances is the fact that the public now only have about two months a year in which they can enjoy the grounds of Damrosch Park, the tree-lined plaza attached to the space where outdoor concerts and private events are often staged.
With the arrival of Fashion Week, the area is now off-limits for up to ten months a year; an encroachment, one resident called 'the proverbial straw that broke the came's back' in an interview with The New York Times.
Angry neighbours are particularly irate that access to Damrosch Park has been severely restricted by New York Fashion Week and other similar events
Fed up of the disturbance, a group of
locals from around the neighborhood have banded together to do something
about it and with the support of the non-profit organisation, NYC Park
Advocates, they believe they have a strong case.
Their argument is forged upon the grounds that by further limiting access to the park, parkland for public use is being removed which is something the State Legislature has the authority to resolve.
They have sent a cease and desist letter to Lincoln Center demanding that 'Damrosch Park be returned to its proper use as a city park.'
A group of protestors who have filed a complaint with the Lincoln Center claiming the event space is acting illegally want the state to step in
The group also claim that the event
centre is acting illegally by keeping all the profits from leasing the
space to outside groups.
Michael Graff who lives in the Alfred condominium tower nearby told the
New York daily what he thinks about the fashion furor. 'It’s an assault
on the neighborhood,' he said.
Fans of fashion week need not panic yet however. The city is defending itself by saying that Damrosch Park has few visitors in the winter, the trees removed were diseased and Fashion Week is a commendable money earner.
In any case this controversy may well be laid to rest soon. Mayor Bloomberg is hoping to transplant the Fashion Week to a new development in the Hudson Yards in the next three years.