A commenter recently asked me why I haven't given any coverage to the flea controversies. Really, it's just because everyone else in NYC has already written about it. I'm not really interested in repeating stuff that's been posted in a zillion other places -- I'd rather observe quirky stuff and solve neighborhood mysteries -- but here is a link from the NY Times. When I first heard there would be a meeting to protest the flea, I assumed it would be an old-timer, new-timer thing. However, it sounds like the meeting was driven by the members of the church across the street. Some of their gripes sound legit -- having flea visitors use their restroom facilities and having parking taken up. Surely there could be a resolution there -- resident-only parking stickers (or not -- do the parishioners have the right to park over flea shoppers?), or welcome flea visitors into the church's facilities for a donation (hey, you have to pay in Coney Island to use most bathrooms! Why not raise some cash for the church?). One complaint is that church attendance has dropped since the flea began. Has the church polled it's non-attending members to see if this is the case? Perhaps it's due to the fact that people are out of town during the summer?
I wasn't at the meeting, but it does seem that the flea management has taken a lot of steps to accommodate feedback and complaints -- security, clean-up, an ATM, more food vendors. Plus, it seems like local businesses, especially restaurants, are benefiting from all the neighborhood visitors.
I'm not sure the chastisement of having the flea on the sabbath is all that valid. I mean, it's not the sabbath for everyone, and I'm just not cool with feeling like religious morales morals (whoops! sorry, multitasking at work! ) are being imposed on me outside of the church building.