Until the end of last week, Spike Lee planned on throwing a birthday bash in memory of Michael Jackson in Fort Greene Park. Then, Abby Weissman wrote a piece on the Local questioning the implications of the party and the impact it would have on the neighborhood. Within hours, it was announced that the party would be moved to Prospect Park. Weissman made several comments about expected turnout, cleanup and park capacity, citing the frenzy that took place in LA for the official memorial. He also claimed the party was being "forced upon him." Mostly, he seemed concerned that the public and local organizations were not consulted or even informed in advance of the party. (Mr. Weissman was also the author who initiatiated the anti-soccer Fort Greene Park post on the Local.) Several neighbors I've spoken to are disappointed in the turn of events. In fact, I haven't spoken to one person who's said, "Thank god that party's moving out of our neighborhood!" A Gothamist post about the situation was titled, "Locals Want Spike Lee to Beat It." But was it Locals, plural? (See an opposing commentary on Brooklyn Born here.)
The fact is, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Did you think the party would be safe, fine, and awesome? Call the local precinct, Marty Markowitz's office, 40 Acres and a Mule. Contact the Local and ask if you can run your own Op-Ed. The park is for everyone and not just one person.
Would the party have been a blight on our neighborhood? We'll never know. But I for one am mourning the loss.