June 5, 2011

"It is not that we are not allowing music or loud sound. It is that we are also allowing quiet..."

"... which isn’t automatic in this city."

49 comments:

edutcher said...

What PC goobledygook.

The only way to "allow the quiet" in this case is to forbid, or try to, music or "loud sound".

So, is this going to be like the War on Drugs?

People indulging until the Lefties say, "We can't win, so we have to legalize it".

The Crack Emcee said...

I will happily put a bullet in the head of anyone who is too dumb to know how to find peace and quiet otherwise.

Fucking assholes.

rhhardin said...

Ask Marcel Marceau.

rcocean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rcocean said...

Yes, how dare people *not* want to listen to their music in a public park. The nerve.

Patrick Henry and Jefferson - fighting for loud music in public spaces since 1790.

EDH said...

This guy should get a lifetime exemption from any restriction.

Seven Machos said...

Before I went to law school, I thought pretty much any kind of zoning was grossly unconstitutional. I have since changed my mind, mostly because I realized that my own tastes and morals appreciate zoning.

You people who are against this: is it okay for to play music in a public library? Is it okay to put a single-wide trailer on your property or build the world's largest skyscraper on your property because you'd like to? Why or why not?

YoungHegelian said...

"Mr. Oleson played a baroque composition by Charles-Hubert Gervais. He finished to applause"

Gervais??!! Jeezo-peeps, people! Being just a little esoteric and weird here?

What's next on the agenda? The Bethesda Fountain Summertime Baude Cordier Festival?

Lincolntf said...

Seven, using absurd examples serves no purpose. The lawn is not a Library.

Almost Ali said...

It's kind of ironic, enforcing quiet in "Central Park."

I guess things have changed since I left New York, because people used to go to the park to be entertained.

Still, the new rules should reduce the number of rapes, since the screams will be illegal.

kimsch said...

We've had a Mexican brass band playing in the back yard of a house one street over and a couple houses down for the last 5 hours. Tuba, drums, accordian, other brass. Lots of oompah pah.

wv: coped: After we got them to tone it down some, we coped with it until we had to put the 10-year-old to bed and they were getting louder...

Seven Machos said...

The lawn is not a Library.

Sure it is. It's a public space designed for a specific set of purposes. Can you sunbathe nude on it? Can you shit on it?

A law that restricts music playing in certain areas provided that there is vast abundance of other areas where you can play music is not unconstitutional. There's nothing wrong with it. You may disagree with the law. It may be bad law. But that's something to hashed out by elected representatives and other aspects of democracy.

Seven Machos said...

I guess things have changed since I left New York, because people used to go to the park to be entertained.

Jesus. The height of irony. Things have changed for the better drastically in New York City because of...wait for it...zoning laws.

rhhardin said...

It's probably not okay to walk around the Central Park jogging path smoking an area-clearing cigar any longer either.

Lincolntf said...

Ummm, Seven, I think you're making my point (then unmaking it again).

Seven Machos said...

Maybe, Lincoln. I'm not sure what your point is.

Almost Ali said...

Seven - Demanding quiet where people tend to gather is punitive, such as at Bethesda Fountain.

Central Park is a big place with a thousand spots offering peace and quiet without police enforcement.

Seven Machos said...

Central Park is a big place with a thousand spots offering peace and quiet without police enforcement.

The same could be said of the New York Public Library. Yet I cannot play my violin there. Why?

Chip S. said...

There's an interesting question at the core of this dispute, which why you'd want a public park in the first place.

Just a few miles south of Central Park is Gramercy Park, privately owned with limited access. If its owners want it to provide a quiet zone, then it does. If they want music, they can have whatever kind of music they want. There is no need for lawyers, or protests, or zoning.

Central Park could be subdivided into multiple private parks, each of which could be purchased by groups of people who wanted outdoor music, or softball fields, or (with the proper shrubbery) coed nude volleyball. They could finance their purchase by charging admission-just as golf courses do. It's only the fact that Central Park is owned by the city, and open to everyone free of charge, that these sorts of conflicts become contested matters of public policy. It's an excellent example of how public provision of something is likely to spur contentiousness.

I once knew a guy who lived in Morningside Heights and took his kid to New Jersey on Saturdays so he could romp around on grass. Central Park was too damn crowded.

Seven Machos said...

Indeed, why would any city want a beautiful, world-class park for all its citizens to be able to enjoy regardless of income? It does boggle the mind.

Almost Ali said...

New York Public Library... I cannot play my violin there. Why?

The same reason your NYC library card won't get you a seat at Carnegie Hall.

Seven Machos said...

Ali -- I cannot play my violin in the New York Public Library because it is a space where playing music is without some special license not allowed.

Coketown said...

The park has a robust history of pooping on civil rights, so who cares. You think there was just an 800-acre empty field in the middle of New York when they began landscaping? I say boot the musicians out. If they were any good they'd be charging admission instead of taking donations anyway.

Chip S. said...

Indeed, why would any city want a beautiful, world-class park for all its citizens to be able to enjoy regardless of income? It does boggle the mind.

Do you ever not comment like a total dipshit?

How big a park? Why one big one and not lots of small ones?

As for the poor, do you have any idea how much money could be raised by charging admission to the park, and then providing the poor with whatever it is they could use besides a day in the park?

Chip S. said...

for all its citizens to be able to enjoy

If what this meant were unambiguous, this thread would not exist.

Seven Machos said...

Why one big one and not lots of small ones?

Because that's what people want and that's what they'll get in a representative democracy, particularly at the local level. Cranks with "better" ideas will have a hard time changing this reality.

As for the poor, do you have any idea how much money could be raised by charging admission to the park, and then providing the poor with whatever it is they could use besides a day in the park?.

Is this in addition to all the money the poor get in addition to the money raised by lotteries, casinos, and taxes in general? Yeah, dude. A tax to use the park is going to change everything.

Finally, my sense is that you do not live and have never lived in New York City.

Chip S. said...

Because that's what people want and that's what they'll get in a representative democracy, particularly at the local level.

It's really as if you haven't read the article being discussed. What is it, exactly, that "the people" want in this case? Some of them want quiet spaces, and some of them want to play music. The fact that one of those musicians cleared $120K last year suggests that some people want to hear music in the park.

Resources are scarce, whether they're provided by the government or not. Acting like there's some "will of the people" that can direct the allocation of resources clearly and effectively is not a notion that you generally seem to endorse around here.

William said...

Wander in Central Park and you're exposed to all kinds of talented musicians. There's a Chinese guy with some weird kind of string instrument. He's very, very good. A little further along there's a jazz quartet. Lots of folk singers with their guitars. If you don't like a particular musician, just keep walking. It's a big park and there are plenty of quiet spaces. I have never heard anyone complain about the musicians. This is dumb.

Seven Machos said...

Acting like there's some "will of the people" that can direct the allocation of resources clearly and effectively is not a notion that you generally seem to endorse around here.

Dude, you must be joking. First of all, the thing that I hold to be most important in the world is that people ought to be able to govern themselves. I have gone to great lengths in many comment threads to push this agenda, and to deal with its implications and limitations. Bad law is allowed and must be allowed.

Secondly, representative democracy is exactly about directing the allocation of resources clearly and effectively according to the desires of the majority of citizens. I'm sorry you don't like representative democracy.

Lastly, have you ever lived in New York City? Central Park isn't going anywhere.

Chip S. said...

Want to go to the Central Park Zoo? It'll cost you $12 if you're an adult. Want to get married in Central Park? That'll be $400.

We've already established that parts of Central Park are for rent. Now we're only haggling over which parts.

Chip S. said...

Secondly, representative democracy is exactly about directing the allocation of resources clearly and effectively according to the desires of the majority of citizens. I'm sorry you don't like representative democracy.

Dude, that was not up to your standards. Or else you really believe that "representative democracy" is the same thing as "social democracy."

Seven Machos said...

Chip -- Most zoos charge money. It also makes sense to charge for a wedding, just as it would make sense to charge the promoters of a concert.

You are a crank. Nobody is ever going to break up Central Park into a bunch of private parks. There will never be an admission price to get into Central Park. You do not understand New York City, just like you do not understand representative democracy.

Seven Machos said...

Or else you really believe that "representative democracy" is the same thing as "social democracy."

The best sign of a losing argument is when the loser dives into arguing semantics.

Chip S. said...

No, the best sign of losing an argument is throwing out lame shit like this:

Nobody is ever going to break up Central Park into a bunch of private parks. There will never be an admission price to get into Central Park.

Not only do you not understand the difference between the form of a government and the legitimate scope of a government, you don't understand the difference between policy proposals and policy predictions.

Chip S. said...

Most zoos charge money.

As you must know, Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo does not charge admission. I guess this means that it never could, by your pretzel logic.

Seven Machos said...

Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo does not charge admission

So what? Most zoos charge money. The fact that one zoo does not doesn't change the fact that most do.

Further, under your crank proposal, the Lincoln Park Zoo certainly should charge money.

Otherwise, I'm telling you that you are are a crank who has never lived in New York City and could not possibly fathom the political dynamics there. Your "policy proposals" are meaningless. I have used the word crank quite precisely.

kimsch said...

Lincoln Park Zoo might not charge admission but it costs $50 to park there for the day. Makes it hard for us Suburbanites. Metra downtown then a bus or two or an El train ride and bus to get to the zoo if we don't drive. I use a "Rollator" walker with wheels. That's difficult on the busses.

Chip S. said...

Otherwise, I'm telling you that you are are a crank who has never lived in New York City and could not possibly fathom the political dynamics there.

You have no idea what you're talking about.

Oh, and have you ever lived in Madison? If not, why do you comment about events there? I guess history is impossible, too, if nobody can understand any society in which he hasn't lived.

You're quite the intellectual.

Seven Machos said...

Chip -- That's a fair point about Madison.

One difference: concerning Wisconsin politics, my agenda is the same as it always is: people should be able to govern themselves, via their elected representatives. Wisconsin voted the people in who then voted to cut the benefits of public-sector employees.

It is politically feasible to do this cutting, just as it would be politically feasible not to cut. There is nothing feasible about what you are suggesting. It's silly.

Chip S. said...

Seven, Let me clarify the intent of my initial comment, which has been obliterated in the back-and-forth. To decide what to allow or prohibit in a public park, we should first ask why we have a public park instead of a private one. Since either type of park is feasible (hence my reference to Gramercy Park), if we prefer one over the other it is presumably because we expect different sorts of outcomes from each.

I happen to like public parks; as much as I like Disney World, I would miss the random encounters with the full range of people that comes from a free public park. So, for me, public parks are not preferable to private parks as oases of solitude; I welcome the range of musicians, jugglers, unicyclists, and starry-eyed handholders on display in the park.

Does that mean there isn't room for quiet zones? Maybe not; but that clearly depends on the size of the park. What if Central Park were half its current size? What if the northern half of the park could be sold to developers for enough money to solve NYC's budget problems for the next 50 years? I don't think these are uninteresting questions, so I put them out for discussion. Sometimes I like to do that even--or especially--when I don't know what my own answer is.

Seven Machos said...

Chip -- That's all fine and, certainly, the back and forth has been unproductive. I apologize for that.

My points are that a city ordinance creating a quiet zone in a park is perfectly constitutional and a good thing, since elected officials made the law. Bad, dumb law is good, if we hold representative democracy sacred, which I do. Also, it's silly to say that Central Park ought to be sold or privatized because that's just never going to happen. Policy proposals should be within the realm of the plausible.

Chip S. said...

I'm happy to ratchet down the intensity level. I probably got too heated early on. And it looks like we drove away everyone else, which is too bad.

We can agree to disagree about feasibility. My view derives from the fact that when Milton Friedman first proposed to let exchange rates be market-determined instead of fixed by central banks, he was viewed as outside the mainstream. When he first proposed school vouchers, he was viewed as a crank. Now, of course, the first of those is SOP and the second is on display in Milwaukee and other places. Charter schools in NYC are a huge success--the evidence on that is unassailable.

So I don't worry much about what's feasible today. I'd like to help move the discussion along to change what's viewed as feasible tomorrow. But there's no reason to argue which of us is "right" on that question.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I just fucking love that they included Strawberry Fields in the list of no-music zones.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Imagine all the people, living life in peace and quiet.

paminwi said...

Gotta say I actually like the idea of quiet zones in the park. It is a huge park and I believe there is room for everybody. The real problem is that the musicians want to be near the entrances and the gathering spots so they get the biggest crowds to fill their coffers. So, until you get deeper into the park you can't find any quiet areas.

I have actually been in Gramercy Park and you can't compare the activity/sound there because the traffic patterns surrounding that park are so not the same as they are near Central Park. Gramercy is also a much more residential area versus Central Park which is truly a touristy area.

Class factotum said...

Next, let's hope that someone legislates a no-TV, no-canned music zone of the airport. I don't mind the sounds of the other passengers, but I really don't want to be forced to hear airport CNN.

PatCA said...

I agree with the city here. The ever present loud music is making life unbearable, like being trapped in an Abercrombie & Fitch store.

Peter said...

This surely is not a First Amendment issue, as precedent gives government the authority to limit the time, place, and manner of speech.

If it did not then it would be unconstitutional to pass an ordinance to forbid someone from blasting music/ads/speech/whatever from monster sound trucks at your bedroom windows all night.


BTW, Metra (Chicago) now has designated "quiet cars" on their commuter trains. Is enforcing quiet in part of its trains different from enforcing quiet in parts of Central Park?

Blue@9 said...

What an Orwellian construct.

Said the sheriff: I am not incarcerating you, I am simply allowing you space not to be free.