The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Return of the Great Google Moogle

You'll be hearing a lot about the Great GoogaMooga  in the coming weeks, how it's returning after last year's mixed-received debut, and how you should do this, skip that, protest this or eat that. What you'll get from the Q is an honest assessment of what the Gritty Giggle Miggle means for the Alliance, the organization that actually makes your park possible, and why opportunities like this should be experimented with, tweaked, and ultimately embraced or jettisoned on a more reasoned analysis than a smattering of Facebook posts and Twitter rants. The Q did his best to be fair last year, in fact so fair as to compare the Grade Kooky Mooky to the State Fairs of his youth, though we did scoop the competition with a real zinger on the "artisanal" sloppy joe's, story here.

This year, a real rock festival is taking shape, with the opening Friday night being given over to reigning indie darlings of the '90s and '00s respectively, at the decidedly post baccalaureate price of $54.50, lineup here:

If that bill appeals, then you probably attended, played, or dated someone who attended or played at South by Southwest at some point in your life, and have actually at least once uttered the phrase "Texas sucks, but Austin is cool." If you refer to the festival as "South By" I'm wondering what you thought of the Dessner, Muhly, Sufjan thing at BAM? Too proggy? And if you refer to SXSW simply as "Sou," then you are definitely too cool for this blog and should probably just click this link now before you get old germs all over you.

The Saturday and Sunday lineups are more inspired in my view, in particular, the actual Great Depression (the one from the 1930s) price point:

The catch of course to the "free" aspect to the Late Cushy Tushy is that you must register and and win your tickets through lottery, a system that won much consternation from digital-ease-obsessed modern humans last time around. Here's the explanation. The event has a capacity; the event is popular; therefore, the event must limit the number of tickets issued; free is a very attractive price point; demand outstrips supply; therefore a lottery is employed. Registration happens April 1 - April 3. Tickets are assigned randomly, though I suppose you could probably register more than once using your many online aliases. It's not first come first serve so it's not a take-time-off-work to pump your reload button kinda thing, nor does it favor the unemployed or those "toiling" in the "creative classes."

Other major improvements over last year include the tearing down of the Berlin Wall, the ridiculous barrier between Googa and Mooga that created utter confusion and a sense of first and second class citizenry. Plus, one had to trek WAY out of the way to enter from "our" side of the park. This year you'll be able to get your Goog On from Lincoln Road. The Boathouse will be the only true upscale private clubhouse part of the event, and rightly so says the Q. The promoters should have their chance to make a buck, as shows of this magnitude have to pay their bills somehow, but it's a public park and you shouldn't have to hire a camel to get to the entrance. I've crossed over into the "for" camp, because I think big public hang-out concerts are part of the public park mandate envisioned by the creators, provided they not happen every day and provided they not happen in the same place every time AND provided the Alliance be properly compensated and provided the wear and tear on the Nethermead be weighed against the benefit of such once-in-a-while extravaganzas

Now those are some big provideds of course. Given the financial realities of running the park as a partnership between the City and its citizenry, I think it's worth experimenting with how the Alliance comes up with more than $10 million annually in income. There's more than one way to skin a cat, and yet I hope that skinning cats is not one of the new ways the Alliance seeks to raise funds for operations. I may have to draw the line there. In the meantime, there park may need to find a few new ways to goog a moog.


babs said...

The Nethermead still hasn't recovered from last year's debacle. This is a travesty and renders our side of the park all but unusable for several days before as well as the event is set up and the Nethermead is roped off. I understand this year they are even installing temporary cell towers. I wonder what damage they will do.

A better way for the Alliance to make money? I would pay $54.50 or more, as would many of my neighbors, to keep this horror show away!

Anonymous said...

They should alternate sides of the park if they are going to make this an annual event.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Agreed! And would love to see something like this go down in the Vale of Cashmere, which really needs attention and love. AND, I'd like to suggest a change to the name "Veil of Cashmere" to add an element of mystery.

babs said...

Hopefully when the Lakeside Center finally opens they will hold it there - much less environmental damage likely.

MadMommaCarmen said...

I agree with Babs. I will happily donate money directly to the park to keep this event away.

The fact that they are holding this event again following last year's insanity really makes me question the Alliance's commitment to the PUBLIC park. Events like these are incredibly narrow sighted since the majority of the people it attracts never came to the park previously and certainly don't return afterward. If the goal is to attract more people to the park (which I doubt is the goal, it smells more like privatization of a public space) then I have several suggestions that won't render the park unusable to the public.

Last year, it took weeks before my family and I could enjoy the Nethermead. There was garbage everywhere, the grass was destroyed, and there was a lingering smell of pee and poop among some suspicious looking puddles.

Brenda from Flatbush said...

Q makes some good points, so do the commenters. On balance, the thing is probably too damn big and damaging...

Bob Marvin said...

"They should alternate sides of the park if they are going to make this an annual event"

If they ever did that and held this fiasco on the Long Meadow, rather than the Nethermead, that would really be the end of the event.

Dynishal said...

I use the Nethermeade every day for off-leash but I'm tickled the Googa Mooga is coming back. Attendees with rigid expectations complained but I went with a laidback attitude, ate whatever had the shortest line and had a ball of both day's of last year's free event. That Singaporean government propaganda event was a nightmare. Googly Eyes was just kind of a mess but one with promise. I hope they hit a home run this year.