Spock knew what to do. But this past weekend all people knew what to do was complain. There was a lot going on in Prospect Park. Early last week The Great Googa Mooga moved in. This was its second year and a lot of people were freaking out because they were probably going to damage the park again and only pay $75,000. Well, I know the people who are in charge of Special Events and they don't like looking bad, so I am pretty sure they will do a better job at documenting and billing any damage this year. If they don't, the media will.
I have mixed feelings. On one hand, lots of things happen in public parks for private gain. Restaurants are in parks. City Field and Yankee Stadium are actually in parks. I have participated in and organized many races in public parks. Parades and fairs close our streets on a regular basis. Movie shoots make our lives nuts (A few blocks from my house Will Ferrell is filing the more of The Anchorman and this afternoon I will have to move my car for some tv show . Saturday morning, during the Googa Mooga, the Brooklyn Half Marathon passed through Prospect Park and then cut Brooklyn in half. I was the "Team Leader" for the fluid station.in Prospect Park. For a great blog post on what that morning was like click through to Qaptain Qwerty's post.. I can tell you first hand that from 7:30 to 8:30 that morning it was basically impossible to cross the roadway in prospect park because there were so many runners. Hey, on Saturday evening, my daughter attended a Bat Mitzva in Prospect Park's Picnic House. The only time anyone can ever go into that building if it is rented out for a private event. So, lots of things happen in public places that limit access to the public
On the other hand, the Great Googa was not about community or charity or food or music. It was about profit. It was organized by Superfly, a for profit event management company. According to Wikipedia.....
The company was founded in 1996 by Jonathan Mayers, Rick Farman, Richard Goodstone and Kerry Black.
After gaining notoriety as hosts of after-hours events during the New Orleans Jazz Fest and Mardi Gras, Superfly's owners realized they had hit a plateau, unable to compete with big venues that could profit from alcohol and other sales in addition to ticket fees. They wanted to put on bigger events and came up with the idea of Bonnaroo.They did not care about the park or the people of Brooklyn. Celebrate Brooklyn brings thousands of people to Prospect Park for music and food and they don't crap all over the park. When I went to the training for Brooklyn Half staff, the NYRR said they will leave the course better than they found it and we did. We didn't clean up because we were worried about being billed, we cleaned up because it was our park and we wanted to wanted to come back to a clean park.
Superfly Productions is a for profit company. The bottom line of their existence is the same as Exxon-Mobil or Monsanto; Profit.
For a week Well House Drive was turned into a trailer park..
It was not the end of the word, but.......
But this was just wrong. Fencing off a water fountain was wrong on so many levels.
First, this is is a food feast. They were selling food. Perhaps people want to drink some free water. Maybe they don't want to pay for plastic bottles of water.
Second, this fence was there for days before the mooga began and I took this photo after it was over. For no reason at all they were keeping me from a drink.
Finally, they could have with a little effort put that fence on the other side of the fountain.
So, I am not saying that we should not have events like the Not-So Great Great GoogaMooga, we just have to make sure they respect our public places. Because if we don't Prospect Park will become Disney World.
Sometimes you are one of the many and sometimes you are one of the few.
and another thing.
Hating on the Googa Mooga because you think it is for "hipsters" is no better than hating on rap music because you think it is for people who don't look like you. I gave my free tickets away, but I have no problem with the people who enjoyed the event.