Roaring Fashion Week Party Draws the Ire of Beekman Street Neighbors

The scene outside the parking garage at 25 Beekman Street where a noisy Fashion Week party was taking place on the roof.

Sep. 19, 2016

Mike Kurylo was in his William Street apartment cooking dinner recently when the windows began to shake from the boom of an amplified bass.

“It was outrageously loud,” he recalled. Looking down at the street he could see scantily clad models having their hair styled while crowds looked on. But he was unaware that on the roof and two other floors of a nearby garage at 25 Beekman Street, a Fashion Week afterparty was just warming up for the night.

An unidentified man stands in the middle of busy Beekman Street. apparently to protest the noisy party scene at a parking garage.

“I couldn’t see what was going on but sure enough I could hear it.” Kurylo said that he hasn’t heard anything like it in over a decade.

Some of what he was hearing from that party, thrown by the fashion brand Baja East, was described later by a WWD reporter who was there.

“Up on the roof — perhaps to the dismay of the high-rise condo occupants across the street, some of whom had gathered on the building’s terrace to take in the spectacle—hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd took over the stage from DJ Mia Moretti.”

“Dismay” was an understatement. There were 44 calls from neighbors to 311 on that Friday night of Sept. 9, according to Det. Rick Lee, a 1st Precinct community affairs officer.

“I never called 311 before,” said Jen Muroff of 150 Nassau St. “But I have twin daughters who are nine and their room was vibrating.”

“I don’t want it to happen again,” Muroff added. “I’m surprised that this was done in a community where there are so many children.”

So upset was one resident that he stood in the middle of the street to stop traffic, presumably hoping to get the attention of police. (See video.)

According to Lee, the noise continued until midnight, two hours beyond a city-issued public assembly permit to be on the roof. Police brought it to a halt, he said.

In addition, there was a permit from the city’s Street Activity Permit Office that allowed the organizers to take over a curb lane until 10 p.m., with final breakdown at midnight, said Community Board 1 District Manager Noah Pfefferblit. Normally, only street closures are reviewed by community board committee members, Pfefferblit said, while other permits are seen by the board staff. The application for this event was made “with very short notice,” he said.

“We’re going to try to work something out, Pfefferblit said, where they get us information about permits that get issued for events like that ahead of time.”

Permit Abuse Also Alleged on Duane Street

The Beekman Street party came on the heels of another alleged permit abuse, this one in the rental floors of a Tribeca mansion at 144 Duane Street, the site of a secretive production since mid-August. Residents complained that for weeks the production personnel commandeered metered parking spaces on the south side of the street. They said the production, which was being constructed by the set design firm Atomic, continued to hold their spaces well into September, until the 1st Precinct and the city’s Street Activity Permit Office ended the practice.

“This is a residential street with a nursery school, a few restaurants and a small clothing store,” a resident, who asked not to be identified, told the Trib in an email. “How can this mysterious entity take up all of the parking for the community as they have been doing?”

“It was kind of a grey area with the permits so they took advantage of that and took the whole south side of the block,” Lee said. Following discussions between NYPD and permitting officials, the production’s permit was finally altered. By Sept. 14 the permit—which had been issued for the entire month—limited the crew to three parking spaces. Asked what activity was taking place in the building, a woman standing at the entrance and holding a laptop computer replied, “I’m not at liberty to say.”

Elliot Winick of Winick Productions, a veteran permit expediter who obtained the permits for both the Beekman Street and Duane Street productions, declined to be interviewed for this article.