During the past couple of days, we have heard from local residents who are outraged about a huge event returning to Pier 36/Basketball City this coming weekend. It’s the Satmar Hassidic sect’s annual dinner for 10,000 people. At about this time last year, the group descended on Pier 36 (at Montgomery Street). Residents complained about gridlock on South Street and and on other streets, about people parking on sidewalks and blocking fire hydrants.
On Wednesday, the 7th Precinct’s Community Affairs Office sent an advisory to people in the general area of Basketball City. This year’s dinner will take place tomorrow (Saturday) evening. According to the 7th Precinct, the organizers of the Talmudical Academy event obtained permits to close streets and to allow parking on Gouverneur and Water streets.
Residents of Gouverneur Gardens and the Vladeck Houses are fuming about the disruption. Here’s a flyer posted on the Vladeck tenant association Facebook page:
Following last year’s event, Basketball City’s mangers and representatives of the NYC Economic Development Corp. (which operates the pier) went before Community Board 3 to discuss ongoing crowd control problems at the facility. In June, the firm producing a large NBA awards show at Pier 36 went to CB3’s parks committee with a crowd management plan. But the Satmar organization did not do that. Community Board 3 only hear about the dinner this week.