Vanishing New York
Yesterday we heard from a resident of one of the luxury condos that have recently gone up along the High Line on formerly desolate West 28th Street. He told us about how the new residents are trying to shut down the Folsom Street East festival, now 16 years strong in Chelsea. I got in touch with Susan Wright, Media Liaison for Folsom Street East, and asked for her response.
Q: What was your initial reaction when you found out from my blog that the new condo residents of West Chelsea have been organizing against Folsom East?
A: We were surprised because we haven't been contacted by anyone. Folsom Street East is a community event, and is eager to work with the neighbors. We observed certain issues last year, so one of the ways we have adjusted the fair this year is to provide a 5-foot-wide sidewalk along the buildings that goes from 11th Avenue down to the condos at 540 W. 28th Street. That way residents don't have to walk through the attendees in the street. They will be able to walk alongside the buildings and enter their own home as usual.
Q: Residents are petitioning the Community Board to eliminate or move the fair. Has anyone ever complained directly to the organizers of Folsom East?
A: Folsom Street East has not received any complaints from anyone about the fair.
Q: How do you respond to the people in the new condos who don't want to see nudity and "lewd" acts from their windows? Or who don't want their children to witness the fair?
A: The attendees at the fair must follow our Code of Conduct, and that includes no lewd acts or full nudity. Attendees are allowed to wear street-legal clothes, which in NY city is fairly liberal, as it should be. There are some entertainment pieces that take place on the stage, at the other end of the block, that enter the "burlesque" realm, but legally it doesn't fall into the "lewd conduct" category. Security volunteers are in place to be sure that all the rules are followed by the attendees. ...
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