Brooklyn Boro

The Night Mayor’s listening tour kicks off Tuesday in Brooklyn

October 1, 2018 By Scott Enman Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Office of Nightlife starts its five-borough listening tour on Tuesday in Prospect Heights. Night Mayor Ariel Palitz (shown) will lead the sessions. Photo courtesy of Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment
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Want to complain about a noisy bar? Interested in knowing why New York stops alcohol sales at 4 a.m.?

Air your grievances and have all your questions answered about The City That Never Sleeps at the Office of Nightlife’s five-borough listening tour, which starts Tuesday at the Murmrr Theatre in Prospect Heights.

The Office of Nightlife, led by Night Mayor Ariel Palitz, acts as a liaison between residents, nightlife professionals and city agencies to promote a safe and vibrant nightlife.

“New York nightlife is a large part of who we are, and a big part of why people want to live, visit and play here,” Palitz said. “Nightlife is about being social, coming together, making a living, and celebrating life. But it also comes with real challenges.

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“These listening sessions are the perfect opportunity to hear from all New Yorkers, both inside and outside of the industry to ensure that nightlife and New York works for everyone, 24/7.”

In September 2017, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law legislation sponsored by Councilmember Rafael Espinal to create the Office of Nightlife and a Nightlife Advisory Board. At the time, de Blasio said the night mayor position would be “one of the coolest job titles you could ever hope to have.”

“The office will be led by someone who undoubtedly will be more popular than me and will wield tremendous power,” de Blasio said then.

Nightlife is a $10 billion sector of New York City’s economy, according to the Mayor’s Office.

New York is the first American city to adopt a night mayor position. However, many European metropolises have had night mayors for some time, including Amsterdam, Paris and London.

Mirik Milan, the night mayor, or “nachtburgemeester” of Amsterdam, came and spoke to club owners and nightlife professionals last year in Williamsburg.

He has held the position since 2012 and has played a leading role in the introduction of 24-hour licenses for venues in the Dutch capital. After creating an Office of Nightlife in Amsterdam, the city experienced a 25 percent reduction in crime and a 28 percent decrease in noise complaints.

For Espinal, he hopes struggling venue owners can find solace through the listening sessions.

“Ranging from smaller DIY venues to more established clubs, the nightlife industry in New York City has never been more vibrant and diverse,” Espinal said. “Yet the industry still faces many challenges.

“It is my hope that through this listening tour, we can hear from a wide array of voices on how to improve the nightlife experience for everyone,” he added.

The second listening session heads to Queens on Oct. 16, followed by Staten Island on Oct. 30, the Bronx on Nov. 15, and finally Manhattan on Nov. 28.

The Brooklyn listening session on Tuesday, Oct. 2 runs from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Murmrr Theatre at 17 Eastern Parkway.

Follow reporter Scott Enman on Twitter.

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