Politics makes for weird bedfellows
Dec 15, 2009 | 3263 views | 0 0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Who knew that Senator Chuck Schumer was such a big fan of the indie and alternative rock scenes?

If you've ever been to Williamsburg on a Sunday in the summer, you've probably noticed that there is an even bigger concentration of hipsters and scenesters roaming the streets and spilling out of the subway stop at North 7th and Bedford in their skinny jeans, DIY haircuts, and sunglasses repurposed from a 1983 video shoot.

The reason: the JELLY Pool Parties.

Originally held in an empty and decaying McCarren Park Pool, the concert series last year was moved to East River State Park on the Brooklyn waterfront. The series attracts some of the most buzzed-about names in the music scene, and the 2009 season featured acts such as Simian Mobile Disco, Dirty Projectors, and Grizzly Bear, to name just a few of the bands to grace the stage on eight consecutive Sundays last year.

The one knock on the concert series is its limited appeal, and its admittedly a fair one. Without painting with too broad of a brush stroke, many of the lineups don't exactly appeal to some of the longer-term residents of the neighborhood, and the whole atmosphere doesn't exactly scream “family-friendly affair.”

But that doesn't describe Chuck Scumer!

Apparently, the United State senator is a big fan of the JELLY Pool Parties, so much so that he is working to bridge the gap between the organizers and the New York State Parks Department and the Open Space Alliance, which collectively oversee and manage East River State Park. The groups have indicated that the JELLY Pool Parties might not be welcome back for a 2010 season, something Schumer isn't about to let happen on his watch.

Schumer's team sent out a press release recently announcing that Schumer himself would press those involved to work out a solution and bring back the Pool Parties. (The release even included a statement from VICE founder Suroosh Alve, who praised Schumer as a man “who clearly knows his music” and for going to bat for “countless New York City Concert-goers.”)

According to the senator, he was riding his bike through Williamsburg last summer when he happened on the Pool Parties. In fact, he liked it so much he returned to do a little glad-handing with both staff and a sign that read “Meet Senator Chuck Schumer” in tow.

We'll let Schumer tell you the story in his own words.

“As I was riding my bike through Williamsburg this summer, I came upon the Pool Parties and was inspired and energized by the huge crowds who came to see the concerts. People come from far and wide to enjoy the Brooklyn concert series, and when I heard they were in danger I just could not sit idly by and let the JELLY Parties get cancelled.”

Let us translate:

“As I was riding my bike through Williamsburg this summer, I came upon the Pool Parties and was inspired and energized by the huge untapped voter base that came to see the concerts. Potential Schumer voters come from from far and wide to enjoy the Brooklyn series, and when I heard they were in danger I saw an issue that I could jump on to connect with these young voters.”

We tease! We personally like and are entertained by Schumes, and maybe he really does like the music at the Pool Parties – they do, after all, attract quality acts. And besides, Chuck doesn't need to connect with a bunch of smelly hipsters who probably didn't even changed their voter registration from their parents' West Austin home when they moved to Williamsburg. Last time we checked, his job as one of the highest-ranking members of the United State Senate was pretty secure.

We say rock on Schumer, because as he noted in his press release, summer in Brooklyn just wouldn't be the same if this venerable, umm, three-year tradition were allowed to fade from the scene like a one-hit wonder.



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