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Before coming to PLG, I lived in Prospect Heghts, ie, Letitia James' district. Her reputation there is as someone very willing to listen and very responsive to rational complaints.


I think this fuss over the circus has been blown out of proportion a bit. I mean, it's only a couple of weeks. Frankly, I haven't even noticed it. But then, I don't hear the gunshots that everyone talks about on this blog either. But I'm quite sorry for those who can't sleep or have been annoyed by the noise. I like Tylenol PM, myself.

With all due respect, ATP, there's no need to use profanity to express yourself. You can say "it's infuriating" rather than "it pi$$es its neighbors off." Profanity is an unnecessary, hostile and inappropriate use of language. Would you allow your children to curse like that?

It's also not in your best interest to use it because, while it makes you feel better temporarily, it undercuts your argument: Isn't it just a tad hypocritical use language which is offensive to many to complain about levels of noise that are offensive to you?

So let's stay above the fray.
Please don't use profanity on this blog. Even the New York Post avoids it.

richard blakeley

Shouldn't we be more concerned with those representing our own district?

PLG rez

The circus is a Brooklyn-wide event that is situated in PLG. Though it's true that James represents another district (which, btw, is adjacent to PLG), she doesn't have to turn a blind eye, esp to a district that's been without representation!


I also believe that the circus is a good thing for Brooklyn. This is for the enjoyment of thousands of children. No one is hurt, just an annoyance for a few people. Leticia is great!!


Except for the prudery about language, I sadly find myself in agreement with f'ing Ed.

I live just off of Flatbush and rarely hear the circus at all, and it is barely audible when I do. I imagine it is harder on the people who live on Ocean. And compared to the Fallujah-in-Spring that Leffertswatch can make this place sound like, I never hear gunshots. (Yes, I know that there have been some shots fired but sometimes I think half of this neighborhood has PTSD.)


for my nearly 20 years here, have never heard of such complaints -- and so would doubt that Tish James knew either....one can only be blamed for knowing and not acting, and not expected to do a n'borhood survey before agreeing to MC...
BTW, for newcomers -- before UniverSoul, the Big Apple Circus visited here for many years, before it got too big for us, I guess....

Adrian Lesher

I love this blog, but some of the obsessions on here drive me nuts. I suppose if I lived on Ocean, I might not like the noise, but come on.

Have you seen the looks on the kids faces coming out of the circus? They're ecstatic. And isn't the circus leaving the park next year anyway?

Let it go.


Comment for PLG Rez: You called this circus a "Brooklyn-wide event". What does that mean? Is it sponsored by the borough? Does it only cater to Brooklyn residents? It's my understanding anyone can come to this circus (including Manhattanites and visitors to the city, etc.) and that it just happens to be located in Brooklyn (near us). Please enlighten us as to why this is a "Brooklyn-wide event" and why that matters? I didn't follow you.

Regarding noise, I feel especially sorry for those who require quiet but have chosen to live in a neighborhood that is known to be noisy. It makes it seem like you are asking for special privileges which you simply aren't reasonably entitled to. I understand your concerns, and I certainly feel your pain; however, we live in the big city, and the standards for tolerable levels of noise are different. But if you believe you are right, then keep fighting the fight - take decibal readings; call 311; call the circus; try to get them to lower their volume or move further into the park. And if all else fails, remember that home prices in PLG are up. Consider tapping into your home equity so that you can buy a quiet home in the country.

Regarding Leticia - I don't know her or her record. However, I don't think it's reasonable to expect her to do anything special for us, because (correct me if I'm wrong) our neighborhood is not under our jurisdiction in any way. It's my understanding we could ask for a favor, but we're really not entitled to anything more. Nor does it appear reasonable to be uspet at her for her participation in this event until it has been well established that the circus has done something wrong. Given the gazillion people who love this event, it will be a tough fight.

Frankly, I find this circus to be, if anything, QUITE tragic. The notion of hundreds of gleeful black children having no concept of the shoddy schools they will attend (or already are attending), or the slim chances they will have to lead stable, successful lives (with respect to their white counterparts) is a sobering thought. Statistically, how many of these boys will end up convicted felons serving sentences? How many girls will cut short the pursuit of a serious career to become a single mom. How many of these kids are being raised in single-parent homes themselves? This is a community in crisis, folks. Supporting this circus is the least we can do.


A month of the hokey pokey is too much to bare. Can anyone think of any other city event that disrupts a neighborhood for such a significant period of time on a yearly basis?

All of you who don't live near wouldnt want it on your block either.

I cannot.

PS Anyone know who grants the permits in the Park?

Bob M

FWIW, Big Apple Circus was no where near as loud as UniverSoul Circus. The latter HAS improved greatly in the last couple of years and is now mainly a bother to people on Ocean, BUT they do sometimes crank up their sound to the old unacceptable (and, I'd imagine, illegal)level. Last weekend it was pretty loud on my block, Midwood II, which must be nearly 1/2 mile away.

Once construction starts on the new rink the circus will need a new home. I hope it will be the Long Meadow--the reaction of people living on Prospect Park West would be amusing :-)

PLG rez

I meant that people from Letitia's district (and others) attend the circus. As for people from other boroughs (or cities, states, whathaveyou) - yes, of course they attend the circus.

There's a balance to be found b/t making kids happy and not disrupting the neighbors. I think there's a large gray area b/t attacking everything the circus offers and suggesting that the circus is not the best neighbor - I think ATP's post is somewhere in that gray area, I see no absolute statements. It's possible to keep your noise levels down and entertain!


I attended the circus last night, and Councilman Charles Barron (East New York, Brownsville) was the "guest ringmaster"... which basically consisted of about 60 seconds of greeting the crowd. Hard to blame any black Brooklyn politicians for making an appearance at this event-- a gathering of several hundred black Brooklyn families.

I will also say that the noise inside the tent made me very cranky by the time the thing was over at 10pm... which is (sadly) pretty late for me on a weeknight, not to mention the 8-12 year old kids filling most of the seats... (yes, I'm an adult with no kids and I went to the circus.)

Bob M

"It's possible to keep your noise levels down and entertain!" Indeed it is and the people who run UniverSoul Circus seem to have remembered that most of the time in the last few years. However, they have to be reminded a bit too frequently which [sorry Ed] seems to p**s off their neighbors.


I'm going to start referring to this thread as the "White Rage" thread, because that's just what it is (and it's all a bit silly).

Folks, a bunch of poor black families in the ghetto get to have a little fun at the circus for a few weeks, and this causes a handful of comparatively wealthy, white folks to fly off the handle? Can you all say "selfish"?!!

It's f*cking ridiculous to be getting so p*ssed off!


In general, the event permit is issued by the Park, and the sound permit is issued by the Police Department.

Bob M

Lang**ge Ed, lang**ge!

Tsk, tsk.



"A month of the hokey pokey is too much to bare. Can anyone think of any other city event that disrupts a neighborhood for such a significant period of time on a yearly basis?"

San Genarro. Not quite as long, but a much larger imposition.


Parking during the circus may be a nightmare. But the reason we choose to live in New York City is the access the the great and wonderful cultural events that the city offers, and the circus is one of them.

Enjoy the cotton candy, complain about the car alarms.


"I hope it will be the Long Meadow--the reaction of people living on Prospect Park West would be amusing :-)"

That's part of the issue really. That's NEVER going to happen. EVER. They wouldn't dare put the circus in the range of Prospect Park West. The people at the park can obfuscate, sputter and waffle - they will never do it. Period. They claim that the band shell used to be noisy (it was never as loud as the circus) but then forget to mention they shelled out big bucks to stop that problem. What did they do to reduce noise on our side? Not a thing. Having a staffer consistently check the noise levels - how much would that cost for 3 weeks? Probably a TAD less than the $3 million to renovate the bandshell.

The park claimed in the past that the site the circus was located on was the "best" location they could find. However, after they announced their plans for the new rink, even before that actually, they dropped the circus like a hot potato. Where will the circus be located now? The park says: don't look at us. Wha? What happened to all the other considered locations for the circus? Oh - there weren't any. What happened to all the great benefits of having the circus in the park? The circus remained where it was because of bureaucratic inertia.

If you think the circus is so important, why are none of you fighting to keep it? Why - it's because many of you are making contrarian arguments out of some automatic lack of empathy. It's been my experience in life that people who are very quick to dismiss someone's complaints or inconvenience are usually the first people to go batshit when they themselves face similar situations. In fact, a lack of empathy typically arises out of an individual's inability to resolve problems affecting them, causing them to feel others should not be able to make complaints... they are unable to make themselves.


For what it's worth, the circus could go on one of the parking lots near BAM.

It's a high profile area with great transportation and very limited residential in close range.


Peace Love Nap - that's a great post, thanks.


"Folks, a bunch of poor black families in the ghetto get to have a little fun at the circus for a few weeks, and this causes a handful of comparatively wealthy, white folks to fly off the handle? Can you all say "selfish"?!!"

A rebuttal from out-of-state: the people complaining are both black and white, and the issue for most is NOT kids having fun at the circus - it is simply the insane volume level. As posted once before, the circus has in the past turned it down to a relatively reasonable level following complaints (and kids continued to have fun). This year, up until I left PLG at least, the volume was outrageous. It does not seem like a very hard to understand complaint to me.

Bob M

Glad you're still following PLG blogs Dan. The complaints are basically a request that the circus be a good neighbor and turn it down a little. I know that when it's loud on my block, 1/2 mile away, something is wrong--it must be unbearable on Ocean.


I could hear it pretty well on Sunday from my home, between Rogers & Nostrand. While it didn't bother me from such a distance, I agree with Bob; it really must be unbearable next to the park.

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