PROSPECT HEIGHTS —The so-called “Nightlife Mayor” kicked off her five-borough listening tour in Prospect Heights this evening.
Hundreds came to hear what Ariel Palitz had to say and to ask questions.
The event was held at Murmrr Theatre at Union Temple.
It’s been six months since Palitz was appointed by the de Blasio administration and this evening was the first chance the public had to meet her.
The city created the office of Nightlife in August, 2017.
Palitz is Senior Executive Director of the Office but has been commonly referred to as the “Nightlife Mayor.”
The title sounds alluring but what exactly does it mean?
“The creation of the Office of Nightlife was really to serve as a liaison between the city agencies, the nightlife industry as well as the residential communities impacted by the nightlife” said Palitz.
“What we really hope to be is a central point of contact in order to help streamline all of the bureaucracy and communication to really create one agency that supports the industry and community as a whole so we can coexist.”
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and members of other city agencies were also on hand to listen to concerns.
Guy Smith, a partner of Brooklyn nightclub “Sutherland” was part of the Q&A session.
“No sooner that we opened the space, a development started across the street,” said Smith. “What can we do as a group to help secure safe spaces so residents are not disturb by noise and we can have nightlife that doesn’t disturb anyone?”
It will be Palitz job and her office to figure that out and in addition to noise complaints, other concerns like gentrification, new development and liquor licenses.
She says she’s up to the challenge.
“I really feel I’m the right person for this position because I’m a native New Yorker I owned a nightclub I served on the community board and I live above a bar,” said Palitz. “Nightlife is really for everyone in the city and everyone has its own challenges and experiences with it and that’s what we’re here to listen to.”
The City says the Office of Nightlife and a Nightlife Mayor is much needed to protect and grow New York City’s 10 billion dollar nightlife industry that employs several 100,000 people.
Pellitz is being paid a $130,000 a year salary.
The next listening session is in two weeks in Queens.
New York City is the first American city to create such a position but international cities like Paris, London and Amsterdam have “Nightlife Mayors.”