A resident of Inwood testified to trash-strewn streets and violence in her corner of Manhattan, while a woman from the Upper West Side lamented the departure of a shoemaker and barbershop. A man from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, complained that his community was “overrun.”
About 50 people gathered on the Lower East Side of Manhattan this spring to discuss a common villain they said was causing problems in their neighborhoods: the rising number of bars in New York City. Then they pointed to the New York State Liquor Authority, accusing the agency of issuing too many liquor licenses and eroding their quality of life.
“The S.L.A. is less concerned with the public welfare and more concerned with granting licenses to bar owners,” Diem Boyd, who helped organize the meeting, said afterward. “We're at a critical point.”
A spokesman for the State Liquor Authority, William Crowley, offered a different perspective, saying: “The S.L.A. takes a balanced approach in our review process, weighing the merits of the individual application, while placing substantial weight on the recommendations of residents, community boards and elected officials.”