BY KATHY KAHN
Nyack’s Spring Fest (April 13) is just around the corner but in the wee hours of the morning, a fest of another kind is likely going on in or around the village’s downtown area—one that involves revelers who’ve had one too many hitting the street– and sometimes hitting each other.
The Pour House is partnering with Nyack’s Chamber of Commerce in a new initiative, “Beautify Nyack,” with a new sub-organization aptly named the Late Night Business Association, sponsored by one of the bars that residents say some of the naughty and bawdy drinkers are attracted to while others are trying to catch 40 winks. The Nyack Pour House established a hot line 845-727-POUR that will be up and running 363 days a year (Christmas and Easter excluded) from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. to address issues residents or businesses have on a first-come, first serve basis.
Nyack Chamber of Commerce President Scott Baird said, “I’m really pleased The Pour House has come out, acknowledged the problem and offering to tackle it. We get more than the usual amount of visitors because of all the bars and restaurants and it can cause problems, especially for people who don’t feel like hearing people partying in the street at 2 a.m….or local business owners who come to open up and find trash of all kinds littering the front of their stores.”
The Pour House’s co-owner, Sean Spicer, said in a prepared statement, “We are happy to reach out beyond our store front boundary to help keep the village clean for our residents, customers and fellow business owners.”
In addition to the Beautify Nyack Program, The Pour House is sponsoring seasonal community-wide cleanups in the Village. Volunteers and those who have been assigned community service hours can take advantage of the program, and The Pour House will be handing out gloves and light refreshments for the volunteers. Anyone interested in signing up can do so at www.keeprocklandbeautiful.org/programs/great-american/cleanup/.
Nyack’s Community Clean Up will be held Saturday, April 26. Volunteers can meet at the Nyack Center between 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. to be given their assigned areas. The Pour House will be handing out disposable gloves and serving light refreshments (zero alcohol content!) for those who donate their time and service who help clean up the neighborhood.
“We need this program,” said Baird, who said keeping Nyack neat will enhance visitors’ experience and keep them coming back. “The Pour House and 30 member organizations of the Late Night Business Association will be taking responsibility for keeping the streets clean and their customers calm.”
Drunks and skunks who throw garbage around are not Nyack’s only problem—parking is another significant impediment, said Baird. While Manhattanites are acclimated to the ticketing machines that replaced traditional parking meters, many who visit Nyack don’t realize Nyack has followed Manhattan’s lead, installing ticket machines to replace meters. “It’s one thing if you know the machine is there and ignore it,” said Baird. “It’s another if you have no idea the village has these machines and think you’ve found a spot, then find a ticket on your windshield. It’s very frustrating. We need to get the word out about this in a more effective way.”
While talk has dried up about turning the parking lot behind the former Helen Hayes theatre into a parking garage, those spots are also metered parking. “It’s a matter of people getting used to the machines,” said Baird. “Parking problems are definitely on Mayor Jen White’s and the trustees’ agenda, and we do hope something gets resolved to make the village more parking-friendly.”
The Nyack Chamber estimates local bars, restaurants and entertainment venues employ more than 300 part- and full-time workers who live in Nyack, more than 200 contracts (DJ’s, bands, artists, karaoke and others). Baird estimates the village sees more than a half-million visitors each year. “That’s why it’s so important to keep it looking great,” he said.
Nyack may be seeing even more visitors than usual once work ramps up on the new Tappan Zee Bridge. The world’s largest crane, dubbed “I Live New York,” is waiting in New Jersey to be brought upstream this spring. That construction is going to be a draw for people who have never seen a bridge built, especially one three miles long.
To see the complete schedule of events coming up in 2014 in the village, visit www.nyackchamber.org.