New YorkNews

Music to New York’s Ears

If you’re a musician who thinks you’re going to be making beautiful music in Central Park this weekend — think again.   In recent news, city officials have been handing out nuisance summonses and posting a “Quiet Zone” sign at Bethesda Fountain, much to the horror of many park-goers.

Musical History in Central Park

For over a century, musicians have been congregating in this spot, belting out beautiful harmonies and making music together.   John Boyd, for instance, has spent his weekends singing spirituals there with six of his nine children as back-ups.

No More Music! Says Parks Police

Last week, he was told “no more!” as the Quiet Zone sign went up but Boyd isn’t taking it lying down.   In the past two months, Boyd has received five summonses for his musical escapades totaling $2,300.   Wednesday, he was then arrested by Parks police and brought to the Central Park police station.

Boyd countered,

“I have a right to free speech. When I sing, it is expressing what I believe in. I told them, ‘You are not chasing me away.’ “

Another musician, classical harpist Meta Epstein said that she is “afraid to play, especially in the fountain terrace.”

Quiet Reflection

When the spokesman for the Central Park Conservancy was confronted on the issue, the response was: “The fountain is a place for quiet reflection.”

Now that is definitely not music to New York’s ears.


James Allenby is the editor of Gowanus Lounge, bringing to his position a vast background on New York, and especially Brooklyn history, culture and lifestyle. Born and bred in the heart of "the County of Kings" James Allenby knows what it means to be a Brooklynite, and imparts this meaning at all times to his readers. Contact James at info(at)