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Upscaling DowntownFrom Bowery Saloons to Cocktail Bars in New York City$
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Richard E. Ocejo

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691155166

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691155166.001.0001

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Growing Nightlife Scenes

Growing Nightlife Scenes

(p.54) Chapter 2 Growing Nightlife Scenes
Upscaling Downtown

Richard E. Ocejo

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the role of the local government in influencing economic development and diminishing civic power in city neighborhoods. It begins with an episode from a public forum on quality-of-life issues held for downtown residents. The vignette shows the open hostility that residents direct at the CEO of the New York State Liquor Authority (SLA), the government agency that they blame for the development of nightlife in the neighborhood in spite of their protests. The chapter proceeds by discussing the policies behind the growth of downtown Manhattan's nightlife scenes, especially the SLA's liquor licensing that facilitated the proliferation of bars. It shows how this policy, which represents “urban entrepreneurialism,” sparked local unrest and led neighborhood residents to organize and protest bars. Residents consider the SLA and bar owners as complicit perpetrators in the destruction of their neighborhood and sense of community, and view themselves as victims of these policies.

Keywords:   local government, New York State Liquor Authority, nightlife, protests, Manhattan, liquor licensing, bars, urban entrepreneurialism, neighborhood residents, bar owners

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