By Joe Anuta
Residents of a serene North Flushing block spent six weeks tracking down the elusive source of blaring music — and were shocked to find it across a river and more than a mile away.
Peter Condiles lives in the leafy section of Flushing north of downtown where lawns, driveways and carefully manicured bushes are the norm.
It was a quiet place to grow up and live.
“At least it use to be,” he said.
On May 11, Condiles was awakened by loud music pulsating through the walls of his home.
When the racket returned the following weekend, he began walking around the neighborhood, thinking someone might be throwing a party.
But the sound seemed to be playing tricks on him.
“You go around the corner and there it is, but you go around another and you don’t hear anything,” he said.
Condiles next suspected the late-night din could be emanating from a karaoke club on Union Street, but another weekend’s search turned up nothing.
Main Street? Linden Place?
Just when the lifelong Flushing resident thought he had cornered the source of his sleepless nights, the sound would vanish.
Condiles called 311 to report the nuisance, but when he was contacted by the city Department of Environmental Protection, the man on the other end of the line wanted to know where the sound was coming from.
“I don’t know,” Condiles recalled saying before he was told there was nothing the agency, which measures decibel levels to verify noise complaints, could do.
DEP later said the agency is responsible for issuing violations and would need to know the offending party to do a sound test, but would follow up with Condiles’ request.
Condiles had been in contact with another neighbor also seeking the source of the pumping bass, Flushing activist Paul Graziano, and the two spent several evenings driving around, ears tuned to the night air. They went as far as College Point Boulevard before they agreed the sound must be coming from farther away, across the Flushing River.
After another unsuccessful venture into Corona, on June 21 Condiles stumbled upon hundreds of people congregated in Willets Point, a gritty area of junk yards and auto shops across from Citi Field and more than 1 1/2 miles from his house.
“There were between three and five cars or vans. Each one had its trunk or back doors open and maybe 20 or 30 speakers on the doors,” he said. “They were all playing the same thing.”
Condiles and Graziano believe the combined amplification power of the souped-up speakers had sent sound waves bouncing across the Flushing River, off of building facades and into their quiet enclave — and they want the parties, which have been driving neighbors nuts, to stop.
Deputy Inspector Ronald Leyson, commanding officer at the 110th Precinct, said police had already driven the pop-up parties — which may be organized through social media — from around Meadow Lake inside Flushing Meadows Corona Park several months ago.
Now that they have migrated to Willets Point, the precinct has started to do patrols and issue summonses.
Last Friday, officers confiscated a car, he said.
But Graziano hopes the NYPD can put a stop to the gregarious gatherings altogether.
“Who knew you could hear something like that from across a river and through downtown Flushing?” Graziano asked. “It has got to end. I have had enough.”
Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4566.