By Joe Anuta
Party animals who blast music out of trunk-mounted car speakers in Willets Point are driving homeowners nuts as far away as Bayside.
TimesLedger Newspapers reported earlier this month on the seven-week ordeal of North Flushing resident Peter Condiles, who successfully tracked the maddening music to a recurring Iron Triangle block party 1 1/2 miles from his home. Now residents living twice as far away say their sleepless nights can be traced to the same source.
At about 2 a.m. on a night in mid-May, Ignatius LaBarbera stepped outside his home near the corner of 202nd Street and 36th Avenue in Bayside for some fresh air, but it was not the relaxing experience he was looking for.
“My deck was vibrating,” he said.
The retired NYPD officer at first dismissed the pounding music, believing it was a graduation bash or other one-time party.
But when the noise returned the next weekend, he knew he had a problem.
“It was really driving me out of my skin. The din of the air conditioner, the radio and the TV — they were no good,” he said. “The bass went right through.”
LaBarbera took to wandering the streets near his home late at night in a futile effort to pinpoint where the sound was coming from. He sometimes ran into perplexed neighbors trolling the streets on the same nocturnal mission.
One man stormed over to a nearby house, sure he had located the source of the music, only to find all the lights were out and not a soul stirring inside.
“It was the most bizarre thing. All of a sudden you’d turn onto an avenue and it was as quiet as a church,” LaBarbera said.
He checked for new nightclubs or vacant stores where spontaneous revelry might crop up, but when he drove by, they were always dead silent.
One weekend he trained his crosshairs on a bar near the corner of Utopia Parkway and 29th Avenue.
“I thought, ‘This was it,’” he said. “But I walk in and they are playing Frank Sinatra on the jukebox.”
LaBarbera called the 111th Precinct, 311 — any agency he could think of. The city Department of Environmental Protection contacted him to perform a noise survey, since it can issue violations, but LaBarbera and his neighbors could not point to where the sound was coming from.
“When we went to Flushing, I really thought I lost my mind,” he said, incredulous the sound could be coming from that far away.
But Main and Union streets turned up nothing, and the armchair investigators again returned to Bayside.
It was only after learning of Condiles’ ordeal that LaBarbera believed the two had been victims of the same souped-up speakers.
On June 21, Condiles stumbled upon hundreds of people gathered at an outdoor party in the Iron Triangle, a small neighborhood of auto shops and junkyards across from Citi Field. Several cars had their trunks open, where as many as 30 speakers were mounted inside a single vehicle, the Flushing resident said.
All of the autos had been synchronized and were collectively blasting dance music out over the Flushing River, where the sound bounced off homes, supermarkets and shopping centers before rattling the eardrums of weary residents.
The 110th Precinct, which covers the area, said the parties are likely organized by social media and had moved from another location in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Officers have been patrolling the area, breaking up the bashes and have even confiscated cars, police said.
Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4566.