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Kanye West Concert Draws Crowd To Flatiron, But Neighbors Not Thrilled

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Kanye West headlined a concert in the Flatiron District Thursday night that proved to be as controversial as the rapper himself.

As CBS2's Tracee Carrasco reported, the concert transformed a largely residential area into a raucous venue.

West put on quite a show for thousands of fans just outside Madison Square Park. The first annual Roc City Classic was free, and was a kickoff to the NBA All-Star Weekend.

"I haven't been to a concert ever in my life, so this is, like, a very excited moment for me," said Josseline Juarez of Astoria, Queens.

Some stood online for hours without a ticket, waiting for the concert and crossing their fingers that they would be allowed in. But by show time, the 10,000 people who were expected just did not materialize and everyone got in with room to spare.

But the problem for his fans was the frigid temperature, 1010 WINS' Carol D'Auria reported.

"It's really good; it's just cold," said one woman who said she was leaving early.

And the problem for many residents – just as they predicted – was the noise. The music blasted through the Flatiron District for an hour, and some businesses closed early, over fears that the crowd would get out of hand.

The restaurant Eataly even had a constant crowd.

Still, some neighbors said Flatiron Plaza was no place for the concert.

"It shouldn't be here," said Geoffrey Croft, president of New York City Parks Advocates. "This was originally slated for Times Square."

The transformation was a major undertaking. A snowman art display was removed for $60,000 and a real snowman has taken its place, CBS2's Vanessa Murdock reported. Granite benches, planters and Citi Bike racks were whisked away as well. Security barricades line the streets now.

Some residents said all this was too much in too little a space for the 45-minute outdoor concert, which was expected to attract 10,000 people. A count of how many showed up was not immediately available.

"I don't even know where they're all going to fit and the traffic is horrible," Flatiron resident Courtney Seasongoo said.

Some Residents Upset As Flatiron Plaza Prepares For Tonight's Free Kanye West Concert

"This is a main area of New York City, especially a lot of tourists trying to see Flatiron and just a lot of things going on around here. I think they could have made a better location," Kirsti Murphy, who works in the Flatiron District, said before the concert.

Members of Manhattan Community Board Five demonstrated their dissatisfaction, sending a strongly-worded letter to the mayor calling the event, "inappropriate in terms of scale, duration, volume and impact for this dense commercial and residential area."

But despite the seemingly vehement opposition, the show went on with Kanye West headlining.

Terry Niefield watched the show from his apartment.

"It's kind of unbearable," he said.

While Niefield not against concerts, he said one of such a size in the location that was chosen was just way too much.

"Tonight's a special night. I'm giving him this one," he said.

But Niefield and his neighbors hoped such a concert would not happen again.

"It can't be at the expense of the people that live and work around the area regularly," he said.

To make room for the masses, vehicles were banned on Broadway and Fifth Avenue between 23rd and 26th streets and West 24th and 25th streets between Broadway and Sixth Avenue Thursday night. Traffic was slowly getting back to normal at 11 p.m.

The concert stage will be taken down Friday, but there is no word yet on whether or not the art installation will be returned, Murdock reported.

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