Friday, December 21, 2007


The 1994 Memorial Day Riot in Tompkins Square Park ...

Back in 1994 before there were true modern-day "Crusties" and before a row of seating in Tompkins Square Park came to be named for them , "Crusty Row" ( which see here at NMNL ) , there was a riot after a concert .
As the music of the 1994 Memorial Day concert ended in the recently rennovated Tompkins Square Park a group of beer-drinking locals decided that they should not be without music : they would make their own . A metal-jam began with numerous individuals beating on cans ,buckets , auto gas tanks , metal sheets , etc. . Barrel fires were started in the trash receptacles to help complete the tribal and primitive atmosphere of this ad hoc festival of rhythmic percusive sound .Of course NYPD did not approve of this improvised musical rebellion ; the music permit had after-all expired .
Shortly many cops were all over TSP siezing cans , buckets and assorted bits of metal paraphernalia . As beer bottles flew through the air , fires were extinguished and the ad hoc festival of tribal rhythms in TSP quickly ended .Very little real violence occured with most participants and lookers-on simply walking slowly out of TSP very slowly and purposefully with attitude ... just inches ahead of the cops .
The park was emptied of people in no more than an hour and locked until the next day .
The riot seems to have come as a surprise to NYPD but it or some other disorderly event had been predicted by some . The rennovated park had been re-opened in the late summer of 1992 and throughout that summer and the following summer of 1993 the park had seen no social disturbances . The park had remained in a pristine and orderly condition during these two summers but 1994 was different .
By the begining of 1994 NYPD had reduced the amount of attention it was giving to TSP and problems grew in the park as a result . The physical condition of the park had become less pristine showing signs of use , trash and disrepair .
We remember talking to a Lt. about problems in TSP 2 weeks before the '94 Memorial Day riot . The Lt. at the time claimed that there could never possibly be another riot in TSP ; NYPD was on top of everthing going on in the park . On Memorial Day there was a riot involving perhaps as many as 300 people with a hard core of active participants numbering 75 or so .

Great photos Bob!!!!!!
Before the city became a supersized generic shopping mall, mega dorms, luxury condo and glittery hotels....reflecting "bye bye"
and hello soulless superficial nyc
welcome to the new hideous new york...
Happy New Year Bob,
Please forgive me for gushing, but your a super talent!!! Hey, Bob...please tell Sirena, that I Kellyann miss her and I wish her a happy new year, she's welcome anytime to stay w/ me in Syracuse, Ny if she find, she needs a place to stay. email me if you need my contact info.

Blessings Always!!!

Thanks for the compliment and when I see Sirena I will tell her that you wished her a Happy New year
Hey Bob! I love these pix. Oh, the memories. I wondered if you have any more recent ones of me especially from Femme Fatale Fest?
Hello! Thank you for posting this. I was actually 15 when this happened and it was my first summer traveling/squatting. I was wondering if there is any way to get copies of the pictures that you have posted as a few of them contain friends who have passed away and I would love to obtain copies of them. Thanks for bringing me back to that time,


It is possible to send me a message through myspace. Thanks.
Sorry, the URL didn't show up:


Thank you,
great photos, really reflects the time. crust as fuck
and 27 of us were arrested, half of the arrested weren't even apart of the event, they were just on 9th st at the wrong time
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