Saturday, June 14, 2008


The Friday the 13th Bowery Wine Co. Protest ...

No one expected that the protest would get the attention that it did . Most thought , well , its just a little fun for some old Yippies ; a chance for some crustys and punks to run wild . Quite to the contrary , though admittedly silly and pointless at times , the event from the beginning , right through the march through the streets to the end at the Christodora , got noticeed by the public ; the event got some real traction in the street .... and all the city papers had people there to cover the story .

There were confrontations all evening begining with the one declared not-so-young Republican standing-up to the protestors at the Bowery Wine Co. right to the end with a good bit of stupid ugliness at the Christodora .

From our conversations with by-standers along the protest route , the protest seemed to have struck a sympathetic chord with many of the less well-to-do , fearful and frustrated New Yorkers facing bigger rents , higher prices , an indifferent Bloomberg administration and an NYU that is ready to gobble their whole neighborhood . It seemed from conversations and observation that for many of those who appeared to have sufficient wealth to live easily carefree in this city the affair was perceived as most often befuddling or pathetic and perhaps at times quaintly entertaining .

The protest began at the Bowery Wine Co. on 1st street . After a short demostration there the protestors moved down to the Bowery , turned north and marched past the John Varvatos store and the Bowery Hotel to 3rd street and then east to the Ekonomakis residence . After a brief pause at this location the group moved on to Tompkins Square Park and then to the building that traditionally is considered to have started it all , the centerpiece of the 1988 TSP riot , the Christodora .

The 9th precinct did a good job of maintaining reasonable order while allowing a protest without official sanction to run through the streets . ...with out arrests .

This was not a major event ; just a couple of sparks with no flame . But it was a lot more than anyone expected and it bared the fact briefly that there was an only-slightly-submerged sympathy among the less well-to-do working people with the protest organizer's desire to prevent those with wealth from taking over their neighborhoods .

The motley group of protestors was for many a curiosity and they photographed .

This one Republican , refering to the protestors as liberals , stood alone against an overwhelming 100 or so agitated protestor opposition . At times later in the evening there were perhaps as many as 200 involved in the protest .

At the Varvatos store tempers were hot and the firm but low key response of the police probably saved the day . Some if pushed here , with an arrest for rowdy behavior for instance , would possibly have broken some windows and more .

The protestors at the steps of the Ekonomakis residence on 3rd street make their presence known . Many among the group promised to return to support the tennants of this building when their eviction day comes .

On the steps of the Christodora protestors gather for the end of the protest . The Christodora , a former community center built by a philanthropist to serve the community , is now an up-scale gentrified residence for the relatively well-to-do .For the protestors it is an enduring physical example of what has gone wrong with the city recently as more and more , those from all over the world with wealth seize every last bit of neighborhood property .
This building , its conversion and gentrification made it the ultimate target by rioters during the 1988 Tompkins Square Riot . Late in the riot the building was entered by rioters , lobby plants were liberated and planted across the street in TSP .
The original organizers had not intended to end their protest at the Christadora ; indeed they had not even intended to bring the protest to the Christodora but sympathies and undercurrents established somewhere in tradition selected this traditional symbol of gentrification as the end to the protest . A surprise to some we are sure--and inconveniently problematic for several reasons for a few --but an understandable place to end the evenings protest activities . All these complications another story for another time

On returning home the owner and resident of the top floor penthouse of the Christodora , Michael Rosen , found the group protesting his building and was clearly angered by what he found on his door-step .
For Mr. Rosen , who was one of the developers of the big red box on Houston st. with Vlad Lenon standing on the roof , Red Square , there was some heated conversation with protestors including notably David Peel above and below .

At the end of the evening with many of the original group departed , a hard-core of oldtime "professional"protestors --individuals who protest everywhere persistantly as a way of life-- took charge , and with considerable venom , vented their frustrations and miseries haranguing a few members of NYPD calling them perverts and child molestors . There were also some stupid comments concerning religion . With this nonsense the evening ended . There were no arrests .



Picture Highlights of the Friday the 13th Bowery Wine Co. Protest ...

The one for-sure Republican at the protest .

The Rev. Frank Morales and Aaron"the pieman "Kay . Aaron , the infamous Yippie who pied mayor Beame , Jackie Onssais and many other famous ones in the face , pied no-one this evening

The 9th Precinct arrives on 1st Street .

Up against the windows of the John Varvatos store , formerly CBGBs .

On the Bowery , some support in the form of cheers from some out-of-towners .

On the Bowery at the Bowery Hotel .

At 3rd Street and 2nd Avenue .

On the steps of the Ekonomakis residence on 3rd street

The taking of Avenue A .

Entering Tompkins Square Park .

At the final destination , the Christadora , on Avenue B .



Economic Cooperation : Poolin' Their Resources to Buy Some Beer Friday Night ..

Marlene turns to Jewels to inquire if he desires to participate in the beer purchase pool . Of course he refuses , now that he is sober . He's drinkin' "Arizona Iced Tea" this Friday night .

On their own now , Marlene and "Coney Island Mike" gather together their evening's "spanged" bounty with which they will purchase their favorite alcoholic beverages .

Their shared wealth in-hand , its off to the bodega with them .

They return , unopend containers of their favorite alcoholic beverage in-hand . For Mike its hard lemonade and for Marlene its her favorite malt liquor ,Colt 45 .

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Crusty Row Renaissance in Tompkins Square Park ...

With a Red Tailed Hawk in the tree above gutting and plucking a pigeon with the feathers floating down like fluffy grey snow flakes on them , the Crustys with L.E.S. Jewels among them , went about their business on the very recently reborn Crusty Row Thursday evening . We observed that all things seemed in place and right with the world this evening in Tompkins Square Park with this recent renaissance of the venerable Crusty seating arangement and social institution right next to the other major TSP social institution : the dog run with ass-sniffing pooches and those who gather to watch them . What could be more Tompkins Square Park than this ?

A year or so ago the Crustys were driven from and denied access to this row of seats that had been named for them . Until recently NYPD and the Parks Dept. allowed the Crusty community to gather in a small out-of-the-way shrub enclosed enclave near the basketball courts . A couple of weeks ago this area was also denied them . They were for a while a diaspora scattered in small groups on the benches , grass and asphalt of TSP . Two days ago they returned to their namesake seating in the central part of TSP near the current dog run .

Above L.E.S. Jewels on Crusty Row is displaying an announcement listed in the Villager of the protest in front of the Bowery Wine Co. tomorrow night where he will read a poem that he has written just for this event .

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Unter Den Linden , A 20 Minute Tempest and a Tower Crane Moves ...

Just like the famous boulevard in Berlin many of the streets in NYC are lined with Linden trees. Avenue A is no exception here and last night strong winds brought one of those Lindens down on a phone booth and an SUV parked beneath it .

We did not feel this was much of a story and did not intend to cover it but we noticed today that the NY Post had a picture of the event under one of those Linden trees so we offer here our version of the evening .

The Linden tree that fell was a damaged tree . At the break in the trunk of the tree previous damage as well as a good bit of mold and dry-rot could be seen . The tree was not truly sound ; no surpise that a strong wind brought it down .

Surprisingly the SUV did not appear to be damaged ; the force of the falling tree having been mostly taken by a nearby phone booth .

NYPD emergency services personnel brought the tree to ground cutting it down piece by piece with a chain saw.

The tempest began around 9:15 with very strong gusts of wind . In Tompkins Square Park the Elm trees could be seen twisting and stretching close to the bearable limit before breaking .

Shortly the rains began and at 9:20 or so we picked up a signal on NYPD zone 2 radio reporting that the tower crane at the Cooper Union construction site at 7th street and 3rd avenue was moving in the high winds . We headed in that direction to take a look .

By 9:33 it was raining so intensely that we had to take shelter .

By 9:39 the deluge abated sufficiently for us to continue our westward stormy trek to the location of the tower crane . At the construction site we found the crane deployed out over 7th street and an adjacent building . Not a normally allowed situation .
We assume that the crane operator was rotating the crane , attempting to align the boom with wind flow much as a weather vane does in a strong wind in order to minimize the aerodynamic drag force presented to the crane boom in order to reduce the stresses in the boom and tower . The winds were later reported to have been in the 40 to 50 MPH range . Such winds produce very considerable forces for the crane's structure to resist .

The boom out over 7th street at 9:41 PM rotating on its way to its normal position over the Cooper Union building that it is being used to construct.

The boom at 9:42 PM

The Cooper Union site and the crane at 9:56 PM. The brief tempest ended .

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]