Saturday, July 05, 2008


Independance Day 1996 in Little Italy ..

The cops and the Fire Department occasionally drove through the area but did not stop on this night . This was a neighborhood thing ; a traditional Little Italy 4th of July celebration of independance and liberty . This event was sponsored , funded and executed by the neighborhood for the benefit of all who chose to come to the area around Mott and Prince to enjoy up close and uncomfortable this old fashioned fireworks display .
This celebration was the last of it kind . The nanny state stopped it all , claiming of course that it was just too dangerous .
Well , we did always wear eye and ear protection for this event and yes , it was dangerous but it was also the best show in town ; outclassing Macy's annual display by a long way . Both displays used the same big aerial bombs but here you could be up close when bombs were launched from mortars in the center of an intersection .
Today we are left with one big automated fireworks display over the river , a pathetic cascade of water spilling from the top of some scaffolding errected beneath the Brooklyn bridge and memories of some orange sheets blowing in the wind in Central Park ... and of course annoying visions of a mayor lecturing us on safety as he also informs us as to just how much that the pathetic cascade of water from atop a scaffold will bring NYC in tourist dollars .
We ask one question of the reader concerning safety and our city administration . Which would you prefer , 1 night of fireworks on your block every year or a tower crane errected directly across the street from your residence that will be used for the next 18 months to build a new 400 foot tall building that was designed and self-certified by God-only-knows-who ? The tower crane of course will be certified safe by Mayor bloomberg's NYC Dept. of Buildings .The inpections and approvals of all work will be done by the same God-only-knows-who that designed the building according to their Directive 14 privileges .

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


6 Nov. 2004 : The Most Recent Tompkins Square Park Riot ...

On 6 Nov. 2004 in Tompkins Square Park , NYPD called for a major mobilization , including helicopters , horses from the mounted patrol , large numbers of regular officers and several others of the NYPD special units . The reason for the mobilization : a riot was in progress .

It all began here at 6:03 pm with the above arrest . A young man is arrested for drinking a beer .

At the very end of a TSP concert , the permit ended at 6:0o pm , 2 officers were entering the centeral area of TSP where the concert was held ,to shut down the sound system and to supervise the area as those who had attended the concert left the area .

As the 2 police officers entered the area they encountered a young man drinking a beer . They politely requested ( we saw this ) that this young man pour out his beer and deposit the can in a trash recepticle . Well , the young man was not in the mood to surrender anything , especially his beer , to the cops . The police officers attempted to take the beer from the young man ; there was a scuffle ending with cuffs on the young man and a riot to follow envolving perhaps 150 anrgy concert-goers .

Many of those who had attended the concert were at the end of the event well soused . The concert had been largely un-policed and thus mass quantities of the hoppy , alcholic beveredges , beer and malt liquor the favorite , had been consumed .

Indeed during the concert we saw several full beer containers fly through the air , striking and injuring people . Bloody scalps and faces were seen . People were seen diving from the stage into the crowd but the crowd was not catching everyone ; those who were missed were seen crawling , bloody, on hands knees between the legs of the crowd making there way to the sidelines to nurse their wounds. Some folks were so well pickled that they had to lean against each other just to remain standing upright .

Above a young man is subdued for allegedly breaking a 40 oz. beer bottle on the window of a police vehicle . At this time a hail of beer bottles , mostly 40 oz. in size , was directed in the direction of these police officers .

We have seen many a riot , Chicago in 1968 , Chicago and the Weather Underground's "Days of Rage" in 1969 , the Tompkins Square Park Riots 1988 through 1994 and others in other cities , but only rarely had we seen rioters actually run at and tackle police officers . Above a man is subdued who along with several other concert-goers had run at and tackled police officers .

By 6:30 most of the angry , contentious crowd had been removed from the park . The gates are closed .
Some further combat continued to occur outside the park on the streets for perhaps 45 minutes , mostly on St. Marks Place .

A captain explains that the park is closed and that all persons are to leave the area .


1996 : Bottle Rockets

Monday, June 30, 2008


Haircuts on the Corner...

We have noticed that several of the Tompkins Square Park regulars have recently had their ears set out . Somebody is giving park people haircuts and we suspect that the guy pictured here is the itinerate TSP barber . At the corner of avenue A and 7th street he plugs into the electrical recepticle at the base of the corner street light and then shears , buzzes and trims away.


Lipstick Jungle on Avenue A : When is This Crap Going to Go Away and Never Come Back ?

Sunday, June 29, 2008


Aaron "The Pie Man" Kay Claims Harrasment by Avalon Bowery Security Personnel ... and More Concerning the Economakis Protest on July 11, 2008 ..

Late Friday night we received a phone call from Yippie elder statesman Aaron "the pie man" Kay informing us that members of the Avalon Bowery security staff had accosted and harrassed him while sitting incapacitated by heat and humidity on one of the benches in front of Avalon Bowery Place on 1st street .
Aaron recounted that he was on his way to his current residence at the Yippie Building at 9 Bleecker street . Aaron ,who is overweight , diabetic and has considerable difficulty walking using a cane , was walking from the subway at 2nd avenue down 1st street when he was overcome by the New York summer heat and humidity . His nearest haven of rest was a bench in front of the Avalon Bowery building . Weak and desperate for a place to collapse ,rest and regain the strength to continue to his home , he sat down on the bench .
According to Aaron , shortly Avalon Bowery security personnel accosted him demanding that he leave the property of Avalon Bowery immediately . Aaron claims that they informed him that they knew who he was and that he had just 2 weeks before protested against Avalon Bowery and the Bowery Wine co . and thus he was not welcome on what was their private property . He claims that he was told that he was trespasing and that they would call the police to remove him .
Being incapacitated by the heat and unable to move Aaron remained seated on the bench resting . According to Aaron , two female police officers arrived at the scene and though polite and proper informed him that indeed he was on private property and that he would have to leave . Aaron claims that he did comply with police and with considerable difficulty did leave the Avalon Bowery property . He did eventually did make it home to 9 Bleecker street , just a bit more than 2 blocks away .
It seems that with this event and others , including all the recent shootings in the neighborhood , that the that the summer is heating-up in more ways than just thermally . There is evident sentiment in support of protest and confrontation in this polarized society divided mostly by wealth ; between those that have and will only take more and those who have just enough to survive in this city .
Support for the July 11 protest against the Economakis family for instance is growing . Now the organizers of that protest intend to protest not just at 47 e 3rd street but will take to the streets and march to the NYU dorm on 3rd and Bowery then to the John Varvatos store , then to the Bowery Wine Co. to claim some of the free pizza promised in the "Observer "story by the BWC owner ,then to the Ludlow , then to Red Square on east Houston , then to Tompkins Square Park for a speak-out , then to the Christodora to demand that the swimming pool be opened to neighborhood children and then finally to Union Square Park .
If a recent comment here on NMNL is genuine , notice of the intolerably expensive real estate situation in our city is noticed in other parts of the world with sympathy .
See here ,we have now verified this comment :



A Friday Night's Consequences : His First Beer Summons


Pictures With Jay : A Mission to Tompkins Square Park from Indiana ...

We regularly run pictures of folks with Jay . Jay stops us and asks us to photograph him with so-and-so ... and we do ; it is now a regular feature at NMNL .
Friday afternoon Jay sitting with TSP associates Chas. (left) and "Choice" asked us to photograph some folks new to us . Heather (left) , Austin and Julie are indeed new to us and the nieghborhood ; they are from Lebanon Indiana . They are missionaries from their church back in Indiana and are working with a neighborhood church while they are here . They will be in the neighborhood for not quite 2 weeks and are staying at the local church with which their mission is affiliated .
For the last few days they have been in TSP offering material and spiritual assistance to anyone in need and there are certainly many in this park in need of both . A bold undertaking coming from such a far away and different place as Indiana . All-in-all they seemed to be quite at ease in the midst of such a notorius location as the chess table area and its denizens . They noted that they had been to TSP before on missionary work but still must be something of a challenge ; even many of the locals avoid the area .


Saturday Afternoon Concert in Tompkins Square Park ...

Jay and Eddie with smoke bomb above and below .

Woman with tomato plant above and below , dancing as contact sport . .

A traditional Tompkins Square Park punk concert with some extras : a woman with a potted tomato plant gave a gardening lecture and there was a brief stir over a smoke bomb .
The usual rumble danced to music went on for 3 or 4 hours . One guy danced so exuberantly with beer in-hand that his pants came down . At the very end , as the last of the music was ending , the rain came down .
There was some beer consumed and a faint scent of weed occasionally wafted by but then how could it be otherwise and still be the real thing in TSP .

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