Friday, August 01, 2008


On a Hot Afternoon Things Heat-up in Tompkins Square Park ...

As members of one leisured class luxuriated , bathing themselves in the intense August sun and a video production company worked away above them on Hippy Hill , members of another leisured class were occupied with a nose-to-nose confrontation with the 9th precinct at the basketball court .
This afternoon a noticeably larger than usual Parks Enforcement Police detail was in TSP . At some point some of the PEP personnel confronted some of the Crusties and apparently felt threatened . They called for help from NYPD .
9th precinct personnel arrived on scene and arrested at least one person . We do not know at this time what the arrest charges were .
As we were leaving the basketball court we heard a voice and as we looked in it's direction a young man with a clenched fist raised in the air cried out " the Aug 2nd and 3rd riot anniversary began this afternoon " .

Thursday, July 31, 2008


More on the Saga of the Wandering Crusties ...

Crusty Row is empty . But for one passed-out inndivual 2 nights ago the infamous seating arrangement in Tompkins Square Park was uninhabited .
There were numerous arrests last week on the row , most were for heroin possession ...a few for possession and consumption of beer in a public park . Things on the row probably probably just became to uncomfortable as the cops daily turned -up the heat by making more and more arrests .
According to park supervisor Harry Greenburg numerous dirty needles were found strewn about the seating on Crusty Row every day .
So from a time of diaspora to a renaissance this spring on Crusty Row to being dispersed again and returned to the outer darkness , at least for some , of the little shrub enclosed enclave next to the basketball court . So it goes , this Crusty Saga .

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


There's More to Tompkins Square Park Than the Over-Budget Dog Run ...

This ancient , distressed structure is a basketball goal in Tompkins Square Park . This pipe and sheetmetal construction was never ever up to the task of standing up to the abuse of use in TSP . Theses goals have always been a problem , always breaking down ...all of them on this court just a hundred yards or so from the new dog run .
Why is it that the city will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars , sparing no expense , to create a state of the art luxury lot for dogs to shit in and play in sniffing other dogs asses and spend little of nothing to maintain this heavily used neighborhood basket ball court and its equipment .


A Protest of Unlawful Searches in Tompkins Square Park ...

Protestors , placards in hand , arrived this evening at the central lawn in Tompkins Square Park prepared to confront this evening's event's corporate sponsors over the issue of some unlawful searches .
These unlawful searches did in fact occur at the previous movie in this park . Since that previous event though , much in advance of this evenings protest and movie , the Parks Dept. had determined that such searches were not lawful and could not be conducted by private security in any park including TSP.
All of this was probably the result of the confusion always encountered when attempting to obtain an event permit from the Parks Dept. . We were told by Darin Rubell ,one of the events promoters , that several months ago when applying for the permit to show movies in TSP that a pregnant Indian woman at the Parks Dept . headquarters had told him that he would be required to see to security issues at any event that he was promoting in TSP . This simply was not completly true .
Mr. Rubell claims that he and his partners had been concerned with problems that they had had with drinkers and other trouble makers in the past . To prevent such problems from occuring he and his partners , believing that the Parks Dept. had at the very beginning authorized them to do so , started searching bags for alcohol and denying access to certain suspect individuals . They were wrong to do this .Such actions taken on the part of private individuals to search other private individuals in a public park are unlawful .
Because of this situation tonights protest of these searches was organized and conducted .
We were told by Harry Greenburg , the Parks Dept supervisor responsible for TSP , this afternoon that as soon as he learned of the searches he informed those responsible for the unlawful searches that such searches could not be done by private security at the movie-in-th- park event . In short he pointed out that TSP is a public park and anyone can enter any part of the park at any time during the hours that the park is open to the public . No one other than a New York City police officer can search anyone in a public park and then only in the rare extreme case when it can be determined that there is sufficient cause to do so .
Mr. Greenburg noted that the commisioner was informed of the unlawful searches and that the commisioner made it clear that such searches were unlawful . He stated that these searches should not have occured and that such searches can not be conducted in the park at any time in the future .
Nonetheless the protestors arrived at their appointed time to protest . Immediately on arrival they were informed that there would not be any searches to protest . No matter... they protested anyway displaying their placards , with a few of the protest fringe , handouts in hand , clucking and pecking away at anyone with-in reach at the entrance gate .
There were obvious signs of the presence of the real estate and corporate interests sponsoring the event that they could at least legitimately protest . We agree with the protestors on that issue : in most cases corporate and real estate interests simply should not be advertizing or promoting in our public parks .
For another take on the searches :


David Peel's August 3rd After-Concert Birthday Party Out Front of The Christodora ...

Yippie singer-songwriter David Peel discovered this announcement of his birthday party taped to Ray's famous avenue A lighted ice cream cones sign last week . He was a bit surprised . He hadn't realized that the party was being advertized .
Everyone is invited . Thanks to Chris Sileo of the Bowery Wine Co. there will be some free pizza . Get there early right after the August 3rd 1988 Tompkins Square Park riot anniversary concert to get some .
The '88 TSP riot icon of East Village gentrification , the Christodora , on Avenue B at 9th street will be the party location .
Be there and celebrate David's birthday and remember the Christodora lobby plants that were liberated and planted out-of-doors in Tompkins Square Park on the morning of August 7th ,1988 .


1974 on the Lower East Side : A Print From a Portion of a Damaged Negative

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


The Phone Booth at the Corner of 7th Street and Avenue A : An Update ...

Just an update on current affairs at the local phone booth that also fills-in as necessary as a message board , pissoir and beer stash .
That "Die Yuppie " thing is scrawled here just like everywhere else in the neighborhood .
Coney Island Mike is back in the 'hood making his mark here on the booth wall . Apparently he's available .... if you're really interested .
Something new is posted for those darkly robed , toothy pretenders looking for some appropriate liquid fortification before making their way to the club of their choice .
The number of Heroin sales initiated at this landmark phone booth is up slightly this summer .


Metal Jam ...

The poster above advertises--appropriating an incorrectly dated historical event to its end--a traditional Tompkins Square Park "Metal Jam " . The jam will occur after the expiration of the amplified sound permits for this weekends two concerts in Tompkins Square Park . Hiroshima of course occured in 1945 : the second world war was well over for 2 years in August of 1947 .
In the Tompkins Square Park of yore , after a concert was closed down by the cops a group of persistant locals dedicated to evenings of unending sound would bang , clank and drum on old car doors , gas tanks , fenders , sheets of metal , metal garbage cans , empty dry-wall compound buckets , etc. creating a maddening rythmic droan long into the darkness of the night . Often the neighborhood was plundered for its lose wood and this festival of banging on things all occured at fireside with a burning barrel-fire or even a simple open roaring and crackling conflagration lighting and warming the primitive TSP percussive celebration . In these ancient days the cops allowed this to go on for hours without disturbance ....usually it all just went away ;the flames lowered and the sounds faded to silence in the darkness .
The organizers of this weekend's two days of concerts in remembrance of the 20th anniversary of the 1988 Tompkins Square Park riot have permits that will expire at 7pm . The amplified sound permits will expire even earlier . Those who will attempt this metal jamb will do so after the sound permits expire . Will the cops allow such an event to happen in today's TSP ? Show-up and see for yourself .


Lucy's Bar on Avenue A



Monday, July 28, 2008


27 July Concert in Tompkins Square Park ...

False Prophets



The afternoon started out bright and dry . After a brief bit of music the sky darkened and rain fell but though the concert-goers scattered the concert continued .
Not all that many attended the hard core concert , perhaps as many as 200 at times later in the day .
There was the usual occasional scent of weed wafting on the air and just the neck of a bottle of malt liquor could occasionally be seen protruding from a paper or plastic bag .
We saw one incident , probably fueled by a bit too much beer , in which one young man touched another's woman resulting in a tense and almost violent confrontation .
False Prophet's Stephan for a while played with a roll of blue tape among the crowd.
The concert closed with red rose petals being cast into the air .
This was the first of three concerts that are associated with the 20th anniversary of the 1988 Tompkins Square Park Riot .There will be 2 more concerts , one on Saturday next and one on Sunday next . There will also be a TSP traditional metal jam and drum circle after the Saturday concert . After the Sunday concert a birthday party will be held in front of the Christodora for Yippie song writer and performer David Peel . For this party the Bowery Wine Co. will provide free pizza . More on these events later .
It is hard to say what this next week will bring . There will be protests and actions during this next week , some of which will be unannounced .
We have been informed that on Wednesday at 7 pm in TSP at the entrance to the central lawn in TSP people will protest the private security personnel that are searching the bags of those attending the Wed. night movie in that part of TSP .
Be prepared for surprises .

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