Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween night on St. Mark's Place: 'truly unheralded'

A reader comment that deserves its own post...

Living on St Marks place (b/t 2nd & 3rd no less) for 33 years is bound to have some effect on a person (me), but I have to say last night was something truly unheralded. As close as I can describe between 12-4, the street resembled nothing so much as Times Square on New Year's Eve. What was even more sobering (ha) was the arrival of cops who placidly navigated the drunk, screaming, traffic stopping, collectively shouting crowd without even attempting to clear the street or the sidewalk. Living on SMP for so long, one adjusts to the fact that inhabitants are deprived of certain civil rights — quiet, privacy, garbage pick up, but this was stunning. I have seen everything here — 70s speed freaks to 80s junkies to the riots in the park. I thought for sure, the same cops (and helicopters) who turned out for that event — or the Republican convention — would show. Nope. What up with that?


blue glass said...

the entire neighborhood seems to have turned into a zoo for halloween.
folks on the bar crawl at company bar certainly had their fun as did people exiting the theater for the new city's halloween party.
everyone i know has a horror story about last night's revelry.
the number of college students doesn't make it any quieter.
seems like loud is a sign of hipness or something.

nygrump said...

Loud is just a sign of the stupid fascist monkey. Look, the monkey is scratching its armpit and waving a flag.

Anonymous said...

On Saturday there was a guy on Houston screaming "WOOOOOOO" at 4am repeatedly until a cop car drove over and yelled at him with the loudspeaker. It was funny, TBH.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for featuring my comment.

I would say the entire neighborhood has turned into a zoo. First it became a urinal, but now it is a pulsing, throbbing sewer of human flesh.

I have long become accustomed to cops telling me if I didn't like it - from noise complaints to attempted breakins - why did I live here? Now, the street is filled with bovine $1 pizza chewers who only vaguely acknowledge you if you wish to navigate around them on the street. One night as I was trying to go into my apartment, when I trying to get into my apartment - a stoop sitting chewer was irritated when he had to move so I could get by. 17 if a day, he told me if I didn't like people hanging around I should move to New Jersey.

Although I am now a suit-wearing professional - not the punk rocker I was in 1978 - what he didn't get is that I still fully capable of his kicking his teeth in.

I have a question. Is it really worth saving $1 on pizza to stand around in bovine herds on bedbug infested, garbage-strewn, crustie inhabited SMP? That's not rhetorical. Is it?

Anonymous said...

Of course, if the cops had sought to disband a gathering of Halloween revelers gathered on mystical SMP in the venerable east village, this board would be inundated with cries of yuppification, disnification, loss of character, police brutality, anti (fill in blank) behavior that ruined the grand old east village of yore when every day was the best thing ever.

Ant said...

It's one thing to say "Why do you live here?", the neighborhood, but it's pretty spot on to say it someone who lives on SMP. It's not like things have really changed in...I don't know, 30-40 years. It IS Times Square. I can't sympathize, sorry.

Bowery Boy said...

My X and her first husband started a cafe on St. Marks back in the '70s called Dojos, and she has some great "zoo" stories. Back when kids would just find a mattress and throw it down on the sidewalk - crash pad. Every type of drug and weapon was available. St. Marks is legendary... for being that zoo. Don't know if things have changed that much... except that there are more cops around and fewer hookers (not that there's anything wrong with either).

Anonymous said...

I wish the Asians would finish taking over SMP already. They already have quite a stronghold. If there's anything of a defining characteristic to SMP between 3rd/2nd ave, it's Asian. SMP between 1st and A is just little more than a block full of decent eateries.

People flock to SMP because it seems like a cool place to hang. Oooh look, wacky sunglasses and wigs! Marijuana pipes, hee hee!! Tattoo parlors! Edgy! Let's face it, SMP today is just a place where boring out of town people can go and try to get a piece of new york city cool.

But for the punk or reveler, what is there for them on SMP? Not much. $1 pizza slices, a couple of unhip tattoo parlors and that Search&destroy used clothes store. There's only a couple of lame bars to get drunk in. SMP is more of a gateway not a destination. Avenue A is a lot more sickening if you want to talk about people at their most unfortunate.

So when I see the out of towners on SMP feeling their NYC-coolness, or the leftovers hanging around clinging to some long-gone notion of downtown punk coolness...and while they annoy me, ultimately I just pity them. Underneath all the posturing they are clearly just sad and bored.

Anonymous said...

Hello Dojo. I think when I moved here you were serving panama red ice cream - does recollection serve?

The think about junkies and hookers - they were MUCH quieter. Also, and I guess you were a pioneer in this field, neh?, owing to the development the sidewalk is probably 50% narrower than it was in 1977.

Ant- you really have no idea what you are talking about. A street that had mostly hairdressers, vintage clothes stores and record stores is not same that is 90% bars & restaurants. Different zoo.