Saturday, June 29, 2013

A private party in a public Tompkins Square Park



Several residents have told us that part of Tompkins Square Park was closed off this afternoon for a private party of some kind... in an area between East Eighth Street and East Ninth Street along Avenue B... the residents said that they were unaware that a section of a public park could be shut down for some private gathering... the partygoers were flashing permits to people who were put out by what was transpiring ... even the men who are part of the drum circle along here were told that they needed to vacate the area. And, from what we were told, they were quite unhappy about it...

Updated:
One reader said that this event was a birthday party for a chihuahua.

Updated:
Here is information from the Parks & Recreation website with information on requesting a special event permit.

"From the smallest birthday party to the largest concert, special events take place every day in New York City parks. If you want to have any activity in a City park with more than 20 people, or where you would like to reserve a specific area within a park, you need to apply for a special event permit."

47 comments:

Uncle Waltie said...

Did you take pictures? Henceforth...(I love to use this word) we would like pictorial documentation. mmeennnhh now I'm too drnukk to tyoe any more.

frankABC said...

Uhh what? Please tell me someone got a copy of these "permits".

WTF- this smells.

Karen said...

I know you can get a permit from the parks department for defined periods of time on playing fields, and when the Earth School and TSMS have fundraisers on the baseball diamond they need to get a permit too. I think you have to pay for it. Blocking off a pathway for a private party is a little weird though.

Anonymous said...

Movies can sorta do this?

Anonymous said...

re: 9:56 PM

It smells alright, those people in the pic look like trash, and i can smell them from afar.

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing they just put up some danger tape and started telling people they had to move. This was tried years ago in the park and I said "get a cop" and the party people backed down.

Jill said...

What I need to know is what is in that giant box?

Anonymous said...

Permits my ass. My blood boils just looking at the photo. I wish someone had sat down on a bench in the blocked off area and challenged the partygoers to call the cops.

Anonymous said...

When Peter Stuyvesant gave this land to the City it was on the understanding that it would be kept for the free use of the public. Not rented out to private groups.

Next thing you know they will sell the park to a corporation and it will be renamed Shell Park or General Motors Park. This Park is for everyone and if we let this go by without a fuss then we will have no park. You don't think this can happen? Wake Up!

Anonymous said...

I passed the drum circle today and thought it was strange that they were playing all the way over near the 9th St dog run. When i went to check out their usual spot, these idiots had yellow taped off the whole area and weren't letting anyone in, you had to go around. A few months back a similar group took over the playground on the southeast side of the park for a kiddie birthday party, and tables full of pizza boxes and other food, and they also wouldn't let anyone who wasn't invited inside the gates. I had no idea that Tompkins Square had a door and invitation only policy. Next time I go there I'll remember to make reservations.

nickzedd said...

YO! BUM RUSH THE SHOW!

Anonymous said...

Uh…don't think so.

This is public space. We don't pay city taxes so a bunch of people can tape off a section and have a little party.

It's funny to think that 25 years ago a group of people like this would've never considered doing something like this in this park.

lue glass said...

many years ago we held our son's birthday parties in central park. we did this for over ten years.
at that time the cafeteria had picnic tables on the side and we'd buy food and bring a birthday cake.
the kids would swarm the climbing rock and most of the parents would stay.
we never thought of blocking off any part of the park - there was certainly enough room for everybody.

Anonymous said...

No way! Our parks are OUR parks. Held in the public trust. Not private event spaces to Vichify citizenry into roped-off have and have-nots. No Way!

IzF said...

OMIGOD!! Are we that Stupid??? The question we should be asking is: "Who do we PAY?"

Uncle Waltie said...

I'm going to cordon off a section of the park near 7th and B. It's in honor of the 40th re-enactment of my 23 birthday. Bring refreshments...preferably 80 proof, but a couple of beers might come in handy as well. For those who don't know what I look like: I'm the most handsome guy on the bench. Plus I smell good.

Anonymous said...

Next time perhaps these people would consider making a donation to one of the local community gardens and holding their little event there. But note, the garden is not "closed" during the event.

This does not make any sense to me!

shmnyc said...

Typical Anonymous over-reaction. Sometimes people do things without authorization. By all indications, very few people were inconvenienced. If more had been, they'd have confronted the party-goers and this would have been a non-event.

Anonymous said...

I was one of the residents who grumbled to Grieve. For me, it wasn't that the group was having a party/event, if was the way some of the partygoers were acting to others in the Park. I got a big FU attitude from 1-2 of them. They didn't need to be so rude.

Anonymous said...

"I got a big FU attitude from 1-2 of them." So, then you came here to give them an FU attitude anonymously on a blog? People take over parts of the park every single day. For softball games, tennis matches, bicycle or road races, etc. Hell, go walk by the east river park on any Saturday or sunday and you will see tables, tents, etc. set up with no permit.

Goggla said...

There is a perfectly good picnic area that is out of the way and could have been used. This blocked a public path, unlike the games out at East River Park.

Keep an eye on WSP as they now have a conservancy group who will be making private decisions for that public space. You can bet there is a desire to do the same for TSP.

shawn said...

Based on the nycgovparks.org site, if these people really did have a permit, they would have had to pay $2,400 to block off an area of less than 25% of TSP. Sheesh that's a lot of money that I assume goes directly into the park's pocket. I saw these people and were annoyed because that's the path I always walk through but they definitely didn't even come close to taking over a quarter of the park.
HOWEVER, I think Tompkins should be listed as a "Level C" park because of how much it does get used by the public and then that fee would have been $7,200. Therefore a lot less likely to be used for someone's private party.
And, yes, the LES has many community gardens that would be happy to host a private party for $2,400. Though many would refuse.

Anonymous said...

Putting up tape like that and making it a pointedly exclusionary space is a dick move. People hold kids' parties by the back of the sprinkler park every weekend day, often two of 'em side by side. And nobody's going to come in there and cop refreshments, and if they do, so what, give 'em some. They don't put up caution tape to say "This is OUR private event so get out."

Sheep in Wolf's clothing said...

So with all of this reporting by folks who were there and reporting back here, nobody thought to dial the 9th Precinct and ask "What's up with this?".

shmnyc said...

I agree that we should guard against a park conservancy, I just don't see this as a precursor to that. Their discussion about putting up the tape probably ended with "Well, let's just see what happens."

Jill said...

Laura-do you know who the permit was issued to? Was it from the 9th precinct ?

Anonymous said...

Why not ask East Village Parks Conservancy for a comment?

vzabuser said...

People need to read how Bloomberg cruelly monetizes city parks with people's rights nowhere in sight:
In 2004, I spoke with Adrian Benepe, who was then the parks commissioner, about the desire of hundreds of thousands of Americans to protest the Iraq War and the Bush administration by marching through the streets of our city for a rally at Central Park’s Great Lawn.

Mr. Benepe and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg were adamantly, passionately opposed to letting protesters set foot in the park. We have, Mr. Benepe said, resodded and relandscaped.

Allowing tens and tens of thousands of foodies to descend on Prospect Park’s sylvan Nethermead for the commercial Great GoogaMooga festival is another matter altogether. A march to the Great Lawn was about free speech and dissent; GoogaMooga is about good old commerce.
http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/17/a-curious-costbenefit-analysis-of-a-park-fund-raiser/?ref=nyregion

Anonymous said...

It's called a permit, dummies.

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute. Did those people have a standard park party permit, or did they pay more serious money to get a permit to use (for private use) a section of the park? A standard party permit _does not_ allow you to block off a section of the park as your own. (However, I think the more elaborate rental permits do allow you block off areas.) It's worth asking what kind of permit was granted to this party.

Yes, I was walking home and I ran into that party and I almost just lifted the tape and walked through. It seemed remarkably rude to to tape the path and, no, not at all a good idea, esp. considering there are plenty of places in the park to hold a party in a fashion that doesn't interfere with usual park activities like, oh, walking through the park. Grrrr.

I thought, well, maybe it's an official park function, someone is getting an award for being the best gardener, or something like that. Had I know it was (probably) just misuse of a standard park party permit, I would have walked right through the tape and had words with the partiers.

Anonymous said...

someone should have taken the yellow tape down.

Anonymous said...

Hate to be a spoil sport to all the spoil sports here, but IT'S LEGAL!!! Yes even you to can get a permit and have a party or a wedding, etc, etc, etc...............

rob said...

What better way to alienate your neighbors and invite their resentment than holding a private party in a small, heavily-used park? What kind of entitlement wouldn't even care, like a movie-shoot? Why didn't they hold their party in the children's section where the rest of us can't go anyway? Just to show the locals how indifferent they are, or how special?

At least performances are public, standing in a long tradition of public performances in TSP well back to the 1880's. Will private parties in TSP be the latest trend? David Schwimmer's private Memorial Day cookout commandeering the entire nonbandshell? Gregg Singer's private cocktail hour at the 9th Street exit Friday evenings? Shaoul's 100th eviction victory celebration, featuring the uprooting of the Hare Krishna tree with a jackhammer, while the plebs observe from a distance?

shmnyc said...

This is a perfect example of Sayre's law: "In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake."

rob said...

Sayre's cute joke missed the underlying human motive. It's a relation between psychologically near and remote -- Cohen and Greene's footbridge dilemma. That's why it's tough to motivate people on big principles or even on desperate human issues if they're distant from them personally. But it's also why it's wise to be considerate towards those nearest to you.

Dan C said...

Back in the early 90's there was a "party picnic protest" in TSP to protest this "more than 20 people need a permit" rule after someone in Central Park got a citation for having a birthday party (for his dog, ironically) with 20 people (must have been time to fill those quotas). About 20 parties gathered of only 19 people each with a "social butterfly" flitting in between picnics.

I understood the permit was for larger parties in picnic areas or on a lawn, but not cordoning off the pathways through parks. Sounds like these folks took it beyond the usual etiquette level.

Anonymous said...

Well waterballons make great last minute party favors... get out of attending such a drag looking party by just sending a gift in your place.

Anonymous said...

I read the link about obtaining a permit. It didn't mention that you could tape off a section of the Park.

Anonymous said...

even with a permit you are not allowed to block a pathway or close a playground. you should call 311 and be specific about blocking pathway or playground if you see this again. Park staff should have seen and stopped this.

ShutUpHooker said...

I'm laughing at both sides of this: those arrogant enough to have and pay to have a section closed & those arrogant because they can't take an extra 45 seconds to go around them...

Anonymous said...

Hooker, you're pretty funny, but looks aren't everything! How about everyone just cordons off a section of the park so no one can else use it? I swear its like NYC is turning into one of those podunk towns in Long island where everyone puts their towel on the beach chairs all day so no one else can use them. Aren't your tax dollars paying for that park space too, or should we send the IRS to your house for an audit? The drum circle is there every weekend for the past hundred years, they practically have squatters rights, the difference is they let anyone who wants to join them and they don't give other people who come near them dirty looks and attitude. These pricks need to go rent a private space if they want to have a private party. McDonalds does it for anyone with 50 dollars and no one complains. But these idiots wanted to take over public space for themselves, totally unacceptable. Next time that yellow tape is coming down.

9:35am said...

But if the crusties or Occupy Wall Street were holding this private party, even with a permit, Bloomberg's white shirt Gestapo officers would be all over them.

And rob's comments FTW!

chris flash said...

The ability of a select few to rope off a section of a public park is only enabled by the public's willingness to accept it.

Next time this sort of shit is pulled, folks ought to just walk right through the private party and challenge the usurpers to DO something about it. They won't. They CAN'T.

Oh yeah, before I forget: WHOSE FUCKING PARK? OUR FUCKING PARK!!

Giovanni said...

Help save the East Village! Sign up for the EV Grieve NeigBrohood Watch Club

In an effort to clean up the East Village (or to keep it nice and crusty depending on your individual preference) sign up now for one of the EV committees below:

EV Park Watch: Report in any time someone puts up yellow tape for a private party in TSP so EV can immediately post and we can make sure the tape is removed (peacefully if possible) _____

EV Tree Watch: Report all old dried up Christmas trees disposed of more than 6 months after Christmas, photographic proof required _____

EV Bar Watch: Report any loud bars, or eerily quiet ones, openings, closings, liquor license requests, health inspection reports, SantaCon and other drunk yuppie activities etc. _____

EV CitiBike Watch: Report on adults putting children in the little baskets, vandalism, broken racks, flat tires, sticky substances on bike seats (StickyBikes), and how local bike shops are coping with the either loss of (or hopefully) increase in business ______

EV Developer Watch: Report in anytime a developer tries to close a community garden, builds on a mystery lot, builds a really ugly building that looks,like its from another planet (The Cooper Union Death Star) or renames the neighBrohood in order to jack up rents (e.g BroHo, Midtown South, East Greenwich Village etc.) ____

EV Crusty Watch: Report on the ongoing tribal activities of the East Village's least popular resident population, especially the ones with kombucha drinking pit bulls and pet rats ____

Fake names used to post your most memorable comments ____________________

Astrological sign _____________

Favorite hangout ______________

Why you are qualified, or not ____________



psm said...

You know, we have a beautiful park. Junkies nodding out on the benches. People pissing on the fences. People too brain dead to know anything about sanitation fouling the bathrooms. Tattooed tourists pan-handeling all summer. A pea brained jerk playing a boom box so loud that you can't read or relax. And you people, unencumbered by any thought process or intelligence think that the problem is some people having a kids' birthday party for a few hours. I have lived down here for 50 years on and off and find you pathetic. Get a F---in' life or get out of our neighborhood.

The Real Residents of the EV said...

Dezr PMS,

We hope you get over those monthly cramps real soon and sorry to hear you hate our park so much. Obviously this group of people having a party in the park disagree with you, since they would have picked another park if it were really so crappy. Many of us are in the park every day, and what you described sounds more like Woodstock than TSP, so perhaps you are having flashbacks in addition to brain cramps which is causing you to be just a bit cranky. In the meantime, please don't tell us to stop caring about a park that you obviously asre much too evolved to enjoy anymore like the rest of us. We just want it open to all, including the pan handling tattooed tourists peeing on fences and eating dead squirrels, except for the vegan ones who stick to eating nuts and berries.

Sincerely,
The Real Residents of the EV who actually enjoy TSP

Anonymous said...

Yeah, those kinds of beugoise attitudes are the antithesis of this neighborhood's native character. Very disrespectful, entitled and contentious. The opposite of neighborly.