Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day on Avenue A, 1991



Bob Arihood posted this on Memorial Day 2007 at Neither More Nor Less

This was Memorial Day 1991 : the spirit of the time was somewhat more rebelious than it is today . This night ... disorder ruled .

This is your avenue A without the boutiques , bars and restaurants . There were no doggy pastry shops on avenue A : none in the entire neighborhood for that matter .

Visit Neither More Nor Less here for more photos and Bob's narrative.

17 comments:

editrrix said...

What a GREAT photo! Really terrific images on the site lately.

Anonymous said...

There were few dogs in the neighborhood at all never mind doggy pastry shops.

John M said...

Great photo, and while my memory jibes perfectly with his words, they don't with the picture. I guess it was somewhere on A that I didn't visit that weekend in '91.

Anonymous said...

Trying to locate this - where exactly is this, and what direction am I facing?

EV Grieve said...

It seemed to me that Bob was standing on the eastern side of Avenue A at St. Mark's in this photo … and he is looking to the west … Nino's would be on the opposite corner… the trash and markings on the street seem to match up with the other photo that is clearly A and St. Mark's …

BT said...

I highly recommend clicking on the link to see the other photos and read the comments. In some of the photos you can see the St Mark's street sign and Ninos.

chris flash said...

It was hot that evening of May 27, 1991. A peaceful concert in the park was just ending when pigs unjustly arrested a Black man panhandling on Avenue A at the St. Marx entrance to the park, then sent in reinforcements to respond to the few who objected to the arrest. That police response only increased the anger and the number of angry people gathering. Things went south from there quickly.

After the "Memorial Day Riot", we discovered that the riot had been engineered as an excuse to close the park for more than a year in order to renovate and reconfigure (including removing trees) for easier policing. The contract for this job had been signed a year earlier!!

That was a time when the neighborhood was OURS, when Yuppies, Dipshit Hipsters, Euro-trash and other monied transients dared not step foot east of First Avenue; when small businesses thrived, selling inexpensive items and great food; when regular folks could afford to LIVE here.

The big riots and mini-riots every other weekend kept the forces of gentrification at bay, at least for a few years, until the park was closed in order to change the demographics.

(See SHADOW #18 for the full story, with photos.)

paddy523 said...

Miss those day's!!!

Anonymous said...

How was it a fake riot? The black panhandler was an actor/cop? I wouldn't be surprised but it seems conspiracy theorist to me that it was staged.

D

Comrade El said...

Again!

Anonymous said...

Once again tip of the bong to Mr. flash, plz a link to shadow number 18 .....

Jill said...

What are all those lines and markings on the sidewalk?

Anonymous said...

As someone born and raised here, I say Good Riddance! to those people and those times.

chris flash said...

It was a very REAL riot, Anonymous 7:15 -- NO ONE said it was staged.

I said it was engineered as an excuse to close the park and change the demographics there.

AFTER the park was closed, THEN they told us that while the park was closed, they would do some renovating. We investigated and discovered that they'd signed the contracts for the work a year earlier!! Coincidence? Don't think so!!

A SHADOW source revealed that they wanted a riot as an excuse to close the park and make it more police-able.

We were on top of this story, during and after the riot....

Anonymous said...

You say the riot was real in one sentence then "engineered" in another, so how was it not staged?

Or are you saying the riot was real and the city used it as an excuse to close the park?

Btw I would not be surprised one bit if it was staged. The economy was in the shitter back then and alot of people were desperate for money. Why not fake-riot for $100?

Also what bands played the park?

D

Jill said...

I think what Chris is contending is that the riot was incited by the police, which is different than staged or fake.

chris flash said...

Thank you, Jill.

For the benefit of Anonymous (WHY are you afraid to use your name????), I've made myself CLEAR more than once here.

The riot was not "staged" -- it was very REAL. It was incited by the NYPD at the behest of the Dinkins administration, which wanted the park CLOSED and needed an excuse to keep it shut for a year.

AGAIN: The contracts to renovate + reconfigure the park were executed a year earlier.

NOW do you get it????