Monday, December 12, 2011

How was your SantaCon?

[Image created by Shawn Chittle]

So we heard a lot of negative anecdotes about SantaCon on Saturday. Actually, we didn't hear anything really positive about the whole experience. Several people chastised us in emails or DMs via Twitter about the good that SantaCon provides — that some of the bars that SantaConners visit donate a portion of their SantaCon proceeds to Toys for Tots.

Well, that's nice. Of course, it's difficult to tell who is actually taking part in the official SantaCon and who is simply wearing a Santa suit and being obnoxious.

On Sunday, we heard more grumblings about the Santas from various bartender friends and residents and ...well, a quick recap of some of the comments that we received....

Stephanie Ratcliffe said...
I don't think we'd complain if they dressed like Ramones.
DECEMBER 10, 2011 3:27 PM

Shawn Chittle said...
It would be great if they instead did a SantaCon at area hospitals, bringing small gifts and smiles to the children in pediatric ward. 

Little children, for whom Santa means so much. 

Little children, who are victims of cancer, fire, crime, abuse, and violence. 

Little children, for whom Christmas and holidays are really all about anyway. 

Imagine what good all these Santas could do. 

Until that day, this event is a colossal waste of humanity and a menace to society.
DECEMBER 10, 2011 3:44 PM

Anonymous said...
In a way I envy the revelers that is to say I sometimes wish I too could just indulge in hollow meaningless merry-making and have fun with it. But that is assuming the people are actually having a good time in their heart of hearts.
DECEMBER 10, 2011 4:00 PM

Alex in NYC said...
Maybe the concept of "SantaCon" was mildly amusing about a decade ago, but now it's just another abject display of fatuous douchery (see also Halloween). Pathetic and sad.
DECEMBER 10, 2011 4:14 PM

Anonymous said...
or you could just remove the stick from your ass, relax, and realize santacon is only one day a year.
DECEMBER 10, 2011 5:42 PM

Anonymous said...
Oh, for God's sake. Didn't we all used to love the E Village because people could feel free there to be weird? Now you're full of fear & loathing about people who are being weird in a way you personally don't approve of? Why don't you all just grow up — and move away to some gated community where everyone is just like you!
DECEMBER 11, 2011 1:11 AM

argie said...
This was a rough day! It also highlighted how many of these fraternity/sorority types have moved into my building in the last couple of years...there were 2 post-santacon parties going on here until very very late...uuuuggggghhhhh....I actually heard people chanting "Chug it! Chug it! Chug it!"

It's Sunday morning now. Hope they all have vicious hangovers.
DECEMBER 11, 2011 7:37 AM

LvV said...
Anon 1:11, regarding old vs. new East Village residents, I think the issue is that there is a big difference between being a true misfit or weirdo as a person, and acting "weird" for one day. 

Also, mass public drinking isn't really weird behavior, even if it's done in silly outfits. This type of event seems like a staple of fraternities/sororities and sports fans, two of the least-weird groups I can think of. What about SantaCon is strange or oddball or transgressive?
DECEMBER 11, 2011 9:09 AM

Anonymous said...
This infestation spread west as well. I had the unfortunate experience of running into many of them all day around Washington Square Park. 

The best part was when about four of them chatted around me and began to spray silly string on one another. 

One of the silly string victims got angry because he was on his phone at the time trying to find out where the next bar was and his fun dudes with the cool 'tudes were distracting him.
DECEMBER 11, 2011 10:14 AM

Anonymous said...
Anon 1:11: This is not "weird" in the great way the E. Village used to be before yunnies arrived, but idiotic. And illustrates how brainless assholes with no imagination or creativity to be authentically "weird" and interesting have taken over the neighborhood. Yesterday was like a bad acid trip.
DECEMBER 11, 2011 11:08 AM

Her, Suzanne76 said...
i ditto a wise sentiment posted earlier in this section: 


and i live a few feet off 2nd avenue...but i realise it is the only option to save the east village.
DECEMBER 11, 2011 11:43 AM

LiberationNYC said...
Binge drinking en masse dressed as Santa and letting a Twitter account dictate your destinations isn't weird, it's the most uncool thing I can think of. 

We shouldn't have to move to the suburbs or a retirement community if we don't like it - THAT'S WHY WE MOVED HERE. To GET AWAY from people like this.
DECEMBER 11, 2011 11:59 AM

HippieChick said...
Grieve, I think that was because SantaCon seemed so much more widespread and intrusive and loathsome this year. Or maybe it just seemed that way because I had to be out in it, stuck in a cab on Second Avenue, with drunken Vandals in Santa suits some fit all too well and staggering chicks in elf costumes that they really should NOT have been in pounding on my cab trying to get in. I fended them off with my cane (yeah, try walking through that vomitous morass of louts with a cane and boot due to recent injury and having them practically knock you over...NOBODY stood politely aside and one little blotto bitch practically pushed through me coming out of Village Farm...I blocked her until I had finished screaming at her and then stomped her foot with my cane) and wished it had been a sword. It's bad enough when we're kept captive in our own apartments on weekend nights by the drunk peeing vomiting hordes, but this is outrageous. Next year...pepper spray! Hey, if the fuzz can do it so can I.
DECEMBER 11, 2011 4:10 PM

Meanwhile, just 362 days until SantaCon 2012.


Anonymous said...

"wished it had been a sword" hahahahaha

Her, Suzanne76 said...

@ HippieChick: THANK YOU! You did a good deed. im sorry to hear they attacked you. I was in a boot and cane last year for all of spring and summer. Village Farm is my grocery and even when it was NOT santacon i had to hit oblivious drunk people in the stomach or appendage with my cane because they knocked me over. the frat invasion of the E V is not helpful for the injured.

Marty Wombacher said...

That Google image by Shawn is hilarious!

LvV said...

"Several people chastised us in emails or DMs via Twitter about the good that SantaCon provides — that some of the bars that SantaConners visit donate a portion of their SantaCon proceeds to Toys for Tots."

But we don't know how many bars/particpants actually donated proceeds or food and toys, and we don't know the percentage of the proceeds that were donated. Of course, every dollar counts, and efforts should be appreciated, but to make it sound as if SantaCon is a charitable event is disingenuous. Fraternities/sororities are all "philanthropic," too.

Lindsay said...

Bahahhahah!! Agreed, that photo is HILARIOUS!! Sums up the whole thing pretty well.

esquared™ said...

Apparently, people think Santacon is awesome, bro, brah, sistah, gurl. They luuurrve it. I must be from another world to not share their joyful merriment towards this event.

cw! said...

Wait, RamonesCon is actually brilliant. Why can't that happen instead? I want to plan it coincide with next year's SantaCon and take back the EV!

Brian Van said...

Just to put this in context:

There's an event that the NYC Hash House Harriers put on every year called the Red Dress Run. HHH is a somewhat fratty version of a running club (it's people of all ages, races and genders, though), and this event consists of a bunch of people - men and women included - running an urban running course and then enjoying themselves at a bar afterward. So, it's a bunch of silliness followed by social drinking.

That is sort of what Santacon is supposed to be like. Lately, though, as an open event, the word has spread to a lot of the type of people who go drinking on Friday and Saturday nights. The difference, I suppose, is that more of them show up in one place, and they're easily noticeable. And, since this thing goes all day, it probably extends the consumption of people who already overconsume.

The unbecoming behavior is a constant thing already, so let's not blame Santacon for that. And let's also remember that it is just a one-day thing that happens during the day and is easily erased from view by the next day, like any other normal parade in NYC.

So, what we're all really saying is, we're offended by people who go out to drink on Saturdays? Or we're offended by people wearing Santa suits? Or is it just that our national culture is collectively lightweight and doesn't know how to hold its liquor?

Because I certainly didn't get blotto on Saturday. I had casual dinner/cocktail plans and I showed up sober, even though I'd been at Santacon since 1pm. But it was also true that so many people in the streets needed to be put to bed hours earlier. Such was the reason that, still in the bottom half of the Santa outfit, the managers at the dinner restaurant (which has no dress code as it is a tiki bar) made a fuss about the fact that they had a "no Santa" policy that night and that they couldn't honor our table reservation if we were coming from Santacon. (But then they saw I was sober and the only one with furry red pants, and chilled out about it)

Do remember that calls to "ban Santacon" are going to pretty much result in an extension of non-permissive attitudes when it comes to any sort of social parade gathering. It's an event, it exists, and its activities are not outrageous unless you are someone who thinks a costume party is outrageous. If you think there is too much rude behavior that results from it, then please try to help reform it; at least three guys showed their penises to my fiancee in the middle of Third Avenue and I didn't appreciate that, and I'd like help trying to set a better example. But don't become one of those NIMBYs whose answer to everything is "NO!" The city has public spaces that we must share, and that requires work. If you're completely unwilling to work with your neighbors, there's plenty of land upstate for you to build a secure private bunker away from nightlife people. But if you're willing to work with me and the other responsible-minded people (including the organizers of Santacon, No Pants Subway Ride, Idiotarod, etc.) participating in these events, I think you'll get a positive response and improved results.

Anonymous said...

Wow, whats really annoying about the Santacon is that whinging, paper-thin premise of "it's for charity". Have your bar crawl that's fine. But passing it off as some kind of good deed, well go fuck yourself. Besides that, I can live with it for one day a year but no need to get your panties in a bunch because not everyone's in love with the idea.

LiberationNYC said...

@Brian Van

I hear what you're saying but it's not a good comparison. I'm going to go out on a limb and say these two events attract very different demographics.

Celebrating a long run - a healthy activity - by gathering for a few drinks afterwards can't be compared to people who gather in groups of thousands to do nothing but consume copious amounts of alcohol all day / night long and wreak havoc on a city.

It's not the same thing.

cw! said...

I think it's also an issue of using EV as like a drunken playground, which to a certain extent it can be. I mean, I live here and DO enjoy the number and diversity of bars, frequent a number of them and even sometimes engage in reasonable (I think) day drinking on special events. But not being that far removed from college, I definitely recognize/remember that frat mentality of just not giving a shit about the day-to-day reality of where you're partying because you're just going to get drunk and leave. Especially with these like theme drinking days because it just turns the whole thing into this big anonymous party mob where no single person's consequences matter.

So, yeah, I mean I'm all for partying, but taking that very college mentality of "owning" whatever space you might be occupying (because it's all "your" campus) to the big boy world of New's just feels a little, as Hunter Thompson might say, decadent and depraved.

Anonymous said...

On Sunday, I was at the West 4th st subway station, and waiting in the "mezzanine" between the upper and lower tracks; watching for an "A" or a "B/D" train.
I have never seen so many puddles of dried puke in one place in my entire life. I mean, it was EVERYWHERE!

Anonymous said...

Dear Brian Van,

Thank you.

That is all.

Anonymous said...

@ BrianVan, you are missing the point, which is that it's NOT about those of us who live here being willing to "work with our neighbors" -- because the majority of those who are running around in Santa costumes getting piss-drunk at 10am are NOT our neighbors. 99% of them are NOT part of our community, and THAT is what people are ticked off about. (Especially since the East Village is THE preferred location to drink oneself to oblivion every.single.weekend. -- all year round.)

Maybe we can combine Santacon, No Pants subway ride AND the Idiotarod into one massive event, during which everyone who wants to be sober & be able to walk on 3rd Avenue or 2nd Avenue without seeing several penises brought out for show & tell can just stay HOME, and then we could live in a civilized place the rest of the time.

With the mayoral race coming up next year, I will vote for any candidate who wants to create a "drunk district" (like a "red light district") - preferably on a pier on the West Side - where everyone who wants to behave badly & vomit all over the place & sing at the top of their lungs at 4am can do it, far, far away from the rest of us. Easy solution!

Anonymous said...

I'll go to these Santaconers neighborhoods and trash it and be obnoxious and loud while hindering your day activities. But it' ll only be for one day of the year.

And just the unbecoming behavior is a constant thing already, doesn't mean that it should be enabled by having events like Santacon be ignored and accepted, since it's only one day a year. That's like saying to a child who always acts out that it's ok to act out more and with your friends on his birthday since it'll only be for one day of the year. Such an excuse for Santacon apologistas. Fortune favors the douchebaggery.

( EVG, hope you' d publish this comment this time, since the other wasn't).

Jeremiah Moss said...

i was out at 10AM on Sat and it had already started. the Santas were parading down the streets swilling bottles of cranberry juice--like gallon jugs--no doubt mixed with vodka. they ended the day vomiting and fighting and passing out with their pants around their ankles. in between, they made a fuck lot of noise. same thing every year.

but, hey, bro--don't be a hater. we're just having a good time. don't hate on us, bra! what are you, like the old man who doesn't want kids playing on his lawn?

Anonymous said...

wow, everyone seems really upset that people are .... drinking in the East Village. Look, if you want to live in Gramercy, please feel free to move there.

Personally I thought some of the outfits were pretty creative, and I do think events like this help to keep the East Village weird. It doesn't have to be anyone's particular brand of weird, in my opinion. It just has to be a place where people are happy. Yes, a lot of us moved here to get away from the frat boy crowd, but still, isn't there a bit of a complement in the way they keep following us everywhere we go?

Jen Small said...

Hello! To add more information, Santacon raised 6,000 lbs of food for the Greenpoint Reformed Church food pantry and the Bowery Mission. We also partnered with 30 bars who donated part of their profit to Toys for Tots, raising $10,000!

I want our image to be less about getting as drunk as possible. When we start to be a fundraising event, we can elevate the tone and hopefully the jerks who vomit on everything will find us so lame that they stop coming. Fundraising seems like a good start.

Check it out: