Monday, December 7, 2015

Politicos still calling on SantaCon to adopt good-neighbor principles


[SantaCon 2013 via EVG reader Steven]

Via the EVG inbox...

Today, State Senator Brad Hoylman, along with City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, State Senators Adriano Espaillat, Liz Krueger and Daniel Squadron, Assembly Members Deborah Glick, Richard Gottfried and Linda Rosenthal, and Council Members Daniel Garodnick, Corey Johnson and Rosie Mendez sent letters to SantaCon and the New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) calling for greater oversight and accountability in an effort to rein in the annual pub crawl.

The coalition of lawmakers, building on similar efforts in 2013 and 2014, proposed a set of guiding principles for SantaCon’s organizers, including better coordination with officials, greater accountability on the part of the organizers, and stronger efforts to mitigate risks to pedestrians. SantaCon, an annual bar-crawl that draws thousands of participants dressed as Santa Claus, regularly draws the ire of local residents and law enforcement for its disruptive effect on local communities as well as its perceived threat to public safety.

"SantaCon needs to grow up," said State Senator Brad Hoylman. "An organization that brings over 25,000 people to our neighborhoods should show us respect by sharing its routes with community boards and local elected officials and working together with us well in advance to determine how we can mitigate the negative impacts of this bar crawl on our local communities and small retail businesses, whose annual sales depend heavily on this time of year."

The local officials also reached out to SLA Chairman Vincent G. Bradley, urging the agency to take a “proactive approach” to this year’s event by reminding participating licensees to be mindful of potential violations and committing additional inspectors along the route to ensure adherence to local regulations.

###

To Whom It May Concern:

For a third year, we write to express our concerns regarding the annual SantaCon bar crawl and the negative impact it has on the residential communities where it takes place. Each holiday season, local elected officials, community boards and local precincts face a wave of complaints as the SantaCon bar crawl passes through their neighborhoods.This year, we are again hoping to take preemptive action.

We appreciate that the SantaCon bar crawl can provide additional short-term sales to a small group of local business establishments. However, we also recognize that the event’s many adverse effects significantly disrupt the quality of life of entire communities. While the SantaCon bar crawl has pledged to take proactive steps in the past, the organization’s efforts have not mitigated the bulk of the event’s deleterious impact. There is still more that can and must be done to ensure that the event is positive and safe.

Previously, we requested that the SantaCon bar crawl adhere to a set of common-sense principles. We urge you to agree to a similar set of guidelines this year in anticipation of the event’s 2015 iteration. The three principles are as follows:

• Share defined routes with the community – The SantaCon bar crawl’s path often comes as an unwelcome and last minute surprise to community members, the NYPD, and local businesses. We ask that the SantaCon bar crawl make its routes and timetable publicly available far in advance in order to give all of these stakeholders time to adequately plan for the arrival of SantaCon bar crawl participants.
• Ensure responsible participant behavior – While the police can certainly play a role in ensuring SantaCon bar crawl participants abide by laws regarding public intoxication and urination and overly aggressive behavior, the NYPD is responsible for serving the public at large rather than providing security for a private event. The SantaCon bar crawl’s organizers must make a concerted effort to self-police at establishments along the route and should expel overly intoxicated and badly-behaving participants.
• Mitigate pedestrian safety risks – The Santacon bar crawl’s participants often overwhelm sidewalks that were designed to accommodate smaller crowds, posing serious safety concerns for participants and other pedestrians. The SantaCon bar crawl should identify opportunities to reduce these risks. For example, staff members or trained volunteers can be present along the route to ensure the free-flow of pedestrian travel and to prevent individuals from walking into busy vehicular traffic.

With the date of the event rapidly approaching, we urge the SantaCon bar crawl to act swiftly to adopt these guidelines and make its programmatic and safety plans public.

To date, the SantaCon route has been shrouded in secrecy. DNAinfo reported that the event to take place this Saturday will start in Bushwick, and wind up in the East Village.

Previously on EV Grieve:
SantaCon 2015 set for Dec. 12 in NYC, says SantaCon

Local politicians call on SantaCon 'to adopt good-neighbor principles'

41 comments:

DrBOP said...

It's a Christmas Dick-Wad Directive Miracle!

blue glass said...

wouldn't it be nice if santacon didn't have to adopt a good neighbor policy and just became good neighbors and cancelled its bar crawl.
mass organized getting drunk can never be a pretty thing.

Anonymous said...

Fucking sick of this shit.

Anonymous said...

How is this still a problem knowing Kostume Kult's Jim Glaser is the main Santacon organizer? If the Daily Show can locate him for an interview, the local politicians should be able to find him and deal with him directly.

Bryan Keller said...

We get it. SantaCon is a "bar crawl". Calling it a "bar crawl" over and over will not allow you to ban it. We may not like it or participate, but there is nothing illegal or inherently wrong about it. And the organizers take great pains to set good behavior guidelines every year. Suck it, school marms!

Edmund Dunn said...

“To Whom It May Concern:”

WTF? Are our politicians living in a digital media cave? They and their staff should know that due to the investigation prowess of posters here and at the Bowery Boogie blog that the A # 1Douchebag for this Bromageddon is Jim Glaser who was thrown off the Board of Figment-ART! ART! ART! ART!- NYC last year. BTW, Figment NYC also has a major interest in this shitshow.

http://www.boweryboogie.com/2015/11/get-the-pitchforks-santacon-nyc-confirmed-for-december-12/

Anonymous said...

The whole thing is racist BS. If this was a "parade" (it is just a drunken parade) of people of color there would be permits involved and police escorts. They are all just a bunch of privileged self centered kidaults!

Anonymous said...

If people didn't completely trash the neighborhoods they invade by the tens of thousands, the "bar crawl" wouldn't be a problem.

Anonymous said...

I might be wrong, but I think the chances of pulling the liquor licenses from bars that participate in SantaCon is zero. They might initiate such an action, but each one would be appealed, and the criteria they used to make their decision would be deemed unconstitutional. Individuals could be cited for breaking the law, but that seems about it.

Anonymous said...

"Nina Urban, a psychiatrist at Columbia, does brain experiments on what she called “party drugs.” She said, “I divide the Burning Man population into five subgroups: hippies, raver kids, true artists who want to build something they could not build otherwise, and the technologists who roll in for a few days from the Bay Area. The last group is the one I belong to: the costumers, who want to express themselves by dressing up.” Her boyfriend, Jim Glaser, who goes by the name Costume Jim, is the head of Kostume Kult, a group that is a leading participant in SantaCon—the annual parade of drunk people in Santa outfits. Costume Jim shook his head and said, “It grew beyond what we could control.”"

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/01/13/principled

So for all of the people saying "ererererer it's just a pub crawl," even the CREATOR of the damn thing admits it's a wreck.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was rather cute and fun when it first started, but now its rather over the top. I'm not in the EV or generally effected areas though.

cmarrtyy said...

American Terrorists.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of what you think of Santacon, while individual Santas can certainly be ticketed/arrested for offenses they commit, the city plain doesn't have the legal power to ban the event. Santacon is basically a bunch of people dressing up as Santa (first amendment right) and congregating in public (again, first amendment) and private businesses that allow them in (reprisal against the businesses would again be illegal under the first amendment). They can't stop Santacon to any greater degree than they can stop an Eric Garner protest. Norm Siegel took the case because it's a slam dunk that will take very little work on his part and will be easy publicity. This is exactly why the the politicos are taking a much more conciliatory approach than in years past.

Anonymous said...

"short-term sales to a small group of local business "
"Small group"? It's gotta be the largest group of small businesses in the whole area. That's the problem

Anonymous said...

Then the NYPD can fine the fuck out of them for public intoxication, drunken disorderly conduct, etc.

Anonymous said...

Good neighbor implies neighbor and neighbor implies fellow member of the community and Santa-con is way more tourist in nature than it is native East Village. It is a massive bridge & tunnel (remember when that term carried stigma?!) invasion basically, a lot like New Year's Eve in Times Square. Can't expect tourists to act like neighbors.

The con may have won the East Village for a day but it doesn't have to defeat everything. There's lots of places in the city that won't be Santaconned, and now you have an excuse to get out there and check out some of them. Like it says in the Tao Te Ching if you are not flexible, you break, or something.

Anonymous said...

How about some police on every corner, checking the ID of everyone in a Santa suit? In these times of terrorism, that would be completely reasonable.

How do we know some ISIS crazies aren't going to take the oh-so-easy route and just "blend in" so that no one will see them planting a bomb (or bombs)?

Can you imagine the headlines (and the "Who, me? I had no idea!" comments from the spaghetti-spined politicos) if there were a terrorist attack connected with Santacon?

Anonymous said...

Why are the politicians *asking* these fuckers to please cooperate?? Stomp on them as hard as you can, like the roaches they are!

If the NYPD just treated Santacon jerks the way they treated protesters at the Republican National Convention in NYC (remember that far back, anyone?) the police would haul ALL their asses off to a "holding area" on some west side pier for about 14 hours and THAT would solve the problem!

Is the issue that lots of NYPD are owners of these bars??? I don't get how this shitshow is somehow exempt from the rules & regs that apply to everyone else. If this were billed as a "Jihadi pub crawl" I'm sure Homeland Security would be involved FAST.

Brian Van said...

I see everyone is hysterical as usual.

There has yet to be a reported incident from a Santacon event involving a non-participant that went beyond the level of "nuisance". People are well within their rights to express annoyance, yet the calls for legal/punitive/violent action here against "anyone wearing a costume" are insane, illegal, and terribly misguided. You can't interfere with someone else being unpleasant or quirky, and you can't round up people who are not in the process of committing criminal acts. (You can actually arrest criminals and violators, though. And everyone finds that to be appropriate. No one here would argue against that.)

The politicians are rather bumbling about this issue, but mostly it's just a shame that they are incapable of creating something in the neighborhood that has a more positive impact than (and that takes the place of) "parades" that aren't even organized or managed.

Anonymous said...

All you people batching one day of the year it's Christmas we need a little more fun around here. We don't need a bank on every corner or coffee shops and Japanese noodle shops. I was born in this neighborhood with fillmore east and all the noise they caused every weekend. The East village is losing it's edge sad very sad all you people are acting like spoiled yuppies

Anonymous said...

The war on SantaCon is part of the war on Christmas.

Santa the Ex-Con said...

Good. This letter to SantaCon is the beginning of the end for these tired drunk douche bags. Our politicians are not taking a conciliatory tone. Rather they are finally starting to demand accountability from SantaCons organizers or else they will find a way to shut it down. If anyone's tone is changing their tone this time it's SantaCon, and they sound worried.. There have been blast emails and texts from the organizers warning participants not to fight, get drunk or urinate on the street this year warning that this will put the event at risk. And you really can't compare SantaCon to the Eric Garner / Black Lives Matters protests. Those people are there for a legitimate reason. They don't get drunk, fight, and urinate in the strrets, which is where SantaCon becomes a nuisance that promotes unsafe events and encourages illegal behavior..The underage drinking alone should be enough to get this thing shut down.

Anonymous said...

Is there a list of East Village and Lower East Side bars who don't want to be part of Santa Con and don't want Santa Conners period somewhere online?

Anonymous said...

Santacon tells CBS they raised $60,000 for charity last year. 25,000 people raised only $60k. Let that sink in. http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2015/12/07/santa-con-service-ban-lower-east-side/

Anonymous said...

When your event is hated more than any other event in the entire city for the entire year, there's a problem. All the bros and hos who should have moved to Chicago and Boston should either have SantaCon in Hoboken or move to Boston or Chicago. Drunk white trash we don't need in NYC.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the police can simply do thier jobs and follow the law and give out summonses anyone in public intoxicated and disorderly.

Anonymous said...

The only people making money are Costume Jim and the bars. It's laughable Santacon pretends this yearly shit show of low class drunks is anything more. To stand up for it in any way only illustrates how broken your moral compass is.

Brian said...

We need to lower the drinking age to 18 again. Then when these kids reach full adulthood ipon college graduation, they won't be so inclined to act like unimaginative a-holes.

Anonymous said...

Santa Con started out on the West Coast as a way to poke at the materialism and consumerism of Christmas, right?

And now it has been transformed into a celebration of materialism and consumerism.

What a country.

Anonymous said...

Let's not make this event worse by fear-mongering about terrorism please.

I hate Santacon too, but I really believe it's dying out. It's an old event, it has aged horribly, many of its participants are not the energetic drunks they used to be, and the next generation will eventually want its own dumb event because let's face it, Santacon is powerfully uncool. We still have the shitshow to deal with, but it's been damaged.

Finally, I will never believe any of the official figures Santacon puts out about how much money they have raised for charity. They could say anything.

Anonymous said...

Is anyone surprised Santacon wants to hold their annual drunk parade in the East Village? The community boards created this Alcohol District with all of the liquor licenses they dole out so freely.

Anonymous said...

@9:15am: It's not "fear mongering" about terrorism - do you think it couldn't happen here? And don't you wish the NYPD was taking security for this misbegotten drunken mob as seriously as they take security for any other "event" in NYC?

Anonymous said...


"How do we know some ISIS crazies aren't going to take the oh-so-easy route and just "blend in" so that no one will see them planting a bomb (or bombs)?"

Fear mongering. Of course terrorists acts can and do happen here, of which we are all well aware. However, Santacon is problematic enough on its own without the anti-crowd (again, of which I am strongly one) saying "It was bad enough when slutty elves were puking on my stoop, but now this event could be harboring terrorism!"

These are scary times for terrorism, I just ask that maybe we dial back the rhetoric a tad as it pertains to Santacon.

Anonymous said...

a) Isn't it unlawful to organize such a large crowd without a permit and if so, could they just deny such a permit ?

b) The NYPD should issue a statement that they will be issuing summons and arresting people for public drunkenness.

Gojira said...

Earlier today I was flipping channels to get to real news (CBS This Morning), and landed on Fox 5 just as I heard Greg Kelly say "Santacon", so I paused to listen. Turns out he and Roseanna Scotto - who I am sure are precisely the target audience the event organizers are aiming for - are planning to attend, and were talking excitedly about how much fun they were going to have in their Santa drag. They gave all of the pertinent information about where it started, when, and where it would end up, and finished up withy a diluted warning to participants to "stay cool". So that outta bring the cretins out of the woodwork from the farthest recesses of NJ and CT and into the EV. Thanks, guys.

blue glass said...

Gojira said...
Earlier today ... landed on Fox 5 ... heard Greg Kelly say "Santacon" ... he and Roseanna Scotto are planning to attend, and were talking excitedly about how much fun they were going to have in their Santa drag.

let's email kelly and scotto and let them know how we feel about the apparent festivities and that they should stick around after they've taken their photo opp shots and see what really happens when santacon folks drink too much, which most of them do.

Giovanni said...

Gojira, every day on Fox News is like SantaCon for Greg and Roseanna, they don't even seem to need to drink any alcohol to get into a Brostatic Holiday Spirit, they will fit right in. As you know, Greg Kelly's dad Ray is the former Chief of Police, and if you need any more proof that cops and thei kids condone and participate in SantaCon, the Sixth Precinct just sent out a SantaCon -- or is it SantaCop? -- tweet adding to all the free publicity:

@NYPD6Pct: #SantaCon is this Saturday. Have fun, but stay off our naughty list! @santacon #santaconNYC https://t.co/APfaFdTgrZ

#SantaCop

Anonymous said...

On the other story about SantaCon, I said that people sound like anti-Muslims in their anti-SantaCon rhetoric. I can see from this story that I was right.

Anonymous said...

I am so happy small local bars will be benefiting from this.

Anonymous said...

311.gov You can report bar bs anon.

Edmund Dunn said...

"I am so happy small local bars will be benefiting from this."

As I posted at the Grieve FB page:

"I know bartenders whose owners let this "charity event" happen. They come in screaming in herds, buy one drink, piss and vomit all over the bathrooms and don’t leave any tips."