Who Hijacked Our Country

Sunday, June 12, 2011

New York City’s Biggest Hazard: Street Musicians

When you think of an emergency police call to the N.Y.P.D., you’re probably thinking of violent crimes. Then again, it might be: “Attention All Units! String Quartet playing a Mozart concerto in Central Park!”

New York City has taken eight of the city’s favorite locations for street performers, and turned them into “quiet zones.” Talk about a solution in search of a problem. A 59-year-old classical harpist was evicted from Central Park, and park police accused her of destroying the grass where she was sitting. She said:

“They say we're responsible for the bare patch but then you see people everywhere playing soccer with boots and cleats. They were actually pretty nasty and I'm not used to police intimidation. It's basically putting us out of work.”

Another newly-designated “quiet zone” is Manhattan’s Bethesda Fountain. It has excellent acoustics and a lot of tourists go there specifically to hear the public performances. One visitor said:

“Oh, I thought they put 'quiet zone' so that we could listen to the music!”

Another evictee, a local hammer dulcimer player, pointed out that Central Park still has huge rock concerts — wall-to-wall amps cranked up to eleven, the whole works — attracting tens of thousands of listeners, some of whom are probably trampling on the grass. He said:

“It's a galling hypocrisy.”

A park spokesperson claimed that their crackdown is a response to the gazillions of complaints they’ve received about street performances. Riiight.

Geoffrey Croft, the founder of NYC Park Advocates, is joining the fight on behalf of the musicians. He said:

“As long as there's been a park system people have been playing music in parks. They're claiming people are complaining, but who's complaining?”

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Anonymous Tim said...

Oh Lord! I hope this doesn't catch on. Once in a while I play in the street to. I only play for about an hour, just to see crowd response.

June 12, 2011 at 2:02 PM  
Anonymous Jolly Roger said...

It's easier than actually going after bad guys. Harpists probably don't put up much resistance.

June 12, 2011 at 11:48 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Stupid happens. I have a hunch publicity over this is going to result in a quick rethinking of this quiet zone idiocy. And it should.

June 13, 2011 at 1:16 AM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

Public space isn't so public. Who knew.

My favorite bit is the invisible complainer. One blathers on for every 99 that say nothing 'cause they dig x, y or z.

June 13, 2011 at 4:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What JR said.

Variations a theme?

The majority of federal prosecutions last year were for imigration violations, not violent crime or the overwhelming bankster fraud that broke the worlds economy.

Nothing to see here, move along.

June 13, 2011 at 9:48 AM  
Blogger harry said...

Hey, you work for the Man or you don't work.

And get a your hair cut you dirtyfuccenhippies.

June 13, 2011 at 9:53 AM  
Anonymous Thomas said...

This is proper stupid but I wonder how proper stupid.

If I go to the Park to sit on a bench and play my guitar or if a handful of friends and I deign to sing our team song on the way to a game, are we culpable under this ordinance.

Really, with all the problems in the world to which we should be attending, I'm constantly amazed at our ability to come up with bullshit.

June 13, 2011 at 11:34 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Tim: Move along, Hippie :)

JR: But those classical violinists can get pretty vicious.

SW: I hope you're right about the publicity. I saw the story at Yahoo.com, so the news is spreading.

Randal: I'm sorry, but I've been receiving billions of complaints about your comments :)

Anonymous: Yup, jails are full of victimless "criminals" while the Wall Street fraudsters go free.

Harry: That pretty well sums it up.

Thomas: Unfortunately it's easier to solve non-existent problems than real ones.

June 13, 2011 at 1:05 PM  
Anonymous Jess said...

I am getting big laughs today with all the pug shenaningans and how the stoopid it burns ma, otherwise I would be crying. TN has just signed into law, a bill banning offensive internetz machine things.

June 13, 2011 at 3:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to serve and protect WHO? wow i did not know your cops are A holes like ours we get killed for such.

June 21, 2011 at 10:44 AM  

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