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After cops close Washington Square early, roving rave party wends through East Village

BY THE VILLAGE SUN | Well that was a change.

You could almost hear a pin drop in Washington Square Park on Friday night after police closed the park early around 10 p.m.

No one was exactly caught by surprise, though. Due to a massive amount of media coverage over the past week, everyone in New York City — and, no doubt, many people around the world — were aware that police would be closing the renowned Village park early on weekends for at least a few weeks, if not longer.

The park was empty by shortly after 10 p.m. (Photo by The Village Sun)

The Parks Department has said the early-closing strategy is needed because of “large gatherings, amplified sound and other conditions in the park on weekends.”

At any rate, this Friday night, two police officers from Queens who were posted in the park overnight said the early closure had worked fine.

“It went smooth,” one of them said, speaking around 11:30 p.m. “They went with no issues.”

Although Washington Square Park was closed early, a roving rave party wended along St. Mark’s Place and eventually wound up in Tompkins Square Park. (Photo by The Village Sun)
A group with a light was on top of a storefront. (Photo by The Village Sun)

The park had been “pretty crowded,” the officer said, but still everyone left within minutes of being verbally told by cops to do so.

One young woman passing by asked if they would let her into the park so she could take a photo in front of the arch but they told her no. A disheveled-looking guy came by, angrily stomped a concrete Jersey barrier and wandered off.

Hanging out on St. Mark’s Place. (Photo by The Village Sun)

It looked, however, like the party had simply moved east a few blocks after Washington Square Park’s closing. Around 12:30 a.m., young revelers filled the east end of St. Mark’s Place between Third and Second Aves.

St. Mark’s is an Open Street between Third and Second Aves. and between First Ave. and Avenue A, meaning those blocks are closed to car traffic from 4:30 p.m. until midnight and 11 p.m., respectively, on Friday nights.

Partying on St. Mark’s Place between Third and Second Aves. (Video by The Village Sun)

About a half hour later, a group of police on foot, wearing riot helmets and brandishing black batons, moved the partiers to the east. As the revelers marched along St. Mark’s, the police trailed behind them.

Police trailed the roving rave along St. Mark’s Place past the Barnacle Bill Tavern. (Photo by The Village Sun)
Police marched along behind the the partiers for one block of St. Mark’s Place, but then tailed off. (Photo by The Village Sun)

Asked why they had shut the party down at the previous location, an officer said, “Disorderly in the street.”

Partying on St. Mark’s Place between First Ave. and Avenue A. (Video by The Village Sun)

The rave near First Ave. on St. Mark’s Place. It was after the block’s Open Street had finished for the night, so some cars were slowly driving through the crowd. (Photo by The Village Sun)

The roving ravers stopped to whoop it up for a little while at St. Mark’s between First Ave. and Avenue A. They eventually made their way to Tompkins Square Park, where they held a dance party in the plaza around the Hare Krishna Tree.

2 Comments

  1. Gary Baldi Gary Baldi June 5, 2021

    Thank you NYPD!
    St. Marks is an Open Street. East Village businesses and bars will enjoy the crowds.
    Party safely please….

  2. makeitstop makeitstop June 5, 2021

    And this is why no neighborhood should have its streets closed to traffic and turned into a pedestrian plaza!

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