Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Park is not what it used to be

Well I got my computer back after 3 weeks sitting in Mikey's Hook Up on Bedford and N5th. Thanks to a power surge in the apartment due to the ineptitude of the workers next door who used our electricity for their power sander, my computer completely crashed, and I had to bring it down there 3 weeks ago. My very generous Landlord said he would pay the cost at least, which was great, but now my printer/scanner/copier is not working. I might need a new AC adapter...
Anyway, I couldn't do some computer work that I needed to do right away, so I had to go back out to the Park to try to make my rent.
Recently in the Park, there has been a real cut-throat attitude amongst the artists to get a good spot on the main path going towards the zoo. Artist are now locking their bags or suitcases up on the fence where the best spots are at 9:00 at night, and returning the next morning at 9 and claiming the spot. Others are saving spots for their friends. So, most of the time, you can never get a good spot in the Park, and I've not made as much money in general when I go as a result. Therefore, I went to the Park at 3:00 AM on Sat. morning to get a spot and brought my sleeping bag to sleep there. I barely slept, and couldn't function to full copacity the next day. My friend from Bulgaria set up in the really good spot at about the same time (3 AM), but when 3 friends came later, they threw his stuff over the fence and claimed it as their own. This is just dispicable. We complained to the Park Police and she yelled at them about the rules, but they don't seem to care, and I know they did the same thing last night (as far as saving spots for each other). One of the guys got so mad at me for even telling what happened, that he looked like he was going to get violent. I know I can take care of myself if it gets physical, but it's so ridiculous to fight over something like this, and I don't want to hurt anybody or escalate things. Now it's fallen upon me- after talking with some of the other artists- to write up a written agreement and have all the artists sign it before we have a real war on our hands. (I guess I know English the best out of anyone there.)
Most artists don't want to cause trouble because it can really affect the kind of work you do that day, which I can understand. The problem is that most of them don't do anything, and let these bullies get away with whatever they want.
Another problem is that the Commissioner of the Park decides that certain spots are okay to set up at, and some aren't. But his rules don't make any sense, and he's drastically reduced the amount of spots this year, so that's why everybody's fighting for them. He's an angry, hateful man, who seems to hate artists. Why should anything change?

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