It's not right department...

New York Times

By LISA W. FODERARO

Pianist Colin Huggins Has Received Nine Summonses in Washington Square Park as of 1/7/2012
Colin Huggins was there with his baby grand, the one he wheels into Washington Square Park for his al fresco concerts. So were Tic and Tac, a street-performing duo, who held court in the fountain — dry for the winter. And Joe Mangrum was pouring his elaborate sand paintings on the ground near the Washington Arch.

In other words, it was a typical Sunday afternoon in the Greenwich Village park, where generations of visitors have mingled with musicians, artists, activists, poets and buskers.

Yet this fall, that urban harmony has grown dissonant as the city’s parks department has slapped summonses on the four men and other performers who put out hats or buckets, for vending in an unauthorized location — specifically, within 50 feet of a monument.

The department’s rule, one of many put in place a year ago, was intended to control commerce in the busiest parks. Under the city’s definition, vending covers not only those peddling photographs and ankle bracelets, but also performers who solicit donations.

Street artist Joe Mangrum has received more than $4,000 in summonses since the crackdown began
The rule attracted little notice at first. But the enforcement in Washington Square Park in the past two months has generated summonses ranging from $250 to $1,000. And it has started a debate about the rights of parkgoers seeking refuge from the bustle of the streets versus those looking for entertainment.


Young boy making a donation as street artist Joe Mangrum looks on
At a news conference in the park on Sunday organized by NYC Park Advocates, the artists waved fistfuls of pink summonses while their advocates, including civil rights lawyers, called on the city to stop what they called harassment of the performers.

Read the article at the New York Times

More photos at NYCPhotoNews.com 


Pianist Colin Huggins Has Received Nine Summonses in Washington Square Park as of 1/7/2012

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