Toilets Overflow but Erasing Art Comes First
The city was in a big hurry to demolish protest art in East River Park this morning. They’re in a big hurry to demolish East River Park itself. Why?
A woman approached a Parks Department employee on the promenade by the amphitheater where six official vehicles parked. “The women’s room up past the Williamsburg Bridge is overflowing with sewage,” she said. “Can someone come up and fix it?” The Parks man ignored her. She went to another Parks Department employee who also brushed her off. “It’s raw sewage in the public toilet,” she said as he walked away.
He and the other 10 Parks employees were busy lining up the power washing and painting over the “Save Our Park” paintings on and around the amphitheater. Six Parks police officers stood around, too. Later some NYPD officers joined them.
Art With a Message
Friday, Oct. 9, some 20 artists, many well-known for their graffiti, had painted the amphitheater and surrounding pavement on the south end of East River Park. “Save Our Park” was the theme.
Many of the artists came from the Lower East Side and East Village neighborhood that will lose East River Park. In November, the city plans to fence off 60 percent of the park including most of the promenade in preparation for demolition. The giant levee that will replace the park will take years to build and provide flood protection.
Photos in this gallery by Yasmin Zellipour @yasminzellipour
Within a couple of hours there were some two dozen paintings with messages to save the park. The artists fought nonviolently, with their painting, to stop the environmentally disastrous and unjust project and to advocate a Green flood control plan.
Photos in this gallery by Pat Arnow
By noon Saturday, the power washers were erasing the giant peace sign that was a prominent part of the art project.
Week later, poignant remnants remained.
Shout out to Two Boots Pizza, who donated tasty slices to the starving artists. Phil Hartman has been a steadfast friend of the park and the neighborhood.
For news reports on the Art Attack with some excellent photos, see
Art Attack’ offered fleeting protest of controversial East River Park resiliency project
BY BOB KRASNER, amNY, Oct. 14, 2020
If any trees fall in East River Park, there will be plenty of people around to hear it — but the results of a recent protest were erased so quickly that not many had the chance to witness it.
A diverse group of artists began work late on Oct. 9 and by evening had covered the park’s amphitheater and nearby grounds with art to call attention to the plight of the park. Yet by Saturday afternoon, all evidence of their discord had been power-washed away.
Artists ‘attack’ East River Park amphitheater, hoping to block resiliency plan
The Village Sun, Oct. 10, 2020
An Art Attack at East River Park
EV Grieve, Oct. 12, 2020
And about the erasing of the Art Attack for East River Park, see
Counterattack! Parks Dept. power-washes graffiti off amphitheater
The Village Sun, Oct. 10, 2020
And here are some photos from Instagram: