Nothing could be more foreboding of the death of the street of poets than a three-hour-long bombardment by a rock band (drums, guitars, singers) pounding Bobby McGee through two microphones set up next door to the former Morton Street residence of US Poet Laureate and Nobel Laureate, Joseph Brodsky. I passed by the disturbance in New York’s West Village on Saturday night and informed the band I was on my way to the 6th Precinct to report the problem.
The rock band responded by moving the show a few doors closer to Hudson Street where the outdoor restaurants have seriously dug in. A two-camera crew was filming events on the corner of Morton & Hudson.
And when the Bobby McGee invasion could pound no more, a rag-tag band with sax, drums and tuba that’s been plaguing the neighborhood for weeks came through next—to milk crowds at the eateries that have largely taken over public space everywhere in sight.
I did, indeed, go to the 6th Precinct and was assured they’d send a car. I was encouraged that the police would shut down the disturbance since they did respond to my complaint about hordes of drunken revelers assaulting the neighborhood with pulsating music from rooftops at 29 Seventh Avenue South weeks ago.
But despite swarms of NYPD on standby in anticipation of fallout from a protest on a nearby Hudson River pier, and my walking into the 6th Precinct two more times Saturday night to request assistance, the rock band was allowed to continue its shock & awe on the residents of Morton Street.
During my third visit over a three-hour period to the station, I asked why a car had not yet been sent. I was further advised the 6th Precinct had only three cars, all out on more urgent cases.
I said it was going to be a difficult summer if the disturbance went unchecked because it could set a precedent.
“It looks like you’ll have to move,” one desk officer said sarcastically.
The reality is, whatever these spoilers have come to the West Village hoping to spoil is virtually GONE now, due to their ravaging of the neighborhood and the city’s inept policies allowing the ruckus to go unchecked.
The West Village should be given protected status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site before the Cherry Lane Theatre is turned into yet another beer joint.