December 1, 2014 6:03 PM   Subscribe

On April 9th, 1961, eighteen year old Dan Drasin exited his apartment on MacDougal street and headed to Washington Square Park. He and hundreds of others went to speak out against a recent ban on the performance of music there on Sundays. The NYC Police showed up as well, and the peaceful protest (which the press inexplicably called “The Beatnik Riot”) was captured by Drasin’s camera. He later turned it into the seventeen minute documentary “Sunday”, which can be viewed in its entirety on YouTube. Drasin was recently interviewed and asked to share his thoughts on the protest some fifty years later.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI (9 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Fast forward to Chicago 1968...
posted by jim in austin at 6:45 PM on December 1, 2014

That was amazing on many levels, not the least of which was the economy of storytelling. Very powerful; the lead-in of kids playing is particularly effective.
posted by kinnakeet at 6:48 PM on December 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

...the peaceful protest (which the press inexplicably called “The Beatnik Riot”)...

No, no, that's quite explicable.

/seriously though, YouTube is blocked here at work, but I'm looking forward to getting home and watching this.
posted by themanwho at 7:29 PM on December 1, 2014

I live by Washington Square and we've actually just weathered another cycle of overeager enforcement of the restrictions on performers in the park - not just the buskers but the comic tumblers Tic and Tac. That seems to have settled down, although I think they have to stay some number of feet from the monuments now.

Also gonna forward this to a friend who was a cop in the 6th Pct and will enjoy the old uniforms and cars...
posted by nicwolff at 8:53 PM on December 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Dan Drasin is also a longtime denizen of the WELL, which was sort of a proto-Metafilter created by Steward Brand back in the late 1980s. There he created the following palindrome, concerning the city of Ukiah, California:

"Ukiah's pot tops haiku."
posted by msalt at 9:27 PM on December 1, 2014 [4 favorites]

oh man tic and tac are still at it. they are awesome
posted by lalochezia at 5:57 AM on December 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh, I love that footage. Just licensed some for use in an HBO series.
posted by Ideefixe at 6:22 AM on December 2, 2014

Let not a note be heard
From neither man nor bird

Great post. I have always meant to learn more about the context of this event.
posted by maniabug at 6:35 AM on December 2, 2014

Now the park is controlled by a private corporation, essentially unaccountable to the public. The head of the park is employed by both the city and the conservatory. While it may not be enforced, according to the regulations there is only a single 12 circle where performers would not be in violation.
posted by Sophont at 9:15 AM on December 2, 2014

« Older scribble scribble *CLICK* scribble scribble...   |   Gentrification and badly dressed white people Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments