After reading this post on Assme, alarmingly titled “Someone Is Trying to Bring Down the Market Hotel (Maybe),” I was a bit concerned that shit, someone was trying to bring down the Market Hotel! A few tweets came out of the search.twitter bonfire with rumors about a big raid and a condemnation and it appeared that that was that.
But, this isn’t all true. I spoke with Todd P who gave us a little clarification on the situation….(below the jump)
Hmmm, yeah I don’t know why that story was published at all. It’s more like “two guys enter building, act like bullies, then leave.” The Market Hotel wasn’t shut down by any stretch of the imagination, in fact we did a party with MIka Miko in there the very next day that had 350 people at it, and dancing until 4am.
The extant of what actually happened on Friday night is that two guys claiming to be plain clothes police officers entered the building via the art studio tenants’ entrance on Broadway (not the entrance we use for events) and poked around in the art studio section of the building.
They spoke to Ric Leichtung, who was organizing a small event in there that night (15 people total in attendance), and made the kind of groundless threats that police tend to make, claimed the building was “condemned” (not true in any way), and entered the private artists’ studios section of the building without permission, asking where the “drugs and guns” were. They gave Ric back his ID and then left. A
minute later, they apparently sent in the squad they were rolling with, which was about 12 uniformed rookies. By all indications, they sent them in because they thought the whole thing was interesting to
gawk at. Those guys poked around for about 45 seconds, also focusing on the artists studios, hanging out in there and making jokes, and then left the building.
At no point did any of these officers show any interest in the party Ric had going on, nor did they know what the “Market Hotel” is, and they issued no summonses, nor even asked to shut the party down. After they left, Ric was pretty spooked though and he decided to cancel the party he had planned, because he was stressed out and couldn’t get ahold of me (I was napping at home, but I would have said to do the party anyway).
Anyway, I’ve been doing parties in semi-legal places for many years and I can tell you what was going on. On eve of every Puerto Rican day parade, and every Dominican Day parade, 1 Police Plaza directs the precincts to troll their ghettos and look for rowdy social clubs to raid and arrest the proprietors. It’s a similar strategy to the one the NYPD used on the eve of the Republican National Convention, when they arrested everyone involved in the Critical Mass bike ride. Their idea is to round up the possible troublemakers before any large gathering, arrest them and take them out of the equation, as well as to send a message to the rest of the community that the cops are in charge. The cops that came into Market were looking for exactly that. They saw an open door, wandered in blindly and thought they might find something, when they didn’t, they left.
This blog journalist who wrote that story was really digging to write that story, She apparently heard fourth hand information that was forwarded to her by a guy named Cody, who himself heard information that originated from a kid who happened to be at the party, who in turn heard what he knew of what was going on from the band Animal who were supposed to play. Somewhere along the line on this crazy game of telephone, the story got more and more fantastic, with piles of tickets being issued, the building being “condemned,” and me getting arrested. I first heard about all this when that reporter, Drew Grant, called me midday Saturday.
Anyway, that’s the whole long boring story.
[photo via ryan muir on flickr]