New Yorkers would be free to openly drink their cares away in public areas under a new proposal by the city’s Nightlife Advisory Board — but residents near booze-soaked Washington Square Park are already feeling green around the gills at the thought.
In a report issued last week, the NAB — established by Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2017 — offered 15 recommendations on how to boost New York’s nightlife and maintain good relationships between hot spots and their residential neighbors.
Among the NAB’s suggestions, under a section labeled “Nightlife Beyond Bars and Clubs,” was taking the party outside.
“New Yorkers need affordable options for all kinds of nightlife,” the proposal says. “In most global cities people can gather informally in squares and parks to drink with friends and even dance to the rhythm of impromptu concerts.
“Drinking in the public space and dancing anywhere in the city should be regulated but not prohibited.”
But locals near Manhattan’s Washington Square Park — where lawlessness including public drinking has reigned in recent months, garnering no more than a shrug from de Blasio — gave a thumb’s down to the idea.
“I’m all for people to have a place to gather, but I’m not in favor of [the NAB proposal],” said Carol Meylan, a social worker and Greenwich Village resident. “Behavior gets unruly and reckless.
“I think there would be more violence,” added Meylan, 62. “We already witnessed people getting into fights, a lot of broken glass, a lot of behavior where crowds can’t be managed that well.”
Al Rosario, a doorman of Meylan’s park-adjacent building, said he’s seen booze turn the crowds in the green space belligerent.
“Even when they have good music and entertainment, once these people are drinking, they don’t want to leave, they don’t want to stop,” said Rosario, 60. “It would be so hard to control. … You’re only going to start a fire here.”