Rickety stairs, shaking floors, bathroom doors that never shut, impossible to avoid smoking rooms, sound delays, teenagers, getting screamed at for being within 50 feet of the front door... there have been plenty of times we secretly wished Market Hotel (run by Todd P) would get raided when we were inside. But in reality, news of a raid which seems to have shut it down over the weekend isn't good news at all. Before getting down to the dirty details, here's what John Norris told us this afternoon regarding the importance of DIY venues like this:
"I think it's important that Market stay open. Maybe the 'realest' venue in New York... I love it. Plus practice (and occasional living) space? If Todd thinks it's time to make it a legal venue then he knows best. The guy's dedication (and that of Showpaper and others) to all ages shows and new music deserves to be rewarded and I hope anyone who can, will pony up what they can to help out."
The Bushwick venue is not exactly, you know, legal. Last summer it was busted by the NYPD as well, but operations continued. At the time Todd P explained, "I can tell you what was going on. On the 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." Perhaps this Saturday (aka: pre-Gang Initiation Day) the cops were doing just that?
According to the NY Press, this year's raid involved 20+ officers infiltrating the venue during a show (FreeWilliamsburg has a photo of one, undercover-style), and it looks like this year things won't pick up again as quickly as they did last. Instead, Todd P is using the incident as a stepping stone to finally make the place legit. In an email blast he declared: “For Market Hotel to survive, money is the central challenge. The space may end up able to do shows again in its current situation, but realistically we need to be more legal to really survive. To pull this off we need to raise something like $100,000. This is a high number but not an impossible one." (Here's how to help.)
While the Market is dark, the over two months of shows already scheduled to take place there will be moved... to other not-so-legal venues!