On Friday night, Bushwick and Ridgewood's art scene took part in Beat Nite, where galleries in the area stay open late, most until 10 p.m. We checked out a couple ourselves, and spotted mild-mannered revelers sipping on cans of Bud indoors... and outdoors at one gallery, but behind a gate that separated the entrance from the sidewalk. While that may be frowned upon by the city's Finest, who knew that drinking indoors could get you a summons? A reader who was in attendance at the Arch Collective gallery that night sent along these photos and tells us:
"Two police officers came into the gallery at 9 p.m. and wrote about a dozen summonses to gallery patrons for open containers of wine and beer INSIDE the gallery. I don't think harassing art patrons inside a legal commercial space during an organized neighborhood-wide event is appropriate, but it's becoming the norm in the precinct."
Last year Arch received a visit from the NYPD as well; "After some confusion over the building’s lease, the officers issued three summonses: permitting consumption of alcohol, unlicensed bottle club, and failure to display proper alcohol license, and closed the party." We contacted the organization to find out if the precinct was given a heads up about the event, and to find out if they had a permit to serve alcohol. They told us:
"Seven patrons were issued summons. There were no permits as we were not serving alcohol. Anyone who was drinking had brought it in on their own.
We did not alert the officers to the event ahead of time, though we did not organize this particular event.
The story speaks for itself. This was not a raucous party. This was an art show at a gallery with less than 20 people in the space at the time. There was no loud music, no drunk or belligerent patrons, no underage drinking or criminal activity taking place, it was 9 p.m."
We await the official word from the NYPD, but in the meantime, here's a tip for them: there's a little neighborhood called Chelsea that we think is going to be huge in the art world, and on any given Thursday night, we've spotted patrons at galleries there sipping on wine!