The plague known as SantaCon descended upon the city bright and early Saturday morning—by the time I arrived in the East Village, around 7 p.m., the neighborhood's sidewalks and gutters were littered with a combination of fake beards, spilled beer, vomit, and (probably also) urine.
After a mass gathering in Flatiron around 10:30 a.m., the Santas dispersed, with most headed towards the East Village. By 7 p.m., some of the binge-drinking Santas were ready to hop back on
their sleighs the subway and head home, but plenty of others were in it for the long haul.
The line outside The Village Pourhouse, a perfectly adequate bar at best, was at least 30 people deep around 7:30 p.m., when I overheard a woman in a "sexy Santa" costume tell her friend, "I really hope we get in; I didn't last year!" Photographer Scott Heins told me that around 3 p.m., lines at both the Pourhouse and at Webster Hall were wrapped around the block.
Heins saw plenty of revelers urinating in the streets—"in the East Village and Midtown, at least one public pisser was seen brazenly dousing the sidewalk," he said. But he added that police were "really just letting revelers do their thing."
An NYPD spokesperson told Gothamist that there were no SantaCon-related arrests made last night. NBC caught footage of two "SantaCon Is Cancelled" protesters who appeared to be arrested before noon, but an NYPD spokesperson told Gothamist that there was no record of their arrests. Officers did issue 100 summonses though, most of which were for disorderly conduct. Earlier this year, the City Council downgraded some low-level offenses like drinking in public, littering, and public urination from criminal to civil offenses.
— Rana Novini (@Rana4NY) December 10, 2016
At Webster Hall, DJs played electro remixes of Christmas carols and a live rock band played seasonal covers, Heins said. Webster Hall was one of the few venues throughout the city where revelers who didn't give a $10 advance "donation" to the Santa-cause had to pay a cover to enter. By the early evening, though, SantaCon at Webster Hall was very much over, and we suspected many of the Santas had migrated to Midtown so they could round out their night closer to the Metro-North, NJ Transit, LIRR, et. al.
We headed to Slake, allegedly one of the last stops on the SantaCon route, where we only found two or three dozen Santas. When we reached the bar's upstairs club, an employee looked at our hats and bluntly said, "SantaCon is over."
i'm in the middle of a bunch of bros fist pumping at a santacon bar for JOURNALISM. nobody is talking about this!!!! pic.twitter.com/RQGVT8bBwt
— g a b y (@gabydvj) December 11, 2016
SantaCon may have been over at Webster Hall, and it may have been over at Slake, but it was not over. In the East Village, SantaCon still raged on. At Bar None on 13th Street and 3rd Avenue—which Google describes as "frat-friendly"—the party continued, and a large group of SantaBros fistpumped to 2009's greatest hits.
A block away, back at the Pourhouse, Santas and Mrs. Clauses were grinding on each other like horny teens at a high school dance. One of the Santas had shed his suit and was instead wearing a "Trump 2020" muscle T. Another wore a "Make America Great Again" hat. Finally, it all made sense.