According to the Bloomberg administration, artists in parks are a nuisance and a safety hazard. But hey there Union Square holiday market, it looks like you're full of funky retailers and stair-blocking booths, and some artists are calling the Parks Department hypocritical. Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe says that's not true because of a little thing called
The holiday market is paying the city $1 million to use the space, and Benepe says, "It's public parkland. If you want to use it for private commerce, you pay for the privilege of using public land. Income is important right now." But what about the safety? Robert Lederman, who is leading artists in a lawsuit to block the new restrictions, points out that the holiday market blocks stairs and the subway entrance. "We have to be 10 feet from a crosswalk. They're blocking the crosswalk," he said. "The holiday market exposes the complete false nature of these rules." Cold, hard proof that you can break all the rules you want as long as you have the money to back it up. And the handmade Christmas ornaments.