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NY Cops Crash Gavin Brown Afterparty
Mellow Crowd Shouted At, Sent Home by New York's Finest at "Drunk vs. Stoned 2" Exhibition Post-Opening Barbecue
Things have been bad, civil-liberties-wise, after 9/11 and the Republican Convention mass arrests, but the cops seriously need to find more productive uses of their time. Tonight several plainclothes entered a private party on the rooftop deck above Gavin Brown's Leroy Street gallery, ostensibly alarmed by seeing a few bottles on the sidewalk. They caught Brown holding a baggie, grabbed him by the arm and led him out of the party, then got angry when a smart aleck guest allegedly threw a hot dog at them. Before arresting Brown on a minor possession charge, they forced him to stand up in front of his guests like an errant schoolboy and ask "who threw the hot dog." I shit you not. When no guilty hot dog thrower came forward, they kicked everyone out of the party. One cop violently slammed shut the barbecue grill and another of the little bullies (for some reason they were all short) stood on a bench and announced "Whoever is the last to leave comes out in handcuffs." Everyone there, which included some art world personages, filed out in a state of shock. Amazing to think that New York was once called "Fun City."
Update: Here's the NY Post Page Six version, which of course takes the cops' side; I edited my post based on some of this info:
DRUNK, STONED AND CUFFED FUN-loving art gallerist Gavin Brown managed to get buzzed while building a buzz for his new show, "Drunk vs. Stoned 2." The British bad boy was arrested Thursday night for possession of a small bag of pot at the raucous opening of the exhibition at his Greenwich Street gallery, which was transformed into a "Deadwood"-style saloon complete with swinging doors and a jug band performance. All that old-time revelry resulted in empty beer bottles littering the street in front of the space, which spurred cops to investigate. After they crashed the party and spotted Brown holding a bag of pot, officers brought him outside. "They were being very cool until someone threw a hot dog out the window at them," Brown told us. "It basically broke the good will. That's when they put me in handcuffs." Empty beer bottles, marijuana and flying hot dogs would seem perfectly natural at a show featuring work by legendary counterculture cartoonist R. Crumb. According to a press release hyping the show, the "two most familiar forms of intoxicated transcendence are examined through a clouded lens, blurred by pot smoke and beer goggles."Oh, yeah, someone threw a hot dog, poor babies, and "held a bag of pot," I guess that's a good reason to threaten a hundred or so well behaved partygoers with arrest. As for the beer bottles--what New York street doesn't have bottles lying around? Check out the photo--see all the bottles? I don't either. The mess was nothing noticeable, and this was not a wild party, sorry to be boring and put a damper on a bad boy's legend-building.