Post-Pandemic Hell Square Rings True at Hair of the Dog
Hell Square is back to its normal self, reviving the weekend chaos after a marginal break during pandemic times. Residents note that this past Saturday night was particularly hellish, and headquartered outside Hair of the Dog on Orchard Street.
There, in the middle of the street, someone installed a powerful three-foot-high portable speaker and proceeded to blast hip-hop and dance music for at least 45 minutes. A crowd of more than two hundred people gathered. It was a scene defined by shouting, cheering, dancing, and drinking. It was absolute chaos. A car was parked in the center of Stanton to stop traffic. People were hanging from the street cafes built for both Hair of the Dog and around the corner at Arlene’s Grocery.
“I took a couple of pics but then began to be harassed — ‘fucking snitch!’ — and I did not feel like getting set on by a mob,” one neighbor told us. “It was, indeed, disgusting — and scary.”
It took numerous calls to 311 and NYPD before officers arrived, albeit 50 minutes later. In a single patrol car (2 cops) to deal with hundreds, the sound system, and the car blocking off street. The cops were able to switch off the music, but did let the crowd stay.
“How is it that the cops can clear out protestors and Washington Square Park but can’t deal with the drunk crowds, drunk drivers, and cars with souped-up sound systems blasting music at illegal levels?” LES Dwellers founder Diem Boyd told us in a statement. “Hell Square is now a sanctioned open-air nightlife carnival with people being over-served inside and under sheds, drinking openly in the roadways, cars cruising blasting music so loud our windows shake.”
It’s gonna be a long summer. Grab those ear plugs.