‘There’s a lot of pent-up energy since the pandemic’

Party animals cut loose in New York’s Washington Square Park into early Sunday morning, with the crowd drinking, dancing and setting off fireworks well beyond the park’s curfew.

The wild scenes come after Governor Andrew Cuomo earlier this month lifted the majority of the state’s Covid-19 restrictions, as 70 per cent of adult New Yorkers had received at least one dose of a vaccine.

In Australia, where a fresh outbreak of the Delta variant has plunged Sydney into lockdown, fewer than one-third of adults have received one dose and just 6 per cent have been fully vaccinated.

In Washington Square, police watched on while three separate dance parties broke out at the Greenwich Village green space late Saturday night, continuing into Sunday.

“It’s a vibe and a half,” said Masa Kanazawa, 22.

“If you look around, people are doing their own thing. That’s all that matters to me,” he said. “Here, everyone is living it up.”

With a feel of New Year’s Eve, 10 minutes before the midnight closing time, fireworks were set off in the park, with wild cheers from the crowd.

Police on Sunday morning said no arrests were made overnight.

Local residents complain about constant overnight parties

Meanwhile, locals were left fuming over the latest round of partying.

Resident Samantha Hurwitz, saying she no longer feels safe walking through the iconic park.

“When the sun goes down, it’s a free-for-all underworld where there are no penalties for stealing, hitting, doing drugs,” Ms Hurwitz, 60, said. “The police don’t do anything because if they step in, they get accused of brutality, so all they do is watch from a distance to be sure things don’t get completely out of hand.”

Another resident, Charles Ortel, complained about the noise coming from the park after 10pm.

“How can you expect quiet in your building when out here you’ve got this mass spectacle, fireworks going off, all kinds of things late into the night?” Mr Ortel, 65, said. “In a city like this, where there’s a lot of business activity, a lot of wealth, you can’t have a lawless portion of it, which is the direction we’re going in.”

Alex Yoshizuka, a Baruch College student, said he had sympathy for neighbourhood residents – but relished the sights on Saturday night.

“It’s great because there’s a lot of pent-up energy and emotions since the pandemic,” Mr Yoshizuka, 21, said. “And it’s nice that everyone is going off.”

He added about the locals: “I feel so bad for them. It wasn’t like this one, two years ago.”

Residents’ non-stop complaints have done nothing to stop revellers from dominating the famous 10-acre park weekend after weekend – with some nights devolving into violence – as the weather has heated up.

In the early hours of Sunday morning, when asked if police planned to enforce the midnight closing time, one officer told The Post, “Not that I’m aware of.”

Public meeting after rowdy behaviour

Earlier this month, fed-up Greenwich Village residents met at a public meeting to express their frustration about the recent rowdy park behaviour, which included two people stabbed during a June 12 brawl.

The following Saturday, a person who had a taser and knife caused a stampede that left a woman injured, as the weekend pandemonium continued at the park.

In early June a 10pm curfew was implemented in the park. Chaos erupted on June 6 as NYPD officers in riot gear enforced it. The curfew was abandoned on June 12.

Additional reporting by Tina Moore

This article originally appeared on NY Post and was reproduced with permission

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