There was an interesting item in Sunday's New York Times about the "commercialization" of the City's public parks. Nice to know that the Parks Department's standing practice of renting out Bryant Park to every Tom, Dick and Gisele now has a name.
The article says that people are started to grouse that Manhattan's best parks being given over not to the people, but to the beautiful people; Fashion Week seems to last all year at Bryant Park. Which is not to say the Park people don't think of the hoi polloi, too; hence the recent "DockDogs" show, which promoted the "sport" of dog diving. (Where are the cockfighting opponents when you need them?)
The result is that our parks are rarely just, you known, parks. They're circuses or bazaars and sales floors. Of five proposed fall events in the Community Board 5's district—which includes Bryant Park, Madison Square Park and Union Square Park, the board supported just one, according to the Times. "Of the four the board rejected, the Parks Department approved one and allowed another to take place in a different park." Way to listen to the people.
But, then, what should we expect during the Bloomberg Era, when every part of the people's city will be sold out to a wealthy private interest for the right price. As William Castro, the Manhattan parks commissioner, said: the parks benefited from the sponsorships or money these events produce.