A personal look at New York City, yesterday and today

Monday, July 21, 2014

Easter  Be-In, Central Park, New York City, March 26, 1967

This was the first Central Park Be-In. It was a surprise event that drew people from all over the city. Even participants from the 5th Avenue Easter parade showed up at the Sheep Meadow in Central Park. Police estimated 10,065 people participated. Estimating by eye, others said about 100 thousand.

According to Wikipedia, this first be-in was organized by Jim Fouratt an actor, Paul Williams editor of Crawdaddy! magazine, Susan Hartnett head of the Experiments in Art and Technology organization and Chilean poet and playwright Claudio Badal who printed 3,000 posters and 40,000 small notices designed by Peter Max and distributed them around the city.

Brooklyn native and lifetime NYC resident, Lionel Martinez, took the following photos at the Be-In that day. 

When people stopped wandering around the Sheep Meadow they settled down into being there. 

The mood was convivial. However, Lionel did record one police confrontation in which the demonstrator was taken away in a squad car.

Not Yoko Ono…  Probably Yayoi Kusama, whose trademark was polka dots.  This photo was taken just before she shed her clothing and was naked for all of 30 seconds. Suddenly there was a shout that the police were arresting all the naked people and she covered herself and vanished. 

Photos © Lionel Martinez

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