Gay and Loud

The new battle over queer kids' ruckus in Greenwich Village

But that's no consolation to residents, who think the plan will only attract more kids. The problem, as Donaldson puts it, "has become a political hot potato." The neighbors realize many of the gay youth have had hard lives. Last fall, the city commissioned a brief study of the pier crowd; its results are expected before summer. Yet somehow, the question of what to do about the street noise gets muddled as board members seek information on the kids' risk factors, from homelessness to harassment. "All of a sudden," says Elaine Goldman, of the Christopher Street Block Association, "kids are screaming about how they have nowhere to go, and adults are wondering about social services."

She and others are looking to a higher power—maybe the mayor, or the governor. The Hudson River Park Trust, the joint city and state entity operating the pier, can do what it wants to address the debate, with or without the board. Spokesperson Chris Martin says the trust is in no hurry: "We're not making any decisions until we see what this resolution is, if at all."

Back at the pier, Dave Poster is taking in the tame midnight scene. "Now, these kids are good kids who want to hang out," he says, motioning to a handful who are dancing on benches. He remembers himself as a teen, when he wasn't necessarily a church mouse.

The Christopher Street pier: Friday, March 10
Photo: Shiho Fukada
The Christopher Street pier: Friday, March 10


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But then, he points out, "If I was one of 300 kids acting out, we wouldn't have lasted in my neighborhood."

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