Artist Mark Panzarino Exonerated on Charges Related to Chalking the Grounds of Union Square

Posted on: July 2nd, 2014 at 9:19 am by

This image has been archived or removed.

Tribute to victims of the Boston Marathon

Mid-May. Just a week after neighbors took to the streets to inscribe memories for Lower East Side History Month, an artist who creates sidewalk art with chalk was arrested for same. Mark Panzarino had been chalking images in his stomping grounds of Union Square when cops cuffed him.

He was swiftly charged with creating graffiti and criminal mischief. For a disappearing art form, no less. When asked why (Panzarino frequently chalks the area), officers who made the collar reportedly stated the technicality that had he been “using ‘sidewalk’ chalk instead of soft ‘pastel’ chalk, it would not have been illegal.”

Anyway. Two months on (i.e. now), Panzarino finally had his day in court. He described the encounter to us in an email:

After realizing they did not have a strong case, the District Attorney asked the judge to dismiss all charges against me.  The charges were dropped and the file was sealed!

The whole experience has been incredibly stressful, and I’ll be working on new ideas for another series based on these events.  I can’t wait to get back to the “Louis Vuitton is Dead” series, in the park, this Thursday. 

It’s worth noting that Panzarino often chalks the grounds of Union Square, most recently with tributes to the victims of Sandy Hook and the Boston Marathon.

Recent Stories

‘Caribea’ Grill Readies Space Left Vacant by Domino’s on Allen Street

Ever since Domino’s ditched its decades-old Allen Street location three years ago, the commercial space has been a vacancy consistently peddled on the market. Now, a new concept is a-knockin. Caribea is as it sounds – a fast casual pan-Caribbean grill. The restaurant at 203 Allen will seat fourteen tables and a stand-up bar, for […]

The Projects Jockeying for the $20M Chinatown Revitalization Funds

Several months ago, Governor Hochul announced a $20 million grant in the form of the Downtown Revitalization initiative (DRI).  Some forty sites around Chinatown were identified during the DRI process, which is led by a Local Planning Committee of community representatives and supported by State agency staff and a consultant team. That list was ultimately […]

Displaced Chinatown Business Returns Months After Devastating Fire

Four months after a deadly fire knocked out 78 Mulberry Street, one of its businesses returned to the scene. Ewa Trading Company reopened in its former Chinatown home earlier this week. The store had spent some of the interim displacement period selling from a shuttered Vietnamese restaurant a few paces north. The two-alarm fire broke […]

EDC Sues Essex Restaurant for Back Rent over Former Essex Market Lease

Three years removed from its relocation across Rivington Street, the city filed suit against the Essex restaurant for alleged unpaid rent. The Economic Development Corporation (EDC) sued Essex for nearly $60,000 in unpaid back rent on the former Essex Market building it previously occupied, according to the lawsuit filed Monday. The city entity claims that […]

Exile on Orchard Street: Tenement Museum Recreates Exhibits During Renovations

The Tenement Museum is amidst a preservation project at 97 Orchard Street, but will continue its programming with replicas not too far away. The 1863-era tenement this past Sunday embarked on “vital” restoration work to preserve its walls, floors, roof, as well as the installation of a new HVAC system that will provide improved climate […]