In New York City this past weekend, I was at a Canada Day barbecue in Cooper Park yesterday which ended perfectly… a cop car drove onto one of the park paths and stopped a hundred feet from us so the cops could watch the thirty-odd people having a picnic. After ten minutes of being watched a cop got out and told us that by “New York State Law” all parks closed at dusk, but he wasn’t going to kick us out or anything – we could stay for “a half hour, or an hour.” Then he went back to his car and continued staring at us. Obviously nothing was fun anymore and so everyone went home. What a bizarre society this is becoming – Cooper Park is just a relatively small city park with some trees, like Washington Square Park, our equivalent of a piazza. And on an extremely hot and humid day, no one is allowed to use the park after dusk. I’m told this is a law, though of course not uniformly enforced, because if it were, you wouldn’t be allowed to jog in Central Park after dusk, or look at the night-time view of the Reservoir with your girlfriend, or talk in Washington Square Park on a warm night with friends. Or watch the fireworks on the Fourth from the Hudson or East Rivers, or look at the Statue of Liberty glowing over the Harbor from the Battery, or stand under the Brooklyn Bridge with the city lights behind it, or walk the Promenade in Brooklyn Heights after dropping off a girl after a date. One could go on. I do not understand why we need police to prevent us from doing these things. Nor did the Canadians understand it, either, who had this planned as a “Canada Day into Night” event and had asked people to bring glowsticks.