Traditionally in New York City there is a big parade every Easter where thousands of women march, sporting exotic hats.
Traditionally in New York City there is a big parade every Easter where thousands of women march, sporting exotic hats. This year the Easter Parade had some competition when more than 10,000 persons gathered in Central Park to take part in a "Be-In".
What is a "Be-In?" The organizers of the Central Park affair say it "comes to exist when unconnected people get together as a group who understand the meaning of being together."
Sunday's (26 March) "Be-In" turned out to be a massive party with seemingly uninhibited youth and adults dressed in outlandish attire -- and some with painted faces. There were also a good number of men and women who mingled in the crowd shouting the praises of the drug L.S.D. As they shouted, others beat wildly on bongo drums. The L.S.D. worshippers were not the only one who extolled the virtues of their god. A group of banana worshipers, who claim they are able to ascend greater spiritual heights by eating part of the tropical fruit, sang songs, expressing their love of their god.
The theme of the "Be-In" was love. However, no one really took the time to mention whether they meant brotherly love or the kind that romantic poets write about. Observers felt that most "Be-Inist" lean toward the kind that brings boys and girls together.
Not all of the "Be-In" participants were professional beatniks, disillusioned university students, devoted Nihilists or super hedonists. Business executives, journalists and lawyers were also in the crowd -- and obviously having fun. There were a number of middle-income housewives at the "Be-In", waring large buttons which read: "Mary Poppins is a junkie."
The organizers of the "Be-In" called Sunday's outing a great success. More are planned.
However, so far no "Be-In" has topped the one in San Francisco on 14 January. At that one the unofficial prophet of the "Be-Insists" poet Allan Ginsburg, chanted his spontaneous prayers 100,000 faithful. Mr. Giasburg was not present at the New York "Be-In" -- at least, not in the flesh.