The scene outside the Trump trial softens as deliberations begin. Kind of.

Fresh off a red-eye flight from California, Cynthia Frybarger dropped off her bags at the Margaritaville Hotel in Midtown early Wednesday and boarded a downtown Q train, bound for the pop-up venue on trendiest in Manhattan.

His destination: Collect Pond Park, the square lot of cement and trees across Center Street from the front doors of the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse, where a few hours later a group of 12 New Yorkers began deliberating whether to convict Donald J. Trump in the first round. criminal trial of an American president.

“I didn’t come just for that, but it fit perfectly,” said Ms. Frybarger, 73, said, brandishing the “Lock him up!!!” » poster she had made at her home in San Jose.

As Mr. Trump’s trial unfolded through its various stages, the park played host to an everyday tableau of New York in small, onlookers and tourists, politicians and celebrities, demonstrators and protesters, who are all stood for hours in the scorching sun and pouring rain. , see and be seen.

MS. Frybarger arrived around 6 a.m., she said, early enough to see the spectacle — albeit a somewhat toned-down version — that accompanied the proceedings.

The crowd of protesters, demonstrators and hecklers who shouted, whistled and jingled their bells to disrupt the live broadcasts was noticeably quieter. A group of women dressed in Trump-themed clothing gathered in a serene circle and prayed, sang and cried. Another woman was blowing the shofar. The journalists threatened to outnumber the demonstrators. Influencers held up their iPhones, filming every little interaction to meet their content needs in the age of streaming.

Scott LoBaido, a Staten Island-based artist, and his performing partner, Dion Cini, unveiled a painting depicting Mr. Trump as a triumphant Muhammad Ali, recreating the famous photo of Mr. Ali’s knockout against Sonny Liston . Mr. LoBaido, who painted what he called his “masterpiece,” reinvented the prostrate Liston as Robert De Niro. Mr. LoBaido said he was inspired by what he described as Mr. De Niro’s “madness” on Tuesday, when the actor accused Mr. Trump of threatening democracy.

A few dissenting anti-Trump voices made spectacular appearances. Vivica Jimenez, 50, a fashion designer, photobombed Trump supporters with a handwritten sign reading “CHARLATANS” before being bombarded with insults.

MS. Jimenez said she had followed the trial from the beginning and felt she finally had to make a statement. “I’m not afraid to be here,” she added.

As the hours passed Wednesday, the crowd began to thin, as if perhaps recognizing the importance of conserving energy as a clear verdict approaches. But the animosity that surrounded the trial over the past seven weeks was still present: skirmishes broke out between Trump supporters and counter-protesters, with a physical turnaround.

As two anti-Trump protesters, Kathleen Zea and Julie DeLaurier, ventured through a maze of Trump supporters, a group of men and women in costume shouting “Make America Great Again” surrounded them, attempting to hide them. with Trump flags. MS. Zea said a woman grabbed her anti-Trump sign and hit her with a pro-Trump flag, causing bruising and a laceration.

“This has never happened to me,” said Ms. Zea, an activist who lives in Astoria, Queens. “We were yelling at each other, but I never laid a hand on me – I was being attacked.”

The police intervened and broke up the fight. They escorted Ms. Zea and Ms. DeLaurier out of the park as a battery of pro-Trump protesters followed, shouting insults and wishing them expulsion and death. A similar scene played out throughout the afternoon with at least three other anti-Trump protesters.

MS. Frybarger also got into a scuffle with pro-Trump protesters on the other side of the park, but her experience ended peacefully — or at least not violently. She approached to chat with some of them, and a crowd formed around her, with one police officer ordering protesters not to touch her sign. After tense exchanges over Mr. Trump and President Biden’s respective policies in office, Ms. Frybarger and the pro-Trump protesters appeared to agree on some points and the crowd calmed down.

“This is the way to do it,” the officer said. “Dialogue.”

MS. Frybarger had tickets to see a Broadway matinee of “Suffs,” a musical about the fight for women’s suffrage. Before leaving, she said she would not be able to return Thursday, but would be back Friday if the jury was still deliberating. She left fulfilled.

“It became a conversation, which was nice,” she said. “And that’s what we need.” To listen to yourself.

Shawn McCreesh reports contributed.

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