‘Done’ Graffiti Sprayed Throughout Riverside Park, Even on a Tree

Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Monument plaque at W. 89th Street and Riverside Park

By Joy Bergmann

Graffiti scrawls of “Done” and “Done with Life” have increasingly appeared in Riverside Park over the past few weeks, defiling the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Monument at West 89th Street, trees, staircases, garbage cans, the former Boat Basin Cafe at West 79th Street, traffic boxes, the underpass at West 72nd Street and myriad other available surfaces. 

What is going on? Is the perpetrator a simple miscreant or a suicidal soul crying for help? 

WSR emailed Riverside Park Conservancy and the NYPD’s 20th & 24th Precincts for comment, but we haven’t heard back.

“We are aware of the graffiti and are working to remove it as soon as is possible,” a NYC Parks spokesperson told WSR.

We will update this story if we receive additional information.

Underpass at W. 72nd St.

Staircase near Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Monument

Near former Boat Basin Cafe at W. 79th

Just south of former Boat Basin Cafe at W. 79th

Hudson River at 79th Street

Near W. 78th and Riverside Drive

Traffic signal box at W. 86th and Riverside

At former Boat Basin Cafe

Near Classic Playground at W. 76th Street

Underpass at W. 78th Street

Park entrance at W. 72nd and Riverside Drive

NEWS, OUTDOORS | 40 comments | permalink
    1. PastramiBliss says:

      NYPD has said they will clean graffiti in the area since August and nothing has been removed. It’s gotten worse.

    2. UWSdr says:

      In my art history classes, I learned that art often is created to help the artist cope with emotional and mental challenges. That would seem to be the case here. Sadly, in this case, it is not very interesting to look at for the rest of us and also quite worrying.

    3. LL says:

      I was just commenting to my brother about this the other day. I wasn’t sure it was by the same person. Wow

    4. good humor says:

      Some people don’t get how life works. It must be very difficult for them to see that anonymous vandalism is a poor cry for help.

      • Betty says:

        Desperate people do desperate things.

      • Alex says:

        When a poor cry for help turns into vandalizing public property, defacing memorials, destroying signs, painting on stone bridges, this becomes a blatant criminal act meant to hurt others. If you have mental health issues, seek out care.

        • Truth & Reason says:

          Right. To me, it’s the war memorial part of this. Those servicemen and women have their lives for their country. Their lives truly were “done.” We honor their memories as best we can — and some likely teenage punk all full of, what, boredom and angst (?) just spray paints all over it. Makes me sick.

    5. Joan says:

      With all the cameras all over the city it is surprising there are no photos posted of the person involved. He or she needs help.

    6. ST says:

      One goes to a park to see natural beauty and not ugly graffiti. And I don’t buy why anyone immediately assumes it is a cry for help. Maybe it is. Maybe it isn’t. Some people just want to act out and be destructive. And then there is the narcissistic satisfaction is seeing the “work.” Like a toddler pooping.

    7. Marci says:

      I saw that written on a new storefront window on the corner Amsterdam and 87th and had no idea what it was about.

    8. Claire says:

      Kind of a waste of time article

    9. Dom says:

      Cry for help? How emotionally enlightened. I wonder if you’d have as much compassion for the vandal if he/she defaced your personal property.

    10. MB/UWSer says:

      Interesting!

      I just saw a street lamp post somewhere in the Riverside/Columbia University section of the UWS with the word DONE.

      I did’t know what it was about until now. I will keep an extra eye out.

    11. CrankyPants says:

      “Done” with graffiti and disrepect.

    12. Buddy Revell says:

      It is not all written by the same person and they didn’t show up until Trump lost the election. This screams anti trump jerks defacing public property. Grow up people.

      • Ken says:

        Don’t know how you know this was done by several people rather than one miserable person — it all looks remarkably singular to me. But whether or not there are copycats is really not as important as your – pure speculation? – that this is somehow evidence of anti-Trumpism. If anything it would seem to be evidence of Trumpism, chagrin at the fact that Trump is now DONE, and a spit in the face of a neighborhood that has always disdained the Orange Stain.

        • Buddy Revell says:

          I can’t reason with someone who somehow morphs this into an act of someone with a pro trump agenda. What possible message could that be? Even if it was “Done” by one person, the political message is clear. An idiot defaced public property/monuments to celebrate the removal of Trump from office.

          • Bob says:

            And your explanation for why the vandal would write “Done with life” when he or she is celebrating the end of the Trump presidency is… what, exactly? I mean, sorry, but your theory makes absolutely no sense, and your attempt to make this political is, with apologies, bizarre. You’re way off.

            • Buddy Revell says:

              I have seen probably 30 instances of only “Done” written all over Riverside park. I have never even seen anything that says “Done with life”. This is anti-trump graffiti. Why is that so hard to accept. Conservatives don’t trash public monuments and parks with graffiti. its not in their dna.

    13. Vincent says:

      Looks like some child in the neighborhood is bored and clearly lacks any artistic skill. Hopefully they will keep busy this winter cleaning up this mess once they’re caught.

    14. Karen says:

      The word is also on the 96th Street/Bway subway station.

    15. G.Locke says:

      There was this Follow Your Dreams guy a few years ago …the slogan painted on sidewalks … abandoned refrigerators left for pickup … etc.etc.
      The street artist also painted murals … made artsy colorful posters … commercialized his own dreams … he certainly followed them.
      More uplifting than Done… or … Done with Life …

    16. Jeremy says:

      Anyone know if this type of graffiti can be privately removed using some sort of removal agent available at a local hardware store? Would gladly start removing it myself. Such a disgrace.

    17. UWSer says:

      Hope they get the help they need.

    18. Bonny says:

      I saw this yesterday on the last remaining phone booth on West End and 90th st.

    19. Anonymous says:

      It’s every where, and it’s crazy. They should put up cameras so they can see who does it. It’s just one person bc it’s the same handwriting throughout.

    20. Robin says:

      Sad to see this disruction

    21. The graffiti all over the UWS, including on mail boxes, has become dramatically worse during this pandemic. When Gale Brewer was our City Council Member, she organized numerous graffiti cleanup days (often with Beacon Paint, the 20 Precinct, and Midtown Community Court). The West 80s Neighborhood Association assisted in some of those, as did other block associations. Perhaps it’s time for more organized community graffiti cleanup days once again.

    22. Lilly H. says:

      DONE with this nonsense and done with people acting all “compassionate” about “a cry for help”. It’s vandalism and a bunch of BS.

    23. Sid says:

      Have seen these tags up in the 90s and 100s too along Riverside Dr.

    24. Newcavendish says:

      Graffiti is inexcusable. This may be a particularly egregious example, but my impression is that the degradation of graffiti is getting worse and worse all the time: it seems like a harbinger of the city’s decline and defeat. While there are many priorities, fighting graffiti should remain among them if New York is to avoid falling into the kind of shabby trap from which it struggled to emerge in the 70.s

    25. Kindly Dr. Dave says:

      Think of Nashville.

    26. D says:

      I saw the man responsible. He is white and doesn’t wear a mask and had a friend also white without a mask. I saw him while he was writing “Done with libtards” on a 95th street newspaper box.

      • V says:

        I emailed both precincts. Case is open , and they have him on video. He’ll be caught shortly and it’s 10+ years in jail as defacing public property. The person who saw him should also help the cops do a wanted sketch/reward

        Curios -what time of day did you see him?

    27. D says:

      The graffiti is executed by a white male in his late teens approximately 5’9″. My wife and I saw him do this to several poles and mail boxes on Amsterdam Avenue between 88 Street and 91 Street. When we asked him what he was doing? He ran away.