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The Scene Outside the Trump Trial Mellows as Deliberations Start. Sort of.

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Fresh off a red-eye flight from California, Cynthia Frybarger dropped off her luggage at the Margaritaville hotel in Midtown early Wednesday and boarded a downtown Q train, bound for the hottest pop-up spot in Manhattan.

Her destination: Collect Pond Park, the square plot of cement and trees across Centre 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 criminal trial of an American president.

“I didn’t come strictly for this, but it fit in perfectly,” Ms. Frybarger, 73, said, holding up the “Lock Him Up!!!” poster she had made back home in San Jose.

As Mr. Trump’s trial has unfurled through its various stages, the park has played host to a daily tableau of New York writ small — gawkers and tourists, politicians and celebrities, demonstrators and protesters, all of whom have stood for hours in the baking sun and driving rain, to see and be seen.

Ms. Frybarger arrived around 6 a.m., she said, early enough to witness the spectacle — if a somewhat muted version — that has accompanied the proceedings.

The throng of protesters and demonstrators and hecklers that typically scream, whistle and clang cowbells to disrupt on-air broadcasts was conspicuously quieter. A group of women in Trump-themed clothing gathered in a serene circle and prayed, sang and wept. Another woman blew a shofar. Reporters threatened to outnumber demonstrators. Influencers held iPhones aloft, filming every little interaction to fulfill their content needs in the streaming era.

Scott LoBaido, a Staten Island-based artist, and his partner in spectacle, Dion Cini, unveiled a painting that depicted Mr. Trump as Muhammad Ali standing triumphant, recreating the famous photo of Mr. Ali’s knockout of Joe Frazier. Mr. LoBaido, who painted what he called his “masterpiece,” reimagined the prostrate Mr. Frazier as Robert De Niro. Mr. LoBaido said he was inspired by what he described as Mr. De Niro’s “insanity” on Tuesday, when the actor accused Mr. Trump of threatening democracy.

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

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

As the hours passed on Wednesday, the crowd started thinning, as if recognizing, perhaps, the importance of conserving energy with the timing of a verdict unclear. But the animosity that has surrounded the trial over these last seven weeks was still present: Skirmishes broke out between Trump supporters and counterprotesters, with one turning physical.

As two anti-Trump demonstrators, Kathleen Zea and Julie DeLaurier, ventured into a warren of Trump supporters, a group of shouting men and women wearing “Make America Great Again” garb surrounded them, attempting to block them from view with Trump flags. Ms. Zea said a woman had grabbed her anti-Trump sign and jabbed her with a pro-Trump flag, causing bruising and a laceration.

“I’ve never had that happen,” said Ms. Zea, an activist who lives in Astoria, Queens. “We yell at each other, but I never had a hand put on me — I was being attacked.”

The police intervened and broke up the fracas. They escorted Ms. Zea and Ms. DeLaurier out of the park as a battery of pro-Trump demonstrators followed, shouting insults and wishing them deportation and death. A similar scene unspooled across the afternoon with at least three other anti-Trump demonstrators.

Ms. Frybarger, too, got into a shouting match with pro-Trump demonstrators on the other side of the park, but her experience ended peacefully — or at least not in violence. She wandered over to talk with some of them, and a crowd formed around her, with a police officer ordering the demonstrators not to touch her sign. After some tense exchanges over Mr. Trump’s and President Biden’s respective policies in office, Ms. Frybarger and the pro-Trump protesters seemed to agree on some points, and the crowd calmed.

“That’s how you 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 right to vote. Before departing, she said she couldn’t return on Thursday, but would be back on Friday if the jury is still deliberating. She left fulfilled.

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

Shawn McCreesh contributed reporting.