“Woody’s Ghost” at Washington Sq Pk Thurs. Sept. 11th, 2 p.m.

Don’t forget the excellent Conflux Festival begins Thursday, September 11th (thru Sunday, September 14th). It is described as the “Art & Technology conference for the creative exploration of Public Urban Space.”

On-site events are taking place at the Center for Architecture, 536 Laguardia Place (between Bleecker and W. 3rd), Greenwich Village, Manhattan.

My presentation: Washington Square Park: New York City’s Intervention on a Perfect Public Space is Friday, September 12th at 1:45 p.m.; tickets required for some events (including this one).

There are also really great, creative off-site (and free!) events, including at least one at Washington Square Park!

Details: Thursday, 9/11 at 2 p.m. Woody’s Ghost takes place at Washington Square Park (Note: doesn’t say WHERE in the Park but as half of it is closed, it shouldn’t be hard to find.)


Woody Guthrie wrote a lot of music in NYC from rent parties in Greenwich Village and gatherings at Washington Square Park, to performing on streets and in public places. His music inspired the songwriters and activists of the time. He spent his last days in New York and passed away in the Brooklyn State Hospital of Huntington’s Disease, shortly after a visit from young Bob Dylan who sang a song for him entitled, “Song to Woody”.

This project will visit the major locations and landmarks of Woody’s life in New York, right up to the present. We’ll be going from one location to the next, as others join us to perform the songs Woody wrote in the very locations where he wrote and sang them. We’ll include Union Songs, songs in Washington Square Park he sang with Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, his place on Mermaid Avenue near Coney Island, and the Brooklyn State Hospital, where we’ll sing Dylan’s “Song to Woody”, and in front of the Woody Guthrie Archives near 57th and Broadway where Billy Bragg and Wilco mined the source material for Mermaid Avenue volumes one and two. (WSP Blog note: Go to Conflux schedule to see date and times of other locations.)

The public is invited to attend and participate, and we’ll go rain or shine. Hope to see you there. Bring your washtub, washboard, xylaphone, sousaphone, ringtone, banjo, harmonica, guitar, sitar, mason jar…


I would gather that Preston is not from New York City as it would appear this free-wheelin’ spirit left our city a long time ago … but I welcome it back.

Walking Tour: Washington Square Park – A Guide to New York City’s Redesign of a Perfect Public Space, Saturday, September 20th

Washington Sq Arch behind gatesWALKING TOUR: WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK: PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE — A Guide to New York City’s Redesign of a Perfect Public Space * Saturday, September 20th, 1 p.m.

Meet Up at Washington Square Arch, Washington Square North @ Fifth Avenue ; $5 donation

Recommended! by Time Out NY: In the 1950s, Jane Jacobs helped keep cars out of Washington Square. But a new redesign – which will entail dismantling the fountain, removing the chess tables and cutting down decades-old trees – puts the beloved green space in jeopardy all over again.” 7/24/08

Come on the tour (it’s fun!) and see what the redesign of Washington Square Park really means, while learning some of the Park and neighborhood’s illustrious history.

Presented by Washington Square Park Blog and Washington Square Community Improvement District(CID)

Trains: A,B,C,D,E,F to West 4th Street/Washington Square

Raindate: Saturday, September 27th, 1 p.m.

Community Improvement Districts(CID) are a new model organizing to promote the well being of the community. CIDs are distinguished from the Business Improvement Districts(BIDS), whose sole interest is promoting better business and an environment conducive to shopping. At Washington Square Park, the neighborhood BIDS, along with NYU, the Tisch Family, and Mayor Bloomberg have played a role in a redesign plan that is destroying the very heart of this renowned park.

More about Community Improvement Districts (CID) here.

What are New York City’s plans? Click here.