Skipper the Cat lives on Washington Square and Still Needs a Home. Can you help?

I posted this originally earlier this month but Skipper still needs a home.  Isn’t he sweet? Can you help?  Here’s the info:

Skipper is a 1-1/2 year old sweet male tabby kitty who lives on Washington Square but his guardian, who is a nun, travels for a few months at a time and is now looking to find him a good, new home! He is playful and curious with an excellent appetite. His guardian writes: “He is such a loving cat that I do want the best for him–playful, interested in everything I do.” She hopes to find a new home for Skipper by late June/early July.

E-mail Joyce at joyce.hanson -at- with your interest. You can copy me if you like at -at-  Thank you!

Washington Square Park Friday – Rain, Wind, the Fountain, Oh My!

This was the scene Friday (6/26) early evening around 7 p.m. at Washington Square Park as crazy gusts of wind and rain occurred simultaneously causing the Fountain to become a force onto itself, spilling torrential waves of water onto the Plaza and onlookers. Things flew everywhere.  It was calm just moments before.  Rebecca Ferguson, Park administrator, dashed to shut the Fountain off.  The rain continued as the park became relatively deserted, except for a few, and yet still quite nice in the rain.

The Fountain Right before the Storm

The Fountain Right before the Storm

Photos:  Cat

Washington Sq Park: The famous Arch, The Fountain Plaza

June ’09
Photo: Cat

Renegade Cabaret comes to High Line Park off Neighbor’s Fire Escape Above

Great story in today’s New York Times about Chelsea resident Patty Heffley who has lived for 31 years above the High Line before it was a park (she even witnessed a train going by a few times in the early days!).  Her fire escape looks right onto the end of  (what is now) High Line Park at 20th Street and, in addition to viewing her laundry (which for years she has hung off that fire escape), park goers can now listen to and watch the “Renegade Cabaret” she presents there.

Lighting installed by contractors to brighten stairs of the High Line Park also beam a very artificial light onto her fire escape and into her living room so Ms. Heffley has turned something that could be perceived as a negative into a positive and added a bit of a wild element to the otherwise manicured park.

From the article: 

At 10 p.m., closing time for the park and the cabaret, Ms. Heffley and Ms. Soychak bid the audience goodnight. “If you see the party patio lanterns lit,” Ms. Heffley told them, “you’ll know something is going to go on when it gets dark.”

Robert Hammond, a founder of the Friends of the High Line and a member of the audience, remarked, “This is what we wanted,” referring to the cabaret. “It is going to keep it wild more than that will,” he continued, pointing to a patch of wildflowers.

As for the lights that shine like kliegs into Ms. Heffley’s windows, he said ruefully, “We screwed up on those.” But he brightened when told that she had said they were good for a stage. The Renegade Cabaret, he said, “is born of a mistake, just like the park.”

The full story is here.

Daily Metro Reports Parks Department Says “No Way” to Anonymous Wealthy Donors’ Plans to “better” Washington Sq Park with their private security Force

Daily paper Metro NY checked in with the NYC Parks Department about yesterday’s report in the New York Post that wealthy but anonymous donors, in addition to New York University, acting as part of a self-appointed entity called “The Coalition for a Better Washington Square Park,” were scheduled to hire private “off duty NYPD” cops to police Washington Square Park.  

From today’s Metro:

The Parks Department would not consider such a proposal,” a Parks spokeswoman said. “The NYPD is responsible for crime prevention throughout the city, including in all parks.”

She noted that one member of the Coalition for a Better Washington Square Park — a group of block associations, Fifth Avenue co-ops and others“expressed interest” in raising money to hire off-duty officers, but said the park is already staffed by Park Enforcement Patrol officers paid for, in part, by NYU

It does raise the question why Gil Horowitz, et al. (we don’t know who the “et al.” are because they won’t reveal who they are!) were so sure their plan was going to proceed and be implemented that they allowed themselves to be quoted extensively in the Post.  I imagine they considered that story quite a feather in their cap.  So… despite the supposed nixing of the private security, will their plans to pay for “maintenance” in the park proceed?  And will they still be meeting with Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe as stated in the article?  There’s probably more to this story, don’t ya think?

Photographer Stacy Walsh Rosenstock weighed in with her thoughts in response to WSP Blog’s post on the topic yesterday with yet another insightful comment:

A security force to protect “the investments made in the park?” Perhaps there’s a dastardly plan to move the fountain 23 feet to the west? Lounge on a closed lawn? Or worse, walk on one of the chain fences?

And what will these security patrols do when they do apprehend such quality of life offenders? Issue a citizen’s violation? Isn’t hiring private security forces to monitor all the plain clothes and under cover police posing as criminals in the park like the tail wagging the dog?

But just to add to the equation, wasn’t Washington Square Park one of the first locations to have NYPD surveillance cameras installed back during the Giuliani administration? Maybe the primary function of this new security patrol can polish the lenses of the surveillance cameras.

NY Post Reports New Washington Square “Coalition” comprised of anonymous wealthy donors and NYU. Privatization of Park begins?

In today’s New York Post, we’re informed of a new “coalition:”  “The Coalition for a Better Washington Square Park.”  

The name and article bring up a lot of questions:  Who doesn’t want a better Washington Square Park but who decides what’s “better?”  … The people who wanted the fountain aligned and plaza leveled and trees cut down?  The people who are concerned about their real estate values?  People who have money to throw around and yet won’t reveal who they are?  

The article reveals that the new “coalition’s” goal is “beefed up security” at the Park made up of “off duty NYPD cops” to rid the park of “druggies and lowlifes.”  Yet, the individual people in the group – the ones funding it – won’t reveal who they are except for front man, neighborhood resident and sometime agitator, Gil Horowitz.  

I’ve noted a lot of police at the park since it reopened and they basically have nothing to do.  The Parks Department has explained at length to those who are concerned why it is difficult to curtail any questionable pot dealings in the park so why would NYPD “off duty” cops make the park anything but more… policed?

What we do know is that NYU is involved so an alarm bell goes off right there as to this new group’s intentions.

A step towards further privatization, perhaps?

From the article in New York Post:

Washington Square Park tokers, beware!

A group of “wealthy, high-level” Greenwich Village residents plans to hire a security force of off-duty NYPD cops to keep the refurbished bohemian playpen from returning to its bad old days as an open-air drug market, The Post has learned.

“The Coalition for a Better Washington Square Park” — which is made up of area co-op boards and NYU — says it wants to protect the great strides made there, including a multimillion-dollar face lift paid for, in part, by the Tisch family.

“There are wealthy New Yorkers that are public-minded,” said coalition founder Dr. Gil Horowitz, a longtime parkgoer and resident of lower Fifth Avenue. “We have brought together some very high-level people in order to get this done.”

Washington Sq Pk Turned Upside Down

Washington Sq Pk Turned Upside Down

And then this:

The powerbroker donors have thus far opted for anonymity.

“We just want people to respect the investments made in the park,” said Adelaide Polsinelli of the Presidents Roundtable, a coalition of Village locals.

Whose investments?  The Tisch Family? NYU?  The local Business Improvement District?

At least the story gets another viewpoint in there from lawyer Ron Kuby:

But longtime Village resident, lawyer Ron Kuby, expressed concern.

“I think the rich folk who are sponsoring this want to change the character of the park from the free-wheeling street-theater scene to something that resembles their backyard terraces,” he said.

Let’s stop this before it begins. Ideas, anyone?

Tonite, Mon. June 22nd Open Forum on NYU: 2031 Plan Which Means… More Expansion!

Tonite !  Monday, June 22nd, 6:30 p.m. an Open Forum on NYU: 2031 Plan presented by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Greenwich Village Block Associations, and a dozen other community groups.

I know it doesn’t seem possible that NYU could conceivably be considering expanding.  I mean, seriously, can’t they stop now?  The University has enacted such dramatic and unwelcome changes on the character of our City and the communities it has planted its flags in over the last few decades.  Apparently NYU plans to double THAT rate of expansion over the next 22 years.

According to the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation:

As you may know, NYU is formulating its ‘2031 Plan,’ which is intended to serve as a blueprint for its development over the next 22 years.  However, outlines of the plan which NYU has shared with the public thus far indicate the potential for a very large expansion of the university in and around its core facilities in the Village, East Village, and NoHo during that time period —roughly double its rate of expansion over the last several decades.

The Forum will be held at Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Sq South @ Thompson Street.


Note: Blog postings may be a bit sporadic this week!

A Day in June at Washington Square Park

Photos: Cat

Next Blog Post will return Monday, June 22nd.

Note:  You can follow me on Twitter.

Washington Square Park 1936 – With No Fences, Unaligned Fountain, etc.

Washington Square Park: April 1936. No Fences… very sparsely landscaped but very inviting. This shot is facing North. Fountain is to the left (unaligned) in the location it had been since 1871 in the center – the east-west axis – of the Park (until redesign this year by Bloomberg Administration).

(It does feel a bit like a University campus tho’, doesn’t it?)

The tree in the foreground is apparently no longer there and was made into a totem pole. Is that still there?

Photo: Berenice Abbot

Updated Note: I have a few more posts to post before going on blog break … they’re forthcoming.

Skipper The Cat Lives on Washington Square and Needs a New Home!

Skipper is a 1-1/2 year old sweet male tabby kitty who lives on Washington Square but his guardian, who is a nun, travels for a few months at a time and is now looking to find him a good, new home! He is playful and curious with an excellent appetite. His guardian writes: “He is such a loving cat that I do want the best for him–playful, interested in everything I do.” She hopes to find a new home for Skipper by late June/early July.

E-mail Joyce at joyce.hanson -at- with your interest. Thank you!