Washington Square Summer 2012

August 2012

(I don’t usually post straight-on shots of the Fountain and Arch because the aligning of the Fountain with the Arch at Fifth Avenue just seems a little more crazy as time goes on. However, since it’s not really aligned and I liked this shot, I left it in.)

You’ll notice a man in the fountain reading a book…

And closer up… so caught up! Wonder what he’s reading…

Bobby (Red-Tailed Hawk) atop Judson Church cross (fountain plume to right)

Tree still dead near the Arch

Bustling near the Arch (Empire State Building in background)


Just a few snap shots…

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Poem: In Washington Square Park

A poem submitted in the comments from Mitchel Cohen:

In Washington Square Park

Like invisible ink
encoded in our genes
Spring, irrepressible,
suddenly emerges
baked in the sun. Global
warming, tornadoes, nukes,
imperialist wars,
collateral damage
for a few minutes slip
out of mind, out to sea
with bin Laden’s body
and Fukushima’s rods.
We have too few moments
uncluttered. Remember
how joyous life could be?
Recharge those batteries,
chase those metaphors down
bleached trails of consciousness,
bared thighs, short skirts, flashing
like hawks above the park.
I sit here soaking up
the sun unrecognized,
eyes opened wide, sparkling,
decoding messages,
invisible — this park,
this Washington Square Park,
on the edge of Summer.

– Mitchel Cohen
May 27, 2011

Visit Mitchel’s web site for many informative and interesting articles he’s written as well as by others on environmental and political issues.

Poem: “Crossing the Square” by Grace Schulman

A commenter named Nadia posted here earlier this week. I checked out her blog which has a post with musings on and excellent pictures of Washington Square in the snow (she wishes they would finish the renovation already) as well as video of “The Crazy Piano Guy” at the park. She posted this lovely poem by Grace Schulman which I’d never seen before and I’ve re-posted it below.

“Crossing the Square”

by Grace Schulman

Squinting through eye-slits in our balaclavas,
we lurch across Washington Square Park
hunched against the wind, two hooded figures
caught in the monochrome, carrying sacks

of fruit, as we’ve done for years. The frosted, starch-
stiff sycamores make a lean Christmas tree
seem to bulk larger, tilted under the arch
and still lit in three colors. Once in January,

we found a feather here and stuffed the quill
in twigs to recall that jay. The musical fountain
is here, its water gone, a limestone circle
now. Though rap succeeds the bluegrass strains

we’ve played in it, new praise evokes old sounds.
White branches mimic visions of past storms;
some say they’ve heard ghosts moan above this ground,
once a potter’s field. No two stones are the same,

of course: the drums, the tawny pears we hold,
are old masks for new things. Still, in a world
where fretted houses with façades are leveled
for condominiums, not much has altered

here. At least it’s faithful to imagined
views. And, after all, we know the sycamore
will screen the sky in a receding wind.
Now, trekking home through grit that’s mounting higher,

faces upturned to test the whirling snow,
in new masks, we whistle to make breath-clouds form
and disappear, and form again, and O,
my love, there’s sun in the crook of your arm.

-from Days of Wonder: New and Selected Poems (2002)