Four Gals by the Fountain

The three ladies together are admiring the Arch I believe (correction: one is texting or looking up directions on her cell phone); the lone gal leaning against the (plume-deprived) fountain is perhaps reading a book.


The Washington Square Arch — Is it Leaking (Water)?

I write this partly in jest but there was some kind of water issue happening by the door to the Arch on Monday. My delay in posting this is due partly to computer issues (fun!). Above is a photo of the magnificent Arch taken from Fifth Avenue Monday. The photos BELOW show the door to the Arch (the door is on its western side — if you’ve never noticed the door, it is to the right when you are at the front of the structure) leaking water or pooling water. What’s even more unusual is that the last rain was on Saturday, a decent amount, and these photos are from Monday.

It’s always fun to write about the Arch but this is, um, a bit curious. You’ll also notice this major lock that is on the Arch door which appeared in the last year. (I’ve noted it before ..)

Majorly locked Arch door (water at bottom)


I wonder if any of this is in relation to that strange structure (in retrospect maybe that was the opening to access the top) that was popping up from the top of the Arch a few weeks back. I questioned the Parks Department about it – even sent them a photo – with no response. I have another thought on that (to be continued…).

Tarot Readings by Kyler Washington Square

This gentleman, Kyler, was out at the Square last week offering “Tarot Readings.” Initially, he was wearing a tin foil hat. I couldn’t figure out if it was a joke for people who don’t take tarot seriously or if it was an experiment of some kind or what. It seemed like it wasn’t helping his case as no one stopped by; I was almost tempted to sit down. At last, a young woman gave him a chance. He seemed very contemplative and thoughtful during her reading. For the reading, he took the hat off but you can see it peeking out of his bag.

Photos: Yesterday at the Park

View from Fifth Avenue Looking South

The Arch, A Day in May

Around the Fountain

The park’s pigeons ‘bird’s eye view’

Photos: Cathryn.

The Arch in the Rain


Photo: Cathryn.

Washington Square Park Eastern Side Opens Today!


Looking West Towards the Fountain

Pathway headed East from the Fountain


Garibaldi Plaza Stage

Costa Nicholas, first musician to grace Garibaldi Stage !

Playground Opens

Little Girl in the Playground

Some Tiles Salvaged from "Teen Plaza" in Playground

Two Men Chatting on the NorthEast Side

North East Quadrant

Small Dog Run on Wash Square South

Strange little alcove along Washington Square South

And, of course, The Arch (not part of Phase II)

The Eastern Side of Park – under construction for oh so long – opened today and people seem ecstatic to reclaim this large swatch (swath?) of New York City public space. I realized how much I missed the East Side. It was the end of the park I knew better than the Western end. No commentary today – just pictures! And the fountainout from under repair, is on!

Post from earlier today has more details on Phase II specifics and what’s taken so long, how much it cost, what some of the issues have been around the 20 months of construction and park’s redesign.

Commentary and thoughts on Washington Square Park Redesign: Phase II-A’s unveiling coming Monday, June 6thTuesday, June 7th!

Photos: Cathryn

Washington Square Park: Aerial View Looking North

This shot was taken from NYU’s Kimmel Center, across the street from the park on Washington Square South.

Photo: Bancha Srikacha via Flickr

Washington Square: The Arch, Fifth Avenue

The Arch and Fifth Avenue

March 2010.

In the Media

Construction to Align Fountain with Arch 2008

Just when you thought everyone in the mainstream media had forgotten about the Bloomberg Administration’s decision to align the Washington Square Fountain with Fifth Avenue and the Arch as part of its redesign plan (the fountain had stood regally in its original location for 137 YEARS), I came across this piece from writer Michael Gross at Crain’s NY Business. (This was a couple of weeks ago but still worth noting.)

New York Becoming Wisconsin:

The mayor’s domestication of Manhattan has gone far enough. It’s there in the nanny-state bans on foods, sodas and ciggies; the redesign of nasty, grotty, thrill-a-minute Times Square into a holding pen for clueless tourists; the move of the Washington Square fountain 22 feet to the east so it aligns with the arch and Fifth Avenue; even the routing of quirky neighborhood retailers and their replacement by Duane Reades, bank branches and chain stores—a perhaps unintended but definitely unpleasant side-effect of the mayor’s economic miracle. I recently called Time Warner Center the Short Hills Mall and someone said, “Don’t insult Short Hills like that.” Much as I like the visual vibrancy of the new Times Square, shut your eyes and listen to the voices around you, and you could be in Green Bay.

Enough with domestication. New Yorkers don’t want to be domesticated. We don’t want safe. We sometimes like scary. We don’t even always want clean. We’re not afraid of what’s around the corner; we rush toward it.

More at Crain’s.

For some history, see previous WSP Blog Post: Actually, Mr. Vellonakis, the Washington Square Park Fountain IS already aligned

50th Anniversary of Washington Sq Folk Riot April 9th; Community Board 2 Meeting To Discuss Commemorative Event Wed. March 2nd

April 9, 2011 marks the 50th year anniversary of what is now called the Washington Square Folk Riot. Apparently, plans are in the works to mark this with an event of some kind and Community Board 2 Parks Committee will be meeting this Wednesday night, March 2nd to discuss a “celebration” of the anniversary.

On the Washington Square Folk Riot from The Indypendent:

Washington Square Park has been a place for musicians since at least the 1940s. By 1961, it was the center of the city’s folk-music scene, and Parks Commissioner Newbold Morris ordered the police to crack down on “the roving troubadours and their followers.” The musicians defied the ban, and on April 9, police invaded the park to clear them out. The result was what became known as the “Folk Song Riot.” One group sat down in the empty fountain and sang “We Shall Not Be Moved.” The cops attacked them with billy clubs. “5,000 BEATNIKS RIOT IN VILLAGE,” the tabloid Mirror headlined.

One of the demonstrators may have been 19-year-old Bob Dylan, who two days later opened for John Lee Hooker at Gerde’s Folk City, down the block on West Fourth Street. The city eventually relented after more musical protests, including a sing-in by 1,500 people in a nearby vacant lot.

Other items on the CB2 meeting agenda (both public hearings):

* Request for renovation of Father Fagan Square (Sixth Ave. betw. Prince and Spring)
* “Treeing-up Hudson Square”- A proposal for intensive tree planting.

Date: Wednesday, March 2nd, 6:30 p.m.

Location: Little Red School House, 272 Sixth Avenue at Bleecker Street, Auditorium

Trains: A, B, C, D, E, F to W. 4th-Wash Square or 1 train to Houston Street

Note: No mention of Washington Square Park Phase II update, cost overrun, delays or projected completion on the committee’s agenda.

P.S. — This anniversary event was canceled. See archives for why.