At the Park: There WILL be bathrooms while Phase III is under way, NY Dosas is here, and more

“port-o-potties” have arrived in front of ‘old’ bathroom location

In the wake of the news that there would be no replacement bathrooms while the existing rest rooms were under renovation during Phase III, the Community and park goers’ reaction was outrage. Well, kudos to the Parks Department (and I don’t get to say that often enough)– in this instance, they listened and responded. It’s hard to get too excited about portable toilets (although it was also hard to be enthusiastic about the state of the bathrooms as they were*) and I’m not sure if there could have been a better solution but … hey… it’s something. Three “port-o-potties” have appeared outside the location of the previous building.

Relocated park favorite NY Dosas

Vegan – and everyone’s – favorite cart vendor NY Dosas, featuring “South Indian Food,” has moved out a bit further on Washington Square South but he’s still there, construction and all! People were patiently waiting in line for his vegetarian crepes and $1 bottled water.

Vibrant flowers, eastern side.

Lone pigeon amidst the bustling fountain plaza.

* The rest rooms were the phase of the park that pretty much everyone in the community lobbied to be done first – they were in such dire state and falling apart. Now in year four of the redesign construction, they are now being replaced. The Parks Department almost purposefully left them for the very last.

Where is N.Y. Dosas ? Missing at Washington Square Park

N.Y. Dosas, Washington Square Park‘s much acclaimed vegan food cart stationed on the south side, returned on May 15th to the Park after a four month break! However, a poster wrote in on Thursday, May 22nd saying he came in search of the famous dosas (vegetarian crepes from South India) with no success – no cart in sight. And today, at the Park, no sign again of N.Y. Dosas. I don’t know how the food cart permits are regulated but I would think they are rather competitive. It seems a bit odd that someone could take a four month break and return to the same spot and then have irregular hours. N.Y. Dosas’ Thiru Kumar won an award last year for best food cart (something called The Vendys). He was there last Sunday, fittingly, for the Veggie Pride Parade. Hopefully, he’ll return soon.

Washington Square Park Sunday in the Rain: Masses of Vegetarians and Low Hot Dog Sales

Washington Sq Park in Rain May 08The Veggie Pride Parade and Rally happened yesterday, Sunday 5/18, and made its way from the Meatpacking District to Washington Square Park.

I wanted to witness usage of the very-much-diminished-in-size Washington Square Park (much of it behind gates) for an organized event but I missed it. When I arrived, the rally had ended – early due to the rain which began falling heavily early afternoon.

Nonetheless, the Park is quite charming in the rain.

The New York Times has a nice article today covering the Veggie Pride Parade/Rally. Apparently, it’s modeled after an event that takes place in Paris (which does add a bit more cachet to the whole thing). There is an interesting tid bit about the food cart vendors at Washington Square Park – how the vegan N.Y. Dosas cart (which returned last week – after a four month break) fared yesterday vs. the hot dog vendor:

The parade arrived at Washington Square Park about 1 p.m. Vegan jerky sticks were passed about, and a costume competition was held. …

Rain began to fall and the crowd started to disperse, yet through the drizzle a long line stretched from Thiru Kumar’s dosa cart, a vegetarian stand that won an award for best street food last year.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, business was decidedly thin at Salem Atwah’s hot-dog stand, on the southwest corner or Washington Square South and LaGuardia Place. Rarely, Mr. Atwah said, had he sold so few hot dogs.

“It’s because of the vegetarians,” he said. “It’s one of my worst days in four years.”

N.Y. Dosas Returns Today to Washington Sq Park after Four Month Break

According to New York Magazine, N.Y. Dosas, a “purely vegetarian” food cart serving lunch and a favorite of Washington Square Park-dwellers, returns to the South side of the Park today after a four month break!

New York’s review states: “At the edge of Washington Square Park, an assortment of NYU students, South Asian expats, and downtown hipsters crowd around Thiru Kumar’s food cart waiting for their daily dosa, the vegetarian crêpe from South India. … When the batter is cooked through, Kumar [lifts] the ethereally thin lentil-and-rice-flour wrapper from the grill, then chops it into sections and serves it with a gingery coconut chutney and a small tub of spicy lentil soup. The result: A delicious, ultrahealthy meal-on-the-street that’s well worth the wait.”

You can find N.Y. Dosas at Washington Square South at Sullivan Street.

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**Special thank you to Keith for helping whenever I have photo issues.**