Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Old Washington Square Park

Circa 2005, before the City aligned the fountain with the arch, decreased the fountain's diameter, made the sidewalks smaller, and installed various plaques honoring wealthy patrons. The fountain is now always partially filled so no one can dance in the basin, as these entertainers above are.
Now we hear NYU may pay special security officers to patrol the park. Watch your back!

From bare eyed sun:

we hear folk who have come to the Big Apple seeking whatever promise it holds, are perfectly happy with turning the greatest city in the world into wherever it was that they left behind and we scratch our heads in wonder. if THAT's what you wanted, then why in heavens name did you have to come here?

we were studying film when we first encountered the phenomena in 1989.we were reviewing an early screening of Spike Lee's DO THE RIGHT THING, and the discussion digressed from issues of racism to heated arguments pro and con streetlife as we knew it then. a young woman from Michigan decried the playing of congas in the Thompkin Square Park. she couldn't understand why the "racket" was allowed, since it would never be allowed "back home". Never mind that skin slappin' in the park goes back to the Draft Riots. and never mind that those "rumbones" gave birth to the likes of Ray Barreto and Max Roach, Miss Michigan wouldn't have it, and by gosh-golly she got her way. Heroin and homeless were scraped off the collective out-of-town shoe and now the park, curfew and all is as wholesome as white bread.

hey, all is not lost, one can still go see THE HEIGHTS, take the L to BillyBurg, or learn Salsa at L.C's Out-of-Doors. see: art doesn't HAVE TO be dangerous, dirty and crowded. :-)

18 comments:

Melanie said...

Hi Ken Mac--I remember the old fountain too--it was a cooling off spot--I don't think partially filled fountain is healthy. Do you? Please add my blog to listings. Thanks.

EV Grieve said...

2o05 suddenly seems like a long time ago....

Shaun said...

Glad to see you are back... I have started to enjoy your blog!!!! The world turns much faster nowadays... 2005 is a long time ago!

Lily Hydrangea said...

I was trying to remember what it used to look like. Nice shot.
Thanks for the memories.

bARE-eYED sUN said...

Ken,

as always you sing the song as it should be sung. :-)


we hear folk who have come to the Big Apple seeking whatever promise it holds, are perfectly happy with turning the greatest city in the world into wherever it was that they left behind and we scratch our heads in wonder.


if THAT's what you wanted, then why in heavens name did you have to come here?


we were studying film when we first encountered the phenomena in 1989.

we were reviewing an early screening of Spike Lee's DO THE RIGHT THING, and the discussion digressed from issues of racism to heated arguments pro and con streetlife as we knew it then.


a young woman from Michigan decried the playing of congas in the Thompkin Square Park. she couldn't understand why the "racket" was allowed, since it would never be allowed "back home".

never mind that skin slappin' in the park goes back to the Draft Riots. and never mind that those "rumbones" gave birth to the likes of Ray Barreto and Max Roach, Miss Michigan wouldn't have it, and by gosh-golly she got her way.

heroin and homeless were scraped off the collective out-of-town shoe and now the park, curfew and all is as wholesome as white bread.

hey, all is not lost, one can still go see THE HEIGHTS, take the L to BillyBurg, or learn Salsa at L.C's Out-of-Doors.

see: art doesn't HAVE TO be dangerous, dirty and crowded. :-)

thanks as always, Ken.
BTW, exellent shot of R&D (we envy).

..
.ero

Ken Mac said...

Bare Eyed Sun said it all! Fantastic post!

Jacob said...

Well...not knowing a lot about NYC, and how it has changed, it has been my experience that when politicos get together in whatever den of iniquity they frequent and when they decide "to improve things," or "make changes for the better," one should, as you note, "watch your back."

Jarart said...

Fantastic that you have this happy shot of the way it used to be.

Kitty said...

I like this view quite a bit. It looks awfully panoramic!

It's always such a nice thing to see an expanse of sky now and again when you're in the city. All too often you guys get slivers.

sonia a. mascaro said...

Very nice photo and place! As I said many times I would love to be there!

Unseen Rajasthan said...

Fantastic location !! Great shots!! Lovely..Unseen Rajasthan

washingtonsquarepark said...

hi Ken,

That's funny I'm unclear on the decreasing of the diameter of the fountain ... it does seems smaller but I haven't heard anyone state that. At meetings, they've said they retained its size. Do you have any other info on that?

Thanks!

Cathryn.

thejodi said...

I wanted to hate the "new" washington square park, but I couldn't. It just doesn't feel like mine anymore...

Vince Neilstein said...

That's Tic & Tac in the above photo! Living legends if you grew up in the village. I hope they can find a place to keep entertaining the masses.

Ming the Merciless said...

I need to head over to Washington Square one last time to pay my respect before I leave NYC.

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