Next week the final alteration/destruction of Washington Square Park begins. Last year the City updated the west side of the park, and it's lovely. Lovely as a freshly scrubbed townhouse, devoid of soul, character or anything resembling history. The east side of the park (seen here last night) has that lived in look. Dig the old railings, the worn out fountain, the broken latches. This is where the Beats and the 60s folkies and all the lost artists held court from the 40s to the 70s. Gone. No more Bob Dylan, Peter Paul & Mary, Pete Seeger and Alan Ginsberg. Soon the City will wipe the slate clean. This will all be new and improved! Goodbye.
click to enlarge
I find that as I get older, I like change less...it seems so often change doesn't improve things but make them worse. As in this case.
I can not fathom the world without WSP...
At least they left the big old trees, I hope. They were there the last time I looked though their history is pretty grim from what I've heard.
Jacob took the words right out of my mouth/keyboard.
I took the pictures of the PECO building from a place called Penn Treaty Park. It's right on the Delaware river with fantastic views of the Ben Franklin Bridge and ok views of the Philly skyline.
This park seems pretty safe.
I've seen some really cool old buildings and churches north west of there, but it's hard to get pictures and stay safe at the same time. I tried and was threatened and harrased several times in five minutes. "What's the camera for?" "Do you work for social security", If you take my picture I'll break your face" Do I need to take that camera pal?" etc etc etc.
There are some old buildings just begging to get photographed though, I pass them when I take the septa train and when I drive to Philadelphia.
Very-very beautiful. I love these photographs. This Park means a lot to me. I hung out here as a teenager with my best friend Ronnie and we went to Rienzi's and ate california burgers and salad with Russian dressing. Sometimes we ate Chinese food on St. Mark's--that place is no longer for a long time. Nice memories.
Those benches are (or should that be were?) a delight to behold.
I've never been to NY but Washington Square Park has been always a symbol for me - it's a shame it's disappearing.
I love the photos!
Don't you just wonder who sits around and thinks up "progress?" Thanks for documenting!
I've spent a lot of time in that park. Hard to believe it is happening.
Oh KM, that's a crying shame. Your photos are a lovely tribute however.
Call me Captain Obvious but New York has this uncanny and uneccesary need to destroy the past in the name of progress - it's frightening. I love this city but The more I see things like this convinces me that a move to San Francisco is a must. The old neon thrives as well as areas trapped in time.
It will be gone but not forgotten... yet.
They should clean up and *restore* what has always worked and been loved by so many for so long. Not destroy. But you said it right. "No soul."
I have so many fond memories of the park. It is where I met my soul mate 17 years ago. How sad for the changes, but I will always have my memories. Can't take that away from me. Thanks for all this.
I passed by WSP recently when a group of middle school kids from Los Angeles were visiting the place...I mentioned to one of them that years ago this was a focal point for the hippies and the great folksingers of the 60's.The kid looked at me like I was talking about dinosaurs and cavemen. My conclusion: young people don't give a slug's droppings about "the past" and anything before Madonna or one of the interchangeable so-called "rappers." So let the memory of early days stay in the mind of the older folks and don't gripe about change!
Like Joo, I've never been to NY but Washington Square Park has been always a beautiful image for me! I saw WSP on many movies...
Great pictures as always, Ken Mac!
Hey GEO, yea right. Who cares about history. Let's just pave over everything and get it done with. And let's take the word of some moronic, Madonna loving 17 year old ...they know it all for sure.
I love these pictures--and as for the paragraph you wrote, I couldn't have phrased it better myself.
do you think Alan Ginsberg drank from that fountain?
"Time and tide wait for no man." --Edward L. Norton. You lament the inevitable upcoming changes to the old, classic (sic) park landscape but some of these were revisions made back during the last renovation (circa 1970). Back then the stuff you are wistful about now probably was decried as tasteless, disrespectful, and philistine.
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