Washington Square Park — new and improved!

Washington Square Park reopening 5/19/09

Washington Square Park reopening 5/19/09

This past Tuesday (5/19) was a perfect May day here–sunshine, 70-something, low humidity–and it was all the more perfect because Washington Square Park emerged all sparkling and green after 18 months of renovation. Well, the west side emerged; now it will be the east side’s turn to be closed off for renovation! In the meantime, we have new walkways with granite paving stones (in the place of wavy and blistered blacktop), new lighting, new grass and plantings, new benches and tables — on and on! Most of all, there’s a new fountain, which, unlike the old one, is centered on the Arch. The whole project of taking out the old fountain to put in a new, centered one had been much derided by neighborhood activists; as Tuesday’s New York Times article put it, “Would the fountain in Washington Square Park lose something by being a little less off-kilter?” As I meandered through the park Tuesday afternoon (having been alerted by Arcadia from across the country that it was reopened; she’d seen the NYTs article!), everyone looked utterly charmed and bedazzled by the new fountain and the rest of the new park too! The headline of the NYTs article was “Greenwich Village Has Its Backyard Again” — make that living room, ballroom, and theatre too! See photo here, and more in “snap shot alley”!

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