Originally Published February 26th, ’08.
Someone referred to Washington Square Park as “magical.” It took me awhile to see that. Certainly, I’d been to Washington Square Park over the years. I’d sat and listened to music or watched strange happenings within the fountain. I’d marveled at the almost laid back ’60’s bohemian feeling it retained which co-existed amongst college students, chess players, old-timers, newbies, dog walkers, families, tourists. Every type person coexists and intermingles within Washington Square Park.
My renewed interest in the Park — in relation to the massive changes and radical overhaul the City has planned for it — occurred late last year out of concern for the cutting down of the trees and what that would mean for the wildlife in the Park. I then realized what was going to be ‘taken away’ by these mysterious, suddenly “necessary” changes — changes that would affect the whole essence of the Park — the things that make it work… those inexplicable factors which make it such a special place for so many people. To want to change that seemed to me an extension of the long arm of gentrification and homogenization of our city(by our current Mayor, Mayor Bloomberg).
Then, it became even more important to oppose these changes. This is my attempt to document what I’ve learned in a short time and share that information.
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