(Updated) Tomorrow, February 26th marks three years since this blog began. I really don’t know what I expected when I first started – I find sometimes it’s better, when you venture into something new, to just jump in and figure it out as you go along. I remember at the 1 year anniversary I thought of stopping, and now, somehow, it’s THREE YEARS of blogging. I always feel it’s sad when people abandon their blogs but I do understand how that happens.
On WSP Blog anniversary’s year 1 and year 2, I wrote long missives. This year, I’ve reposted the very first post. Re-reading the early posts, sometimes I cringe a little; I feel some could use some tweaking. I think I’ve gotten better, through writing this blog regularly, at researching, framing, and outlining issues. That’s helped me in other areas and I’m thankful for that. Plus I got to know and appreciate the park so much better over all this time and also New York City in general. There have been 561 posts over these three years; 562 including this one! (The first year and a half I posted basically every day.) Thanks always for stopping by.
I edited this post just a little:
The Magical Park
When I first became involved with the issue of the proposed redesign of Washington Square Park, someone I met referred to the park as “magical.” It took me awhile actually 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 the park retained, co-existing amongst college students, chess players, old-timers, newbies, dog walkers, families, tourists. Every type person coexists and intermingles within Washington Square Park.
My revived interest in the Park, in relation to the massive changes and radical overhaul the City has planned for it, occurred late last year (December ’07) out of concern for the cutting down of the trees; what that would mean for the wildlife in the Park.
As I looked closer, I realized what was going to be taken away by these mysterious, suddenly “necessary” changes — changes that would affect the whole essence of the Park and the things that make it work: those inexplicable factors which make it such a special place for so many people. To set out to change that seemed to me an extension of the long arm of gentrification and homogenization of our city by our current Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
It then became even more important to oppose these changes and advocate for something different. This blog is my attempt to document what I’ve learned in a short time and share that information.
Originally posted February 26, 2008