Social Experiment Tests Park Users’ Reactions to Abandoned Girl, Boy, Dog & Cat: Who got Helped First & Who was Ignored?

Social Experiment Tests Park Users’ Reactions to Abandoned Girl, Boy, Dog & Cat: Who got Helped First & Who was Ignored?
Mrs. Parberry the Cat on Washington Square Park Bench Social Experiment Daily Mail
Mrs. Parberry the Cat on a Washington Square Park Bench

From the Daily Mail:

It’s the middle of the day in Manhattan’s bustling Washington Square Park.

At different points in the landmark thoroughfare, placed two children – a six-year-old boy and girl – as well as a dog and a cat, as part of a social experiment.

All four were being monitored by carers and secretly filmed.

So who do you think was the first to be ‘rescued’ by a stranger in the least amount of time alone?

To be fair to your instincts on this one, the cat, Mrs. Parberry (her name makes the story that much better) was not left in the open on a park bench; she was placed in a dark mesh carrier on the ground.

They timed how long it took for each to be noticed – a little girl, a little boy, a cat and a dog. Who was noticed and who was ignored?

To find out the answers, visit the Daily Mail.

It is a bit shocking that no one responded to the little one who was ignored and even called out to people.

Is this a ‘fair’ experiment? Did you guess right? Were you surprised?


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Guest Entry: Jonathan Greenberg responds to New York Times article, "The Battle of Washington Square"

washington square park at dusk
washington square park at dusk

Jonathan Greenberg is the founder of the Open Washington Square Park Coalition and lived near Washington Square Park for more than 30 years. He has fought tirelessly to preserve the public space and unique aspects of Washington Square Park despite the obstacles and obfuscations put in play by the Bloomberg Administration and New York City Parks Department. He shared this letter with me and it is today’s guest entry.

Guest Entry: Jonathan Greenberg

Letter to the New York Times

To the Editor:

Your recent front page City section coverage of the “Battle of Washington Square” (November 23, 2008) set reality on its head by distorting and misreporting the truth about why Greenwich Village community activists like me are angry about the radical redesign of Washington Square Park.

Despite the article’s 2,300 word length and the fact that he has confirmed knowledge of every fact in this letter, Times reporter Graham Bowley decided to ignore the most relevant information that the “Paper of Record” ought to have provided readers with. In portraying community activists like myself as “bitterly angry” and full of “fury,” as we tried to “write our desires” on a park that we treat as our “personal fiefs,” while reporting, unchallenged, Parks Department claims that the “transformation of Washington Square Park has been one of the most open in the agency’s history,” the Times leaves readers with the insulting impression that the lawsuits and protests over the park’s redesign were much ado about nothing, except the egos of those involved.

For instance, the Times reports that in October, 2005, Community Board (CB) 2 “rejected” a compromise that would have limited the reduction in the park plaza’s size. Incredibly, the article fails to note that neither the Board, nor the public, were ever provided with the plans for the park redesign, nor were they told the truth about the reduction in the size of the park’s plaza. This was documented both in a judge’s ruling in favor of our first lawsuit, as well as in a web video which my group created and posted. In May, 2007, the same Community Board voted, 40 to 5, to rescind its earlier approval of the plan, because it had been provided with inadequate and incorrect information.

How information about this historically unprecedented vote failed to make it into this Times article reporting the Board’s earlier, ill-informed vote astounds me

Read more…