As you may discover in this series of posts about my New York experience, I went to… a lot of parks. I am personally not a big fan of crowds, and despite what most people may think when they think of New York, not every single block in Manhattan is jammed with thousands of people. Just the “main”, touristy, overly famous areas. There are many neighbourhoods very similar to that of Greenwich Village, and because I desired to have a less tourist-y experience this time, I often went to those lesser-visited areas. And an even calmer oasis than the quieter neighbourhoods? Its parks.
Washington Square Park is, I would say, one of the better-known parks (perhaps behind Central Park), within Greenwich Village, right by New York University. At Christmastime, they put up a tree under the Washington Square Arch, which you can see in the background of the above photo.
One of the best quirks about New York – its sheer randomness. I discovered a piano player playing some very nice music in front of the arch, although I wasn’t sure if the bucket meant he was asking for money. It was good nonetheless.
What I also discovered within the park, to my amusement, was a doggy play area! If you’ve ever visited the quieter areas of the city, you’ll realize that animals (and runners) start to appear everywhere. I stood for a little while, watching the dogs gleefully chase each other, having the time of their lives.
I find that most of the parks are landscaped in much the same way, with the black fences protecting the trees and grass and benches in front of them. Parks are definitely a nice, quiet space to get away from the chaos of the city.
Of course, I just had to go back at night to see the Christmas tree lit up. (That’s the “problem” with going somewhere around Christmastime – you want to see everything both in daylight and at nighttime.) Unfortunately, there seemed to be an issue with one side of the strobe lights, so half of the arch was kind of dark, and one lucky NYPD van also got to be prominently featured.
Beautiful sight either way. Stay tuned for more!