Glimpses of New York – Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village

IMG_2329Traveling to the Big Apple is daunting. Our itinerary calls for visiting NY University in Greenwich Village on Monday, so my daughter and I checked out the route on Sunday, taking the subway to the West 4th Street Station. The weather turned sunny, and when not in the shade, I was almost comfortable. My daughter checked her phone – 50 ̊ F on the mark. (I have to get some apps for my phone – so handy!) As we approached Washington Square Park with its signage on regulations (DO NOT FEED THE PIGEONS) we see lots of people enjoying the sunshine. I heard a distant saxophone, only one of many diversions awaiting us in the park.

IMG_2331First we saw “Shakespeare in the Park,” enacting scenes from As You Like It, as announced in colored chalk on the sidewalk. The players gathered a good crowd, and involved their audience readily, so I didn’t get too close – no time to hang around.

IMG_2361People walk their dogs, and families stroll with their babies. Some push the elderly in wheelchairs. Everyone is here, taking advantage of the fine weather.

Students read books while eating their lunch, and old guys pull out reflective metal sun-reflectors to direct the sun to their pallid faces. But you won’t find anyone smoking – it’s not allowed in the park.

IMG_2360We see the activist character of the park everywhere. Political statements written in chalk cover walkways. Some of these are Amendments to the Constitution. Hundreds of tiny neon orange flags announce Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week, and I send out a silent prayer to a dear friend who is afflicted.

IMG_2334Guys with white legs have the guts to show up in shorts and play hacky sack, but the long shadows they cast confirm that it is still winter. Dads chase after bundled-up toddlers, lovers kiss and hold hands, and a mom battles her young sons with Star War lasers, the only people who have risked crossing the chain fences that protect the grass from those who would dare to trample it.

IMG_2337We see a tarot reader in a silver Merlin hat, waving us over for a reading. No thank you. We hear what sounds like beginning guitar lessons, and certainly amateur singing. But we also hear an accomplished quartet, and we slow down to listen.


A banjo player with a bass fiddle nearby, plays his heart out. He’s very good, though he hasn’t drawn much of an audience yet. But he does offer CDs for sale and advertises his website where I find he is part of a larger band, Outlaw Ritual, and the bass is played by a woman. We must have just missed her but we don’t hang around to see her reappear – too focused on our mission.

Coyote and CrowKids seem very intrigued by Coyote and Crow. He plays three instruments at once, a banjo, a home-made drum (made out of a suitcase that he sits on) played with the heel of one foot, and a tambourine played with a heel-to-toe motion of the other. She plays a stand-up base banjo. I pause to enjoy them and their tiny admirers.

IMG_2342As we get close to the other end of the park, we finally stop dead in our tracks. There, in an expanded section of the walkway surrounded by park benches, is a grand piano on wheels. The benches are full of people listening intently. My daughter sits down first, and I join her. The pianist, Colin Huggins, plays a selection of Shubert, Schumann and other composers, all of it from memory, with eloquent hand movements and an expression of rapture. During a pause between pieces, I asked him how he got the piano to the park. “I push it,” he explains simply, then smiles and pumps a bicep for me. I sit back down and wait for the next piece, finally content to be present and enjoy the sunshine on this glorious afternoon.

The lessons? First, the Big Apple isn’t so scary when you take one bite at a time. Second, I need to remember to bring my transformation tools along when I travel, no matter how crammed the schedule. In fact, the more crammed the schedule, the more I need my tools: be present, breathe, choose your attitude, be grateful, play, meditate, and more.  There’s plenty of room for all in the suitcase…


For more posts related to this trip, see also:

Glimpses of New York – Chinatown,

Glimpses of New York – bucket list and Flamenco,

Glimpses of New York – Thinking like a marble on Staten Island, and

Glimpses of New York – Seeing Grandma at Ellis Island.


If you like my blog, please leave a comment. You may also enjoy my book, Manifesting Paradise, available on Amazon. Receive my posts automatically by filling in your email address in the “follow” box at the top of the right column.


About Diane Scheurell

I'm a writer and author. Check out my book, Manifesting Paradise on Amazon, and my blog, I talk about Hawaii and the transformation tools I used to achieve my dreams.
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6 Responses to Glimpses of New York – Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village

  1. charles Sontag says:


    We loved the scenes of Washington Square Park. We spent 4th of July there three summers ago as we were visiting Charles. It was 100 degrees and Charles took off his shoes and waded in the fountain with the other children. The park is right across the street where the garment workers burned to death in the 20’s (?) because the escape doors were locked so no one could steal thread or fabric scraps.

    We were in Bloomfield New Jersey on January 29th when Charles closed on his house at 41 Lexington. We helped him move out of his apartment and get set up in the 1920’s four bedroom home. Bloomfield is just west of the Lincoln tunnel and a block from the New Jersey light rail terminal so he has easy access to the city and goes there most weekends. After six and a half years, there is still much to explore.

    Has your youngest decided on going to school there? When will you be in Manitowoc next? We enjoy your blogs and would love to see you.

    Love, C & M >

    • Dear Charles and Marilyn,
      I love hearing from you. Daughter is using this trip to decide on which college to choose. We will be in Manitowoc this summer and will let you know when we can stop by. Can’t wait to see you again. Much love and aloha, Diane

  2. Kathy says:

    Hi Diane,
    Loved reading your reflections of your New York visit! Our daughter, Erica, has been living in Astoria for several years now (after living in Seattle for 13 yrs). She works for the Civic Entertainment Group in Manhattan & just loves NYC. These pics are not the typical ones we normally see & are beautiful & restful. Ron & I aren’t sure what her attraction is to big cities, but she loves it all – didn’t get that from her ‘home-body’ parents!! 🙂

    • Yes, Kathy, I get what you mean. I truly believe in Living Full Out, but that doesn’t necessarily mean doing it in an urban environment. I’ll take my town of 2000 over this anytime. Much Aloha, Diane

  3. Hello!
    It looks like you enjoyed your time at Washington Square Park!! Thanks so much for checking us out and sharing a little bit about us in your blog!! 🙂
    Thomas & Jaime
    Coyote & Crow

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