Sunday, March 15, 2009

NYC09: Greenwich Village to Washington Square

The West Village. A completely different atmosphere from the rest of the city. Gone are the honking cars, bravely expressing anger against the threat of a three hundred and fifty dollar fine. Gone, in fact, are most of the cars. Greenwich village is a haven for walkers, shoppers, and non-stop talkers. Gabbing away on their cell phones, over what they should by at Kid Robot, or at the local used record store, the Village offers something for everyone.

Street vendors aligned by wares seem to indicate a lack of government control for such ad hock establishments. Once again, rather than deterring, they simply add to the local flavour. From these shops, one can make their way to any number of cafes, bars, and small theatres such as the Cherry Lane. Aside from being a quaint Broadway venue, it also holds to Astaire of being the place where Waiting for Godot was first hosted.

Steps away is another historic landmark: The Stonewall Inn. It was here, where decades past, the riots that spread into the street like wildfire helped lead to equal rights for homosexuals. After police raided the club, locals barred them inside – the Stonewall riots began.

Today statues speak for the rights of people regardless of sexuality, and the building itself, topped with rainbow flags, features a photocopy of the historic newspaper clippings.

Chocolate covered espresso beans from McNulty's Rare Teas and Choice Coffee shop fueled me for the rest of the journey as I headed for Washington Square. The coffee shop is worth a visit, if only to allow your senses to be overcome by the delightful aroma of the caffeinated beans and tea combinations.

Passing through the entrance Archway I found myself exchanging smiles on Washington Square with those who passed by. Who knows what moments could be lost forever, without such simple interaction?

Though the park was mostly fenced off for reconstruction, following the uncanned music led me to a group of performers, playing off one another in a perfectly comedic skit while volunteers were bent over waiting for the eventual pay off.

After some fantastic moments of straight man / funny man repartee the climactic moment was upon all of us in attendance. Running, jumping, and diving into a tumbling role the performer was able to clear all of those in attendance. When finished they, as expected, asked for donations reminding those in attendance that said donations kept them out of two places: the poor house, and – most importantly - “your house.”

[These events all transpired while following the walking tour on p240 of Fodor's Seen It New York 2008]

1 comment:

  1. This is all good information and well written. I'll be in NY for a couple of days in May, you have helped map out a trip full of treats for me. Coffee beans at McNulty's Teas - nice!


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