Practical Man’s Guide to Washington Square

“… August 2, 1962. The fantastical map above was conceived by Jaf to supplement ‘A Practical Man’s Guide to Washington Square.’ The numbers in parentheses in the article may be coordi­nated with the numbers on the map. Monuments and Shrines. Washington Square Park is the acknowledged centre ville of Greenwich Village. It is entered from Fifth Avenue on the north by uptown types and runaway buses via a large triumphal arch to the memory of George Washington, the first ­President of the United States (1). Two statues front the arch. The statue on the right looks like George Washington. No one can identify the statue on the left. However, the words “Support Mental Health” scraped in­to the stone there led many to believe that it is the statue of a former Parks Commissioner. The present Parks Commissioner, Newbold Morris, is of the opinion that Washington Square Park is lopsided. He has solved this problem by leaning to the left whenever he confronts it. The top of the arch is used for parties. In back of the arch is a flagpole (2). It was erected to pro­vide a suitable backdrop for pro­test demonstrations and rallies (see Where the Park People Are). Behind the flagpole and slight­ly to the west of it is a shallow circular pit generally referred to as the fountain (3). It is used as a shower by frightened children. After a great deal of con­troversy, the fountain has just been redecorated. It now has nine squirts. The central and largest squirt comes out of an aluminum pipe in the middle of the fountain (4). Eight smaller and less reliable squirts are evenly placed around the cir­cumference. The rim of the fountain is alternately baked by the sun and cooled off by the water. It is used for sitting (see Where the Park People Are). To the west of the fountain is the marble head of a steel ty­coon called Holley (5). Holley is smiling. He was commissioned by stock brokers who have to cross the park each day to get from the Seventh Avenue sub­way to the Fifth Avenue bus. To the east is a statue of Garibaldi drawing his sword (6). Garibaldi was commissioned by Italian park-goers who wanted protection from newer types who had begun to inhabit Washington Square. …”

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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