Neighborhood Highlights

Must-See Washington Square

by Jonathan Zeller, Christina Parrella and Jonathan Durbin, 10/02/2013

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  • Washington Square Park
    At Fifth Avenue, bordered by Waverly Place, University Place, West 4th Street and MacDougal Street
    Pass beneath the Washington Arch—the giant structure marking the Fifth Avenue entrance of Washington Square Park—and you'll find yourself in one of the City's most recognizable public spaces. It's easy to see how it's earned that status. At any given moment, students congregate around the park's fountain; sunbathers lie on its lawn; musicians sit on benches and strum guitars; and canines run gleefully amok in its two dog runs. John Leguizamo is among many with fond memories of performing there. The park is also a haven for some serious chess players, who occupy the tables in its southwest corner. (Play a pickup game, but beware of anyone who asks to bet money on the proceedings; they might be hustling you.) In addition, the place is notable for its design elements: black-brick paths and vintage-style streetlights lend the recently renovated park a 19th-century feel, and a majestic bronze statue of Garibaldi adds to the atmosphere.

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