It’s time for another installment of Tourist in My Town. Today I’m taking you to Washington Square Park, located in the heart of the NYU campus in Greenwich Village. Last week I went to the park for a very specific reason. But I’ll get to that in a moment. (Spoiler alert: it involved food.)
The centerpiece of the park is this arch. It was erected in 1889 to celebrate the centennial of George Washington’s inauguration as president. These days the arch is dwarfed by the buildings around it, but I imagine that it was quite imposing in its day.
If you peek through the arch you can see Fifth Avenue on the other side. Can you believe that cars used to drive through the center?
Washington Square Park isn’t your typical park in that there isn’t a huge expanse of green space or ball fields for recreational activities. So what do people do?
Play chess. They’re always ready for a game.
Take their dog to the dog run. While studying.
Listen to a jazz trio. These guys are students at NYU and perform in the park nearly every day. People applaud when they finish a set.
Stop and smell the flowers.
Now, the real reason I went to Washington Square Park. This guy:
His name is Thiru Kumar and he operates the NY Dosa cart, a Washington Square Park institution.
The grinning, thickly mustached Kumar works his small grill like a hyperactive DJ, pouring batter, spreading on curried potatoes, and sprinkling a crunchy dice of carrots and peppers (the Pondicherry masala dosa). When the batter is cooked through, Kumar folds it with an artist’s flair, effortlessly lifting the ethereally thin lentil-and-rice-flour wrapper from the grill, then chops it into sections and serves it with a gingery coconut chutney and a small tub of spicy lentil soup. ~New York Magazine
Have you been to your local park lately?
Have a great weekend, everyone!