Monday was a beautiful fall day here in Manhattan, and we hate to waste beautiful days so we decided to take a tour from our book of “Great Walks ”. I chose a tour through Greenwich Village because I think it’s a neighborhood we tend to neglect and I wanted to get to know it a little better. After all, it IS the hometown of Princess Mia Thermapolis!
We started the tour in Washington Square, which entertained us for about an hour before we had to force ourselves to leave. This little square/park is always full of the most creative, fun, and entertaining people. Last time we were here we talked to a film crew as they were preparing to film a shot for their TV or movie. The only thing we could find out was that it was a show being filmed for Fox. Being the jaded New Yorkers we sometimes are, we thought “Pfft whatevs…. Just another TV show, can’t walk anywhere without running into a film crew!”
Turns out that crew we chatted with were setting up for a scene for the first episode of Glee!!! We are such idiots!
This time I made sure to search high and low for Rachel and Kurt mingling on the park benches or dancing in the fountain, but I failed to find them. Boo.
I did, however, find MANY other “characters”.
This beautiful little girl danced for at least an hour straight to the beat of the drum circle performing behind her. When she wasn’t jiving on top of this column, she was doing cartwheels around the fountain.
I was almost as excited to see this Waldo as I would have been to see a Glee character!
This pianist is famous for playing his piano all over NYC, but most famous for playing right here in Washington Square Park. His name is Colin Huggins and before playing in parks he was playing for Joffrey Ballet School and American Ballet Theatre. Obviously successful, but not exactly content, he decided to begin playing outside in the city simply to bring others happiness. He has now managed to make a career out of his lovely idea.
Finally, we left the park to explore the tiny, winding, and very confusing streets of Greenwich Village. (Did you know that several streets have the same name, and at one point 4th and 10th –normally 6 blocks apart– intersect each other???) Anyhow, I LOVE this neighborhood. It feels like a cozy suburb; it’s almost like being transported outside of Manhattan. The streets are narrow, the buildings are much shorter, and it’s much quieter.
We got to see a few cute little courtyards between apartments that are adorable and pretty rare these days. Originally, these areas were for lower-income families and individuals. Others knew that poor people lived here because wealthy people preferred facing the streets to show off the front of their homes. Of course, now these former modest homes are now prime real estate!
Across from The Little Owl is Manhattan’s most narrow apartment. 75 ½ Bedford St. is a record-breaking apartment that was also formerly occupied by the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. It’s for sale now if anyone’s interested….just a mere 4.3 million dollars.
A few blocks later we learned all about The Stonewall Inn. This is the birthplace of gay rights in America. A riot broke out here in 1969 leading to a year of political movements, and on the one-year anniversary the Gay Pride parade began at this same spot.
The park across the street, Christopher Park, is very small and shaped like a triangle, but appears to be pretty popular in the neighborhood.
While standing at the tip of the triangular park I spotted a scene that seemed to be straight out of a movie.
I immediately ran over to introduce myself to this guy and his adorable triplets. He was happy to let me take pictures, and even handed me an ad for a movie that will star his three babies. (BTW the dogs are actually a Mommy, a Daddy, and a baby!)
At some point, the sun went down, and we found ourselves wondering the Village streets. We kept trying to get home, but somehow ended up in bookstores and other tiny shops. We did eventually make it home. This weekend was ideal, full of art, food, and exploring, I couldn’t have asked for a better time!