Washington Square Park

I had the most fun yesterday.  I went to Washington Square Park.  The arch is actually not the first one.  The first arch was made of wood and plaster, and situated a little more north of the current one, over 5th Avenue.  It was built in 1889 for the centennial of Washington's inauguration as president of the United States.  It was so popular that the constructed a marble one in 1892.  During the excavations for the eastern part of the arch, human remains, a coffin and a gravestone from 1803 were uncovered 10 feet below ground level.  The inscription on the arch says:
Let us raise a standard to which the wise and the honest can repair. The event is in the hand of God. — Washington
If the arch looks familiar, it's because White modeled it after the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. In 1918 two statues of George Washington were added to the north side. 

Anyway, this park is the most laid back park I think I have ever been in.  So many things going on, but just a feel of relaxation.  It is the unofficial "quad" of NYU campus, though still a public park.

You see so many pictures of the fountain from the same perspective, I though I'd switch things up a bit.  Only problem was my camera would not focus on the water, but the leaves instead.  I had the same problem with a dog that was really unusual looking:

Yeah, still trying to figure this camera out. The most interesting thing I found out about this park is that there are about 20,000 bodies still buried underneath it. 

Taken from Wiki

It remained farmland until April 1797, when the Common Council of New York purchased the fields to the east of the Minetta (which were not yet within city limits) for a new potter's field, or public burial ground. It was used mainly for burying unknown or indigent people when they died.[4] But when New York (which did not include this area yet) went through yellow fever epidemics in the early 19th century, most of those who died from yellow fever were also buried here, safely away from town, as a hygienic measure.[6]
A legend in many tourist guides says that the large elm at the northwest corner of the park, Hangman's Elm, was the old hanging tree.[6] Unfortunately for the legend, the tree was on the wrong side of the former Minetta Creek, where it stood in the back garden of a private house.[4] Records of only one public hanging at the potter's field exist. Two eyewitness to the recorded hanging differed on the location of the gallows. One said it had been put up at a spot where the fountain is now, the other placed it closer to where the Arch is now.
The cemetery was closed in 1825. To this day, the remains of more than 20,000 bodies rest under Washington Square.

I think I may do Heckscher Playground next week with the kids.  It is a playground that is in south Central Park.  Boy that sounds a lot more badass than it really is.  You can find all of the pics I took last night here on my Facebook page...thanks for looking.

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