It’s summer and the flowers are in bloom! We are so lucky to have so many parks and gardens in Greenwich Village and the East Village, where we can enjoy beautiful flowers, without having to do any of the gardening work.
One of my favorites is 2013 Village Award winner Sir Winston Churchill Square. This little oasis is tucked away on the corner of Downing Street and Bleecker Street, across from its more well-known (but flowerless) neighbor, Father Demo Square. The shaded sitting area is a welcome relief from hot summer streets, and the adjacent Downing Street Playground keeps the youngsters entertained. I like to enjoy a slice of Joes’ Pizza, or a lemon ice from Rocco’s while relaxing here. The trees and flowers provide a buffer from all the traffic noise of nearby 6th Avenue.
A few blocks up Bleecker Street is another favorite and 2005 Village Award winner, Abingdon Square. I love the beds of tulips in the spring but in the summer months, the assortment of wildflowers makes me feel like I’m out in the countryside. The 1921 statue of the World War 1 doughboy is by sculptor Philip Mariny, whose studio was located on MacDougal Alley. And the farmers market is a real treat, too.
And of course we have Washington Square Park, home of the arch, the fountain, the folk music riots, and so much more. Right now the park is so colorful, with daisies, black-eyed susans, and purple coneflowers, and the butterflies love them too.
On Saturday, August 8th, we’ll be repeating our walking tour of East Village community gardens. We did this back in May and had a great time. The East Village has more community gardens than any other neighborhood in the city, and it’s so enjoyable to stroll from garden to garden. Each one is unique and all are managed by volunteers engaged in a true labor of love.
If you ever wonder why we fight so hard for historic preservation, go visit one of our parks or gardens and take a look at the neighborhood around you. The answer should be obvious.