NYC –> Shanghai, 20 days: A New York City Slice…

August 20th, 2013. 20 days.

Tompkins Square Park. A Slice of NYC life.

2013-08-21 16.24.31 Most days, I have the privilege of walking through Tompkins Square Park. I’ve written about how much I love this park before. But with less than three weeks left as its neighbor, its meaning and my attachment to it are that much more palpable. It’s a jewel of a place, but not just because it provides a green urban oasis in the East Village. This picture I took earlier today tells the bigger story of why this is one of my favorite convening spaces in the City. Take a look at these faces (if you click on the pic, you can zoom in!). Young and old. Male and female. Singles and couples. Nearly all races. Folks from all walks of life. But the diversity doesn’t end there. From dog parks to hand ball courts, ping pong tables to basketball courts, playgrounds to chess tables, the opportunities for engagement are as varied as its users. By its nature – or you can say its design – it welcomes all, scoffs none. And I don’t say that lightly. This is not only a place were the disenfranchised congregate, it’s one where they feel at home and comfortable to do so. Meals are offered to those who need it -homeless or otherwise – at least weekly, and maybe more often. Perhaps Tompkins colorful history (read tough) lends itself to its truly public nature. Perhaps it really is all the uses it offers, or its design that engenders that welcoming spirit. But for now, today, 20 days before we part for six months, I’ll just relish in the fact that this park has managed to remain a colorful welcome mat for this neighborhood I love to call home. And when I return, I hope I can continue to enjoy the same little slice of NYC life it currently offers. Your best NYC slice aint got nothin’ on my Tompkins! 😉

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