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Tuesday, 18 December 2007


In today's assignment, I will briefly answer the question "What does Washington Square Arch mean to me?" In the 60s - 70s, Greenwich Village had everything a young person wanted - freedom, excitement, diversity, the counterculture, permissiveness, liberalism, protest and rebellion. Along with Berkeley/San Francisco, it was one of the preeminent areas in the country for the counterculture of the times. The stories read like a fantasy novel - music venues like the Electric Circus and the Fillmore East, Bob Dylan, seeing John Lennon and Yoko at a local bike store, a friend calling Woody Allen from the dorm, Jimi Hendrix rehearsing down the block at Electric Lady Studios. Imagine coming to visit a place like this - never having been away from home or to the big city. One of my first memories of NYC (on a preliminary visit to NYU where I had been accepted) was approaching this arch with musicians beneath it playing bongos and radicals distributing literature like the Berkeley Barb. And yes, there was sex, drugs and rock and roll. But there were severe casualties for those who overindulged - see my posting Summer of Drugs, a 40th anniversary reunion of the 1967 San Francisco Be-In. So this arch has a lot of meanings for me. I have lived in this neighborhood for nearly 4 decades and the arch has been a constant in a world of change, symbolizing different things for different people and times. Recently, the arch was completely refurbished with beautiful lighting installed. So now when I arrive at night, I know it's home because I see the light has been left on for me ...

Other Postings on Washington Square Arch: Evening Arch, Singing Bowls, Cello, Arch Rebels.


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