April 10, 2009
A Day in the Village and on Fifth Avenue
Early this morning I walked around the Village with my dogs, returned them to the apartment, went back out, bought some hot cross buns at Bruno Bakery, and then checked out why a large contingent of firetrucks were arriving near Bleecker and Thompson. No one seemed to know the exact problem. Neighbors gathering at the scene passed on rumors of hot spots in a couple of places. I haven't had a chance to go back to find out what happened.
Later in the morning, I went to church on Fifth Avenue for Good Friday services, but not before I walked a few blocks north to see what was happening at Fifth and 13th Street (image directly above). I learned via Twitter that New School students had taken over one of the university buildings and that police were posed for arrests. Earlier this spring semester, I had watched a similar occupation at NYU, but this protest seemed more advanced, and the police response proved more intense. By the time I arrived, it was mostly over. I walked back to church where I sat in a rear pew and joined in part of the solemn three-hour service for Good Friday.
Upon leaving the church, I wandered west on 11th Street to Sixth Avenue. I started seeing many flowering white trees lighting up the streets with brilliant spring blossoms, and I promised myself to get out more this weekend and look around. I stopped into Citarella, a gourmet food shop, to pick out items for the day, and then I continued back to the park and toward home.
Going home, I passed by the arch. The Washington Square Arch (top image) could be my most important personal reference for living in the city. Through seasons that symbolize death, resurrection, or student occupation, or through times that seem only marked by rapid change, a marble arch, though needing occasional restoration, symbolizes in its material structure notions of permanence and eternity. An arch also implies movement, a passage, a gateway.
"I've seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah."
-Leonard Cohen, Hallelujah
Images by Walking Off the Big Apple, April 10, 2009