It’s undeniable that one of NYU’s staples is Washington Square Park. From the moment we arrive in hoards in the fall, our Instagrams fill with pictures of the fountain and the arch, and we somewhat center our lives around the square. Quickly, we begin recognizing the locals — the man covered in pigeons, the group with loud microphones who do flips to draw crowds of tourists and more. Some gravitate towards the jazz groups playing on the east and west walkways while others keep an eye out for the chalk man. These performers make us smile, they serenade us, they write us poems. It’s a unique experience that only adds to the wonderful abnormality of going to NYU.
How often do we sit down and talk with these people? How much do we truly know about them? Though we see these locals day in and day out, Rachel and I have wondered: How did they get started? Where do they go in the winter? And most of all, who are they? We hope you share similar questions, and that our pieces give you a few of the answers.
Most importantly, however, we want this issue to be an inspiration for you to go out on your own and talk to the wonderful performers who make up Washington Square Park. Our reporters enjoyed spending the time sitting down and getting to know them, and even if you worry that it is out of your comfort zone, we’re sure you would, too.
With that, Rachel and I are excited to present to you WSN’s “Meet the Locals” issue.
— Laura Shkouratoff, Creative Director