WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK — Student Paige Dillon exited Bobst Library hungry, tired and questioning her next move. Would it be faster to get to her Sweetgreen salad by walking through the park or around it?
Due to her fondness for Mother Nature, Dillon took the road most traveled and went through the park. Approximately 70 percent of people leaving Bobst en-route to the Sweetgreen on University Place make the same decision. But is it really faster than slumming it on the sidewalk?
Experts on the matter say, “sometimes.” Google Maps calls for a nine-minute walk through the park, but an eight-minute walk on the sidewalk.
The Distances Between Libraries and Salad Shops class professor Samuel Berger says while the beauty of the park can sometimes speed up your pace it can also slow you down if you become too in-tune with the nature around you — be it the melodic sway of the trees or the riveting conversations of the wise old chess players discussing which food cart has the best knish.
Though cutting through the park is mathematically faster, you might end up worse off if you meet friends or the up-and-coming rapper with mixtape that’s pure “fire.”
While the optimal route to take is uncertain, the gravity of this matter certainly isn’t one to joke about.
Email Ben Eisenberg at [email protected]