It’s been a few years since my last pass through of Washington Square Park. There is something about Greenwich Village that’s always been comforting. It has a long history, especially with the arts and catering to/attracting a progressive, Bohemian-esque culture. The Village feels like a sanctuary for New York City. It’s a place that’s quieter than the rest. It feels greener. It’s romantic, especially at night and under the street lamps; the guy playing classical music on the grand piano was justifiably an enabler.
Greetings from Washington Square Park! A place of hope.
The nearly 10-acre park was filled with electricity on Saturday, March 30. Aside from solar energy and the liberal Vitamin D disbursement, the tenacity of humanity would not allow a single person to leave the premises without feeling love and exuding love. Everyone was required to recognize, embrace, and encourage positive vibes and pay it forward, pass it along and into the world.
The repercussions of failing this are not only failing yourself and Catholic guilt three hundred times the regular amount.
There were four rows of standard paper clothespinned to string. The display boasted the same amount of writing on both sides. The Strangers Project showcases letters written and some illustrated by anonymous authors. Some are stories. Some are confessions. All boast unapologetic honesty.
Brandon Doman started the project ten years ago. According to the website, his asking for anonymous correspondence from people across the country was a deliberate experiment. It was a huge What if.
According to his website, the story-loving Dorman says, “What I thought would be a one-day exploration of the strangers we share space with every day turned into something I never could have imagined.”
This was the first time I’ve come across this, which I was shocked about, and I never truly met Dorman. There was a smile and a hello. He conversed with many others in a kind, soft-spoken manner. He was grateful for people taking a minute or two or five to read these one-page stories.
It’s why they’re here. Dorman provides an outlet not just for storytelling, but for others to get a look into different souls of people sharing this planet. These stories are touching, humorous, and relatable even if you can’t relate. They’re conversation pieces and reminders that conversation is critical.
They’re reminders for us; when we’re going through hell, there are others elsewhere and overcoming the same.
A short distance away snare and kick drums clack above the community chatter like a cue ball breaking newly racked billiard balls. A group of six guys hyped up the crowd through simple commentary and pithy, witty statements
White people, one of the twins of Tic & Tac Entertainment said to a crowd made up of mostly Caucasians, We’re not going to hurt you. There’s only six of us.
The entertainers, fronted by Tyheem and Kareem Barnes, bounced between acrobatics and breakdancing and synchronized speaking. Their website is apparently difficult to find, but they did make an appearance on America’s Got Talent.
Their moves and acrobatics were bold and definitely difficult. They had great stage presence. The twins’ speaking wasn’t exactly on cue. But the vocal erring didn’t matter. The entertainment was great. The pace they were speaking almost sounded as if they were improvising — I’ve done similar exercises, and improv syncronized speaking, although it’s very difficult, can be done — and they laughed at their errors.
It’s a reminder to laugh at ourselves. If we don’t do it often, we need to be more cognizant of doing so. Should something happen, find that silver lining. There is always something to laugh at.
I play with words and invisible objects.
A mind, a pen and a piece paper have the best relationship ever.
"Remember this--if you shut your mouth, you have your choice."
- F. Scott Fitzgerald