New York Daily Photo Analytics

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Constant

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.

7 comments:

Mitch said...

Great photo, I love the perspective; the arch does not exist in a vacuum, all the little subjects in the frame remind you that it is in a big city.

I also enjoyed your thoughtful article and the sept 1 post linked to in the story.
I agree, as a "gen X" I've grumbled and shook my head at the 60's culture. I went to school in Madison, WI and they have a good grip on the city there too. So many times I saw protesters and thought that their issues were less with the government and more with Mom & Dad.

Thanks for the post and the great thoughts.

An Honest Man said...

Excellent photograph and very thoughtful piece with it.

claudine said...

Merci pour cette belle photo ! Ce monument ressemble à L'Arc de Triomphe de Paris. Le sapin qui brille et l'éclairage lui donne un aspect encore plus beau !

marley said...

I enjoyed this post, interesting to find out what it means to you. The Arch obviously stirs many memories for you.

Monika N. said...

Wonderful picture and post!

Lucy said...

Yes, NYC has that affect on many.
When I've been away when I get back I feel like kissing the ground...

Steve said...

This is a really beautiful shot. . . . :-)