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Let Washington Square Park breathe

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There’s a corner of Manhattan that is my sacred space. Washington Square Park is a patch of nature where I observe the rhythms of nature. It is where my children climb jungle gyms, admire the dogs in the runs and collect fallen leaves. At 9.75 acres, this green space in the heart of Greenwich Village is a beacon for all New Yorkers — hawk watchers, architecture buffs, activists, musicians, dancers, jugglers, pigeon enthusiasts, skateboarders, kids on scooters and their parents, chess geniuses, and everyday people who enjoy watching the social life of the city.

Last spring, the outdoors felt like the only safe place to go when our city was on lockdown. So, Washington Square Park, and the city, pivoted. For the majority of New Yorkers who could not afford to leave, parks became something more. They were sanctuaries, places to literally breathe during an airborne pandemic and to find space that could restore them emotionally. During the height of the crisis, the park was my escape, too, where I checked in on friends and neighbors from a six-foot distance, where I listened to bird song, where I watched spring arrive.

But now that sanctuary is being threatened. Over the weekend, police in riot gear clashed........

© NY Daily News

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