Washington Square Park is one of my favorite places in the city. Maybe my favorite place. Any time I’m away from New York for any amount of time, I like to drop by Washington Square Park as soon as I can when I return. I’ve had a lot of good times there. With people: taking my girlfriend there on our first date, bringing visiting friends there, and chatting with friends I met in New York. Without people: eating lunch, preparing for interviews, reading, trying to be a photographer.
When I first moved to New York, I stayed at an Airbnb on a sofa in a three bedroom apartment. Those were the days. The trio was pre-gaming and someone brought in a brown bag. As far as what was inside, my first few guesses were wrong. He pulled out a few falafels. “Man… Mamoun’s… so good.” And the roommates nodded and unwrapped theirs.
I jumped from that Airbnb to another sofa through Airbnb. I left shortly after their dog peed on that sofa, but not because I had too much dignity or anything. I just found a longer sublet to stay at: one-month sublet in Stuy Town. My first day in Stuy Town, got takeout at Vanessa’s Dumplings and collapsed on the bed there. I’ve never felt so happy to have a private room. It was the day before Thanksgiving.
After that sublet ended, I found another one-month sublet on Macdougal, a block from Washington Square Park. I signed the lease and nodded yes to the following verbal agreement to tell the neighbors I’m house sitting. If they ask.
I picked up some lunch nearby and found a table to sit at in Washington Square Park. It was cold and I remember the park being empty. Or at least empty enough that I remember it being entirely empty. I can’t remember it ever being empty after that. That was the first time I ate a Mamoun’s falafel.. so good.