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3 Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park
The southwest corner of Washington Square Park is famous for its street chess scene. That got popular in the 1960s and is largely credited to a chap called Bobby Haywood, who was the first person to put a chessboard on top of a trashcan in the street. Since then, these tables here have seen a lot of famous faces, like the world champion Bobby Fisher and also, film director Stanley Kubrick was a frequent player in the 1960s. Here on the chess tables today, we can find a variety of chess hustlers. Some charge per game, some charge based on the result, which is technically illegal, but nobody seems to mind. And some charge for a lesson. Or if you're in a bit of a hurry, you can try a five-minute game - speed chess. Done. That's from memory. This lovely, large elm tree behind me here is the oldest tree in all Manhattan. It's thought to be over 300 years old. Back in the 19th century, people used to call it The Hanging Tree, although there are no surviving records to prove for certain if there were ever bodies hanging from the branches, here. What we do know for sure, that at least one hanging took place in Washington Square Park. That was at the Gallows near the center of the park. We also know that this area of Washington Square Park used to be a potters field, which was a burial place for the poor or homeless. And is thought that still today, there are some 20,000 bodies buried right here beneath our feet.
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Washington Square Arch

3 Washington Square Arch

Washington Square Arch

MacDougal Street

MacDougal Street

MacDougal Street

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