COVID-19: The Recovery will Happen in Public Space

Washington Square Park + Piano = Joy

Oct 6, 2011
Dec 14, 2017

One of the perks of working at PPS is the location. Our new office on Lafayette Street is a short walk from a lot of great stuff (heck, we’re right next door to the Public Theater), including one of the best public spaces in New York, the nation, or the world: Washington Square Park.

What makes it so great? Well, among many, many other things, there’s this cat:

A perfect day for a piano in Washington Square Park. Photo: Sarah Goodyear

His name is Colin Huggins,  a.k.a. the Crazy Piano Guy. He's not crazy, unless you think playing a piano in a New York park is crazy, which it isn't. He’s a classically trained pianist who  hauls his baby grand around the city “making people obnoxiously happy,”  according to his Kickstarter page, where earlier this year he successfully raised the cash to buy a new set of keys. And one of his regular venues is Washington Square.

Today  being a beautiful, sunny fall Friday, the park was packed when I went  there to eat my lunch. Colin played a few numbers to an appreciative  crowd before taking a break. While he was tuning a couple of errant  strings, a middle-aged guy with bright blue hair came up to him and said, "So, you  got the baby grand, hunh? Now you’ve hit the big time.” Colin just  smiled.

Yeah, Washington Square Park. It’s the big time, all right.

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COVID-19: The Recovery will Happen in Public Space