Biet and I took a little break from the heat the other day to lay on the cool grass in Union Square. She nursed, played with dirt, and ripped out chunks of grass from the lawn. Good times. I used to come to Union Square all of the time during my first years in New York. The park was a bit more run down then and less of a shopping mecca, and I would people watch and sip coffee and marvel at the diversity of my new city. You weren't allowed on the grass in those days (they were trying to grow it nice and green and thick- all the better for little baby hands to hold onto as they pull it out), so I would sit on the benches, sometimes for hours, striking up conversations with all of the people who sat down next to me. Some of them were amazing and some of them were crazies, but I loved getting to talk to so many New York characters. I came to this park during the black out (when we all broke the rules and layed on the grass) and listened to the news updates on a little portable radio (you know, back in the day of non-internet radio broadcasting). I would look up at the buildings and imagine what it must have been like when Andy Warhol had his factory here in the 60's. This park, for me, was a place for dreaming.
Now I bring my little one here, to meet her own friends, and to make her own memories. The west side of the park now houses a row of food trucks, so we grabbed a raw spiced nut milk (which was absolutely delicious) and shared it on the lawn. A statue of Andy has been erected in front of the old factory building, so we stopped by there too. The park's awesome new playground will be perfect for Biet as soon as she takes to walking (the girl likes to take her time with these things. I'm not complaining), and will be so much fun as she grows. Union Square is really becoming something grand, and even more lively. And with all of its upgrades, it is still a place for dreaming. So until next time, Union Square..