“A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety.”
—Aesop (620 BC-560 BC)
Active since 1976, Union Square Greenmarket is one of the treasures of New York City. Located on the north, west and east sides of Union Square Park, the operates on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
At the height of the summer season, 140 farmers, fishermen, and bakers from New York State, New Jersey and Pennsylvania set up tables laden with fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables, fish, meats and baked goods. These top-notch offerings are snapped up by an estimated 60,000 devoted New Yorkers, as well as by some of New York City’s top chefs, supporting local agriculture.
Union Square Greenmarket is the Greenmarket program’s flagship operation. In other areas of Manhattan the City’s boroughs smaller farmers markets bring local goodness to a wide range of New Yorkers.
Special cooking demonstrations are scheduled for the Union Square Greenmarket. Check the web site for a complete list of topics, days and times.
“One should eat to live, not live to eat.”
Union Square is one of New York City’s great public spaces. The addition of the market with 60,000 shoppers shop, interacting with farmers adds to its importance. With New York University and the New School University nearby, students give the park an additional energy.
Just-picked fruits and vegetables, meats, award-winning cheeses, specialty breads, jams, pickles, a abundance of cut flowers and plants, wine, ciders, and much more make the Union Square Farmers Market an adventure in good food and good eating.
“In remembrance of sympathy in times of trial.”
— The inscription that is chiseled into the granite pedestal
This bronze 1873 bronze sculpture of Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, who was born in 1757 at Auvergne, France, and died in Paris, France, 1834. Lafayette is looking east away from the park. He stands on a ship’s prow in the act of pledging his heart and sword to the American revolutionaries.
Cast in 1873 and dedicated in 1876, this work by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, who also made the Statue of Liberty, was a gift from the French government to express its appreciation for aid that New York City gave Paris during the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War. The granite pedestal was designed by H.W. DeStuckle and paid for by French citizens living in New York City.
The Marquis de Lafayette was 18 when he heard tell of the American Revolution. Lafayette, a captain of artillery in a regiment in Metz, met the Duke of Gloucester, the brother of King George III at a dinner. Lafayette was fascinated by the Duke’s stories of the events in America and its Declaration of Independence. Lafayette was granted a commission as an American officer, and at the age of 20 he joined the American ranks as a major general.
Lafayette served on Washington’s staff, became Washington’s friend and a trusted field officer. He proved himself on the battlefield in New Jersey and Pennsylvania in 1778. In 1779 he returned to his native land to secure France’s support for the American cause. When he returned to America he helped to lay the trap for Cornwallis at Yorktown.
In 1824, Lafayette made a triumphant return to the United States, where he was celebrated on a tour around the country. As payment for his services in the Revolutionary War, Congress granted him $200,000, and a township of 24,000 acres in Louisiana. When he returned to France, he took with him a plot of American soil, within which he was buried in 1834.
“A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.”
— Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948)
In the southwest corner of Union Square, a bronze sculpture of Mohandas Gandhi strides through its own little park; it was sculpted by Kantilal B. Patel.
The memorial was dedication on 2.October.1986, the 117th anniversary of Gandhi’s birth. Bayard Rustin (1912–1987), a civil rights leader, was the keynote speaker at the dedication. Union Square was chosen because of its historic tradition of peaceful protest associated with the park. The Gandhi Memorial International Foundation spearheaded the monument’s creation and placement; it was paid for by Mohan B. Murjani of Murjani International, Ltd.
Gandhi, the champion of nonviolent protest and Indian independence, is shown with a staff in his right hand, looking forward, while walking. Wearing sandals and a cotton dhoti, illustrating Gandhi’s Hindu asceticism, as well as his support for India’s native industries.
“Where there is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance.”
— St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226)
Known as the Union Square Drinking Fountain, as well as the James Fountain, this public sculpture grouping, by German sculptor Karl Adolph Donndorf (1835-1916), was donated to the City of New York by philanthropist Daniel Willis James (1832-1907). James’ goal was to encourage the virtue of charity for 19th century New Yorkers. James visited the artist in Germany and was given a model of the fountain; he commissioned Donndorf to execute the piece shortly thereafter.
The central figure is Charity represented by a mother holding a baby with a toddler at her side. Charity empties her jug of water, aided by the child. The artist used his own wife and children as models for the fountain’s figures. The granite that forms the base came from Sweden. No longer operational, lion’s heads, on the fountain’s four sides, once dispensed water; tin cups were originally attached at the fountain’s side that allowed the passing public to quench its thirst.
Located in an alcove at street level on Union Square’s west side, the fountain was dedicated in October of 1881. A few moments after 3 o’clock in the afternoon, with a crowd of a thousand people, the new drinking fountain was unveiled, and at the conclusion of the ceremonies several hundred took the opportunity to drink from the fountain.
New York's liveliest square, Union Square is where much happens. The Square's central location in downtown New York and its proximity to New York University makes it a favourite hangout among the city's young generation, along with protesters and activists. An excellent farmer's market is set up every Saturday, Wednesday and Friday, and between Thanksgiving (end of Nov) and Christmas, an arts and crafts market with excellent gift choices is set up for holiday shoppers. Retailers and businesses present at Union Square include: Diesel, Puma, Barnes & Noble, Whole Foods Supermarket, and the W Hotel. Unfortunately, Virgin Megastore closed in 2009.
“Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
— Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) the opening to his Gettysburg Address
A bronze of Abraham Lincoln stands at the northern end of Union Square. Sponsored by the Republican Union League Club three years after Lincoln’s assassination, the larger-than-life bronze was created by Henry Kirke Brown (1814-1886).
This bronze of Lincoln was placed in the park in 1870. It stands in an axial alignment with the Independence Flagstaff and with the equestrian bronze of George Washington, at the opposite end of the park. It was cast at the R. Wood & Company Bronze Foundry in Philadelphia.
When Lincoln ran for president he lost in New York State. By odd coincidence, Lincoln had to order the U.S. Army to put down the Draft Riots, which were held in Union Square.
A very quiet neighborhood around Gramercy Park is unique because it is the only park in the city that is private-only the residents of the surrounding area have a key to get in. It is reminiscent of many squares designed in London during the 1800's. In the center there is a statue of actor Edwin Booth, a one time resident of # 16. The buildings on the SE corner were among the first apartment buildings built in NYC. There is a lot of interesting architecture and history all around the park and in the nearby bocks. Teddy Roosevelt was born in a house 2 blocks away at 28 E 20th St. Two houses on the West side of the park , 3 and 4 Gramercy Park W, have exceptionally ornate wrought iron porches.
I live two avenues(about 4 city blocks) from Union Square and have to say, it is always lively.
The park is surrounded by many stores, NYU dorms, Park avenue, broadway, ect. Many people walk in the smal park, or lay in the grass. The park has been the meeting place for many, many protests in the city. It i s definietly a rest stop for those who have been shopping all day, those who have finished dinner and want to enjoy the scenery, or anyone who just wants to people-watch. Here is a list of evverything around the park(very close walking distance(2-10 min):
1. Virgin Records Megastore(cafe, listening stations, music and film galore)
(also seems to be a secret place to meet singles sinc many people tend to hang around for almost and hour)
2. Union Square Movie Stadium (very comfortable seating and very popular theater)
3. Whole Foods: gourmet shopping center where you can ordr food and eat it in the upstairs cafe also.
4: Forever 21: two level clothing store for women. Sexy tops or flirty dresses to go out on the town in
5. DSW: two floors of name brand shoes for cheaper prices for men and women
6. Circuit City: electronics store
8. Barnes & Noble Bookstore: large, 4 floors, cafe on third floor
9. Coffee Shop: diner with aspiring model and actors/actresses as wait staff, truns into a trendy bar at night with a line to get in
10. Blue Water Grill: expensive seafood restaurant, don't wast your money here because there are way better restaurants in the city.
11. Republic: heard the food is good here. But it's more of a singles bar and quick date place
12. W Hotel bar: for the hip and upwardly mobile
13. 5th Ave: shopping area within walking distance: you might not be able to stop yourself
14. Broadway: walk South on Broadway and you will be busy for the rest of the day. There are so many lil shops, boutiques, cafes, etc. you won't realize how much time will go by.
You need a key to get into this park and you only get a key if you live in one of the buildings surrounding the park or if you befriend one of the locals and get them to let you in. Peek through the gates to see what you're missing. If you want to be in a similar sort of park to this.... there's plenty of these in Paris.
Union Square is young and bustling. There is lots to see and do here. New York has about 40 greenmarkets and one of the most poular is here on Union Sauqre. You can find things like home made cheese, organic vegetables, pumpkins around halloween time to curry leaves and anything seasonal.
When the vt-gang was walking here we saw these little kids with their gran. They wanted to have a picture taken of themselves, but gran didn't have a camera with her. I offered to take a picture instead. Kids happy and gran happy. Even though the kids would never get a print of it, they were very happy that someone took their picture.
Though some of us need notes to remember our own birthdays, others can memorize the order of a shuffled deck of cards in less than two minutes.
At the USA Memory Championship, "Mental Athletes" compete in brain-breaking events including the memorization of: a string of 1,000 random digits, two decks of shuffled cards, 99 names and faces, 100 spoken words and an unpublished 50 line poem. In this tournament, challengers from around the country vie for the title of "USA National Memory Champion".
The winner of the USA Memory Championship will automatically qualify to compete against champions of other countries in the World Memory Championships to be held in Oxford, England August 2007.
Student Mental Athletes (Contestants) ages 12-21 -- Free registration
Mental Athletes (Contestants) ages 22 and up: $25 to register (pre-qualification not required)
To register & deadlines: www.usamemorychampionship.com
While others will nominate other areas - Times Square, Soho or the Rockefeller center - to me Union Square is as close to a "heart" of New York as you can get for the people who actually live here. The Conspirator lives on Irving Place, a quiet little street literally a hundred yards to the East. But Union Square is anything but quiet.
Walk through the Square at any time - and particularly on the weekend or at night - and you will come face to face with the vibrancy and diversity that New York embodies. Every Saturday, the square fills with a market that was once a farmers market, but now also sports edgy fashion stalls. The Southern edge of the Park almost always has entertaining performers of some sort. This evening, I strolled home from dinner and stopped to listen to a Japanese three piece band, singing in Japanese, of course. At other times, it will be breakdancers, african drum players or acrobats.
I'm constantly amazed at the voices you hear walking through the Square. French, Spanish, asian languages plus English spoken in all manner of accents.
The streets immediately surrounding Union Square also boast what is arguably the greatest concentration of top restaurants in the City, as well as a lot of happening bars. Amongst the restaurants, head to Union Square Cafe for classic modern american, Veritas for the best wine collection in town, Casa Mono for fantastic Spanish tapas, the Strip House for awesome steaks, Gotham Bar & Grill for fabulous lamb and Craft for innovative mix-and-match high end cuisine. Blue Water Grill has good seafood and great brunch. Le Pain Quotidien on 19th St between Park and Broadway is a haven where you can enjoy European style breakfast in a communal setting.
For bars, the Coffee Shop on the West side of the Square is open all night and is a great fallback, Olive Bar in the W on the Northeast corner is a classy and laid back to enjoy a cocktail or scotch. Cibar on Irving Place and 17th is a cool bar that makes an great martini.
In the early 1800s, upscale townhouses and local theatres thrived in the area surrounding Union Square. In the 1850s and 1860s, factories and offices replaced the residences, and unionists and abolitionists held massive rallies here. In the 1920s, labor activists gathered, protested and rioted. As recent as the late 1980s and early 1990s, urban decay tainted the square and its surrounding areas. But today, a lovely park is the centerpiece of a chic neighborhood brimming with restaurants, upscale shops and retail giants. Union Square is noted for its impressive equestrian statue of George Washington, created by Henry Kirke Brown and unveiled in 1856.
The Union Square Greenmarket takes place here.
This garden square located at 14th Street and Broadway was one of New York City's first uptown business districts.
By the 1960's it was a depressed part of town, and used to be the hangout spot for lots of junkies.
Since then its been revived and not is home to the city's best known open air produce market, the Greenmarket. This market operates every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday mornings year round.
During my visit to Union Square I was fortunate enough to experience a brief snowfall, which was absolutel gorgeous, you will see in some of my pictures the snow falling, it was really nice!