February 14 2024

Valentine’s Day is upon us and love is in the air. WSP is a romantic icon, featuring in proposals, films, first dates, and so much more, all playing a role in countless love stories through the ages. It’s impossible to tell them all, but here are just a few we’d like to highlight! Want to share your WSP love story? Email grace@washingtonsqpark.org to be included.

Fountain Flirts

One of the incredible things about Washington Square Park is how history repeats itself. Couples have been coming here to flirt at the fountain for generations. There might be over 70 years between these two photos but the vibes haven’t changed at all.

Volunteer Valentines

Jane, hard at work during a Clean Team shift, photographed by Malcolm

Meet Malcolm & Jane, longtime Villagers whose love of Washington Square Park (and each other) inspired them to give back. It started with Malcolm, who has been one of our Parktographers since 2019 and has contributed over 2,000 photos to WSPC’s archive since then. “I love the challenge of finding new scenes to capture in a space I’ve already taken thousands of shots,” says Malcolm.

It didn’t take too long for Jane to get bitten by the volunteering bug too. And when the pandemic hit in 2020, together they joined the WSPC Clean Team, which assists with Park maintenance. While they don’t always work their shifts side-by-side, the shared experience is one they both treasure. Jane loves to spend time outdoors, and beautifying the Park while she’s at it is an added bonus. As Malcolm recently told a curious Park-goer who asked why he would work for free, “I prefer a clean Park to a messy one,” and he certainly doesn’t mind pitching in on the effort. 

Magical Marriage

While not an every day occurrence, Washington Square Park does see a fair share of weddings! Each one is unique, and it’s always exciting when you stumble across a ceremony without expecting it. One such set of nuptials was on an already special day: Pride Parade day in 2019. Two lovebirds decided to add their story to the long history of pride in the village and tied the not under the Arch.

Partners in Programs

Miss Tae is a familiar face to those with kids ⎻ you can often find her in the large playground coordinating enriching arts activities for kids. Bet you didn’t know she has a park love story all her own! In summer of 2023 Tae had the opportunity to expand her WSP offerings and host one of our inaugural artist residencies. It was a big lift, but Moses was by her side for support every step of the way…literally and figuratively! “He encouraged me when I wasn’t sure if my concept was good and made me confident,” says Tae. “And when it was time to bring my project to the Park he helped me pack and carry everything and worked alongside me during the program to make sure everything went smoothly.”

As someone who is passionate about bringing accessible and enriching activities into public spaces, place-activating in Washington Square Park is a longtime dream of Tae’s. And it’s one that Moses is proud to have a part in making that a reality.

A Parkie Proposal

How many people can say they got engaged in Washington Square Park? Probably a decent amount, but that didn’t make the moment any less special for Dan and Sarah. They met during medical school at NYU, so the Park provided a backdrop for countless dates during the course of their courtship. When time came for Dan to pop the question, under the Arch was an obvious spot. Despite the rain, Sarah says it’s one of her favorite memories of their time together in WSP.