Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park held their first annual fundraiser last night. The tents were set up right behind the Arch. The weather was fantastic. The crowd was so excited. It was a real neighborhood event. What a great benefit to put money to use…clean up your local park.

NYU has so far given $1m towards this group who are really attempting to create an endowment to run the park, keep it clean, have gardeners, etc. and at the same time renovate the park. Madison Square Park really set the bar on this. Personally, I think NYU should fund the entire endowment of $7-8 million which would give other people the incentive to give money towards the renovations. Afterall, this is NYU’s front and backyard. It is only a benefit for them and potential givers to their school to have a stellar park.

Last night was catered by Mario Batali, who has an interest in beautifying the park too. His new gelato cart will be opened next week on the Madougal corner of the park. The food was really fantastic. The cocktail hour had little pizza’s, eggplant with cheese, hunks of parmesean and a variety of other goodies. There were also a variety of different martinis which was a fun addition. The dinner started with a mozzarella and heirloom tomato tower with a light vinegarette and basil. The second course was a pasta with basil and parmesean. Main course was braised veal. Dessert was chocolate tortes and whipped cream. I also grabbed a gelato on the way out. All the all, delicious food, many wines to match and a fun event. No rubber chicken at this fundraiser.

It was a beautiful evening all around – weather, people and the excitement of the park. I’m really looking forward to watching how this group proceeds with the park over the years to come.