I spent many a long summer day last year in Washington Square Park. I sat on a steaming hot bench near the fountain, and if a breeze passed by it mercifully splashed some of that cool water into my face and sketchbook. I sat on that bench and drank endless bottles of water, ate takeout salad that tasted like wilted lettuce and chatted up random strangers: a bicycling tourist in his flock of matching helmets, a freshman girl who shared her ghost stories, an adorable Chinese mother and a little girl who promptly declared herself my biggest fan. I wrote self-centered angst in my red notebook and watched the flocks of freshmen with the pitying, sad eyes a girl only a year older and wiser could have (that is to say, not that pitying or sad at all).

In the fall I found myself there in-between classes. I met a girl who sorted all the NYU schools into Hogwarts houses with me (we decided that the park was the Forbidden Forest and all the homeless people were unicorns) and pointed me to the nearest Subway tucked away behind a campus building. As it got colder, I stared at the now silent fountain through my scarf and the steam of a cup of hot tea before being discovered by newly made friends in my dorm.

In the winter I went to the quiet ninth floor study lounge and stared wistfully at the snow-covered park, longing for spring and summer again. Here is the park as I remember it, bright, sunny, fountain full of water (minus all the people):

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