Culture, Community, & Connectivity

Posted March 4, 2021

The state of New York is once again the harbinger of beneficial change at the societal and cultural level of its communities. Especially in New York City’s Greenwich Village. The government is setting a stage (almost literally in cases we’ll expand upon shortly) for the return of art to the everyday lives of NYC residents. They’re calling the resurrection of this piece of NYC’s cultural pie “NY PopsUp”. This initiative will, as indicated by announcements from Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, “produce 300 free events across the state […] using ‘existing landscapes’.” According to a related press release, said landscapes are set to include ‘iconic transit stations, parks, subway platforms, museums, skate parks, street corners, fire escapes, parking lots, storefronts and upstate venues, transforming every day commutes, local communities, and locations never used for performances into canvases of awe and exhilaration’.” Long story short, we here at Washington Square Hotel couldn’t be more awed and exhilarated by the whole thing already! 

After all, what is humanity without culture? More importantly, what is NYC’s Greenwich Village without its long-time distinction as a haven for artists, poets, musicians, etc.? To revive our community’s art industry is to revive its artists, and is also to re-enable them to act upon their inherent talents. We love the way Bob Dylan, a historical guest of our hotel, described the artist’s need to live out his/her ability to transform creative interpretation into tangible masterpiece; he said, “When you feel in your gut what you are and then dynamically pursue it – don’t back down and don’t give up – then you’re going to mystify a lot of folks”. The ongoing world events have made said dynamic pursuits something not so pursuable in many cases. Especially when the ultimate goal of these pursuits is performance. However, NY PopsUp entails a solution for our acting community as well. That solution is “multidisciplinary flexible venues”.

Also known as “flex venues”, the intent of these sites is to provide space in which theatric performances can be held safely both indoors and out. Venue safety is ensured by having no set seating areas provided; this, in turn, allows the space to become adaptable to social distancing protocol. This is actually a great way to encourage renewed confidence in venue attendees.  Everyone already knows to stay six feet apart. So, having seats not pre-set to a 6-foot distance allows more freedom. One may choose to stand beside, say, a significant other or family member and not feel a loss in human connection by being required to sit 6-feet apart from that person. And it is this re-establishment of connection that we all have been longing for – even needing – so very much. Finding connectivity in our lives again is essentially the inspiration for, and the soon to be lifeforce of, the NY PopsUp initiative.

The NY PopsUp movement is expected to grow in popularity, and therefore posed to see a spirited spike in local acceptance as overall feelings of confidence & comfort return. This predicted “spike” is also posed to occur on a parallel timeline with New York’s 20th anniversary of the Tribeca Film Festival and the highly-anticipated Little Island project (all happening in June 2021).

All in all, this plan is a boon to us, to all of NYC’s beautiful boroughs, and to the state as a whole. In this rebirth of the arguably essential artistic components of our state’s cultural foundation, we will stand as a symbol of hope.  And, as the nation looks on, we will stand tall and trailblazing, the way us true New Yorkers always do.