New York’s Washington Square Park resembles a dirty garbage dump the morning after huge party


New York’s historic Washington Square Park resembled a dirty garbage dump Saturday, after hundreds of maskless revellers descended on the area to celebrate the city’s return to near-normality.  

Garbage and litter was strewn across the pavements and lawns in the park Saturday morning with the Big Apple’s pigeon population seen taking advantage of the remnants of food left behind from the night before. 

Empty bottles of booze were scattered along the benches, while cans of beer (and who knows what else) floated in the water of its iconic fountain.  

Saturday’s scenes show the aftermath of a huge party Friday night where crowds of New Yorkers danced and drank long into the night. 

New York’s historic Washington Square Park resembled a dirty garbage dump Saturday, after hundreds of maskless revelers descended on the area to celebrate the city’s return to near-normality

Garbage and litter was strewn across the pavements and lawns in the park Saturday morning with the Big Apple's pigeon population seen taking advantage of the remnants of food left behind from the night before

Garbage and litter was strewn across the pavements and lawns in the park Saturday morning with the Big Apple’s pigeon population seen taking advantage of the remnants of food left behind from the night before

Saturday's scenes are the aftermath of a huge party Friday night where crowds of New Yorkers danced and drank long into the night (above)

Saturday’s scenes are the aftermath of a huge party Friday night where crowds of New Yorkers danced and drank long into the night (above) 

New Yorkers dance the night away in Washington Square Park Friday night as the Big Apple continues to return to normal

New Yorkers dance the night away in Washington Square Park Friday night as the Big Apple continues to return to normal 

Hundreds of people gathered maskless with some entertaining the crowds with live singing on a mic and one man even fire breathing.   

Many ditched their masks after the CDC updated its guidance on face coverings this week to say fully vaccinated Americans can go without masks in most circumstances.  

New York, however, still has a mask mandate in place with officials yet to lift the requirement.  

The park has become a popular party destination in recent months as New Yorkers continue to return to normal life after the pandemic transformed the city last year.

Bars and restaurants faced some of the tightest restrictions over the last year and have still not fully reopened in the Big Apple. 

Residents have taken matters into their own hands, bringing the party to Washington Square Park. 

But it seems to have taken its toll on Manhattan’s famous park, which had seen better days Saturday.

What was once a popular place for families to play and runners to jog resembled a garbage dump with used needles and dirty clothes lying around the area.  

Empty bottles of booze and brown paper bags were scattered along the benches and the ground of the park Saturday

Empty bottles of booze and brown paper bags were scattered along the benches and the ground of the park Saturday 

The park resembled a garbage dump Saturday morning as the remnants of the party the night before were clear to see

The park resembled a garbage dump Saturday morning as the remnants of the party the night before were clear to see 

Cans of beer and seltzer (and who knows what else) floated in the water of its iconic fountain along with plastic and glass bottles

Cans of beer and seltzer (and who knows what else) floated in the water of its iconic fountain along with plastic and glass bottles

The scene Saturday morning after hundreds gathered in the park Friday night for a huge party with dancing and singing

The scene Saturday morning after hundreds gathered in the park Friday night for a huge party with dancing and singing 

What was once a popular place for families to play and runners to jog resembled a garbage dump with used needles and dirty clothes lying around the area

What was once a popular place for families to play and runners to jog resembled a garbage dump with used needles and dirty clothes lying around the area

The party seems to have taken its toll on Manhattan's famous park, which had seen better days Saturday morning

The party seems to have taken its toll on Manhattan’s famous park, which had seen better days Saturday morning

One year ago, New York City was the virus epicenter of the world, healthcare systems were on the brink of collapse and bodies were piling up in morgues and refrigerated trucks in the streets. 

The city turned into a ghost town as Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a stay-at-home order in March, shuttering businesses and non-essential retailers and telling people to stay at home to slow the spread of the virus.

The once bustling streets of Manhattan became deserted overnight and rich New Yorkers fled to second homes – with some quitting life in the Big Apple for good.  

Homelessness soared with encampments springing up on the streets of the city as millions were thrown into unemployment overnight and crucial addiction services fell by the wayside amid the pandemic.  

Hundreds of people gathered maskless in the park Friday night to party the night away as the Big Apple breathes back to life

Hundreds of people gathered maskless in the park Friday night to party the night away as the Big Apple breathes back to life

Many ditched their masks after the CDC updated its guidance on face coverings this week to say fully vaccinated Americans can go without masks in most circumstances

Many ditched their masks after the CDC updated its guidance on face coverings this week to say fully vaccinated Americans can go without masks in most circumstances

One man was seen fire breathing in the park as people entertained each other with antics, singing and dancing

One man was seen fire breathing in the park as people entertained each other with antics, singing and dancing 

People dressed up for the occasion with some appearing to be in brightly-colored fancy dress costumes and hats made from cardboard boxes

People dressed up for the occasion with some appearing to be in brightly-colored fancy dress costumes and hats made from cardboard boxes

New York still has a mask mandate in place with officials yet to lift the requirement despite the update in CDC guidance

New York still has a mask mandate in place with officials yet to lift the requirement despite the update in CDC guidance

Friday night’s revelry suggests the city is breathing back to life. 

Now, 41 percent of all New Yorkers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and more than half have had at least their first dose.

The city is continuing to reopen at an increasing pace, with restrictions easing again this month on hard-hit restaurants and bars. 

On May 17, the midnight curfew for outdoor dining areas of bars and restaurants across the state will be lifted, followed by the indoor curfew on May 31.  

This comes after customers were finally able to sit at bars in New York City from May 3 and, days earlier, Cuomo’s controversial pandemic-era rule that required customers to order food when buying alcohol in bars and restaurants was scrapped.  

While the lifting of these rules will likely send people back to the city’s iconic bar and restaurant scene, in the meantime partiers have been making use of Washington Square Park.  

The park has become a popular party destination in recent months as New Yorkers continue to return to normal life after the pandemic transformed the city last year

The park has become a popular party destination in recent months as New Yorkers continue to return to normal life after the pandemic transformed the city last year

It marks a drastic change from one year ago, when New York City was the virus epicenter of the world and the city turned into a ghost town

It marks a drastic change from one year ago, when New York City was the virus epicenter of the world and the city turned into a ghost town

One person is seen singing into a mic entertaining a crowd of people gathered Friday night in the Manhattan park

One person is seen singing into a mic entertaining a crowd of people gathered Friday night in the Manhattan park

Friday night's revelry shows the city is breathing back to life Now, 41 percent of all New Yorkers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and more than half have had at least their first dose

Friday night’s revelry shows the city is breathing back to life Now, 41 percent of all New Yorkers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and more than half have had at least their first dose

The city is continuing to reopen at an increasing pace, with restrictions easing again this month on hard-hit restaurants and bars

The city is continuing to reopen at an increasing pace, with restrictions easing again this month on hard-hit restaurants and bars

Washington Square Park through the ages 

Nestled in the heart of Manhattan, Washington Square Park is known for its iconic arch and fountain. 

But long before they were built, it was an area of marsh land with a natural waterway named Minetta Creek home to fresh trout. 

The Native American Lenape tribe cultivated the land in the 1600s before it was taken over by the Dutch. 

The Dutch then offered some of the land to African-born slaves they freed in 1642 – but the free black farmers then lost the land again under English rule.   

In 1797, the City’s Common Council converted the land into a Potter’s Field – the name for an area where the poor were buried. The site is also thought to have been the site of public executions.  

Then, in 1826, the area around the park was converted into a militia training ground named Washington Military Parade Ground. The next year, some parts were turned into a public park.

Famously, Samuel F.B. Morse gave a public demonstration of his new invention – the telegraph – in the park in 1838

After the City’s Department of Public Parks was formed to look after the city’s parks in 1870, it underwent a major redesign with curved paths and shaded areas to provide an escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.  

The iconic marble Washington Arch was built between 1890-1892 and other monuments were erected over the coming years. 

Throughout the 20th century, the park increasingly became a site of protest and performances with labor unions marching after the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in 1911, and the Beat generation and folkies setting up in the park.

Later redesigns followed and the Arch was restored in the noughties.

The park, now named after George Washington who was inaugurated as the first US president in New York City in 1789, continues to be a popular place for protests and cultural events. 



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