To the Yelpers!
Here's a 3-star review:
The inhabitants of Tompkins Square Park are people you could probably find in any large metropolitan area in the world. What makes TSP unique is the high concentration of mentally and/or chemically imbalanced folks, mixed in with some hobos, burnouts, stoners looking to score, scorers looking to stone and locals who're looking for some sun. Everybody and nobody is there, and if you're into people watching, it makes for a good couple of hours.
What ruined my day was the fat lady sitting across from me wearing a jean skirt and no panties. How did I know this?
Cause she was sitting like a dude.
I didn't even mean to look. You just couldn't avoid it because she took up about 1/2 of my field of vision.
And a 1-star review:
When I walk through this park, I'm constantly looking over my shoulder for fear of getting mugged or stabbed.
I have no problem with homeless people finding shelter in the park. I do have a problem with hardcore drug users shooting up and smoking crack. Call me crazy, but that disturbs me.
On my last trip there, this coked up lady took it upon herself to change outfits three times right in the middle of the park. Her version of a fashion show. Another bum sat on a bench by the entrance with blood spewing from his nose. No worries, he was too high on something to notice.
The park is crack-tastic at best.
And another 1-star review:
Errrmmm, maybe I'm just not "getting" this park. I was here for an hour last Sunday and spent my time circling the park looking for a hobo-free zone. The southwest corner, especially, seemed to be packed with a dirt-crusted crowd of semi-homeless people of mixed ages. Several of the younger Tompkins hobos were dressed in clothes that were probably quite fashionable at one point, but now caked in dirt and quite brown in color. I was impressed that they were not just resigning themselves to dirty jeans and ratty t-shirts; maybe they were homeless by choice.
There was a small portable soup kitchen type cart in that corner of the park serving this brown-colored mushy-looking food to these folks who ate with their fingers and licked the plates. When I finally did manage to find an isolated bench to read my book, there were strange smells emanating from the bushes behind me that I tried to ignore. It was probably p00p; the grass didn't seem to stand a chance of making it out of the ground clean. After a few pages of reading, I was interrupted by a comparatively presentable stranger. He commented that I looked "uncomfortable" (undeniable) and proceeded to attempt to read my sign and, I think, ask me on a date. He had weird tics and stared way too intensely at me during all this time. I am not sure why I stuck around long enough to let the conversation progress to that point.
In short, I am TOTALLY one of "those people who finds Tompkins Park gross." It's just not the place for me to have a relaxing Sunday afternoon. I don't want a park with "character" when what I really want is to nap outside without worrying about being pissed on, touched, robbed, etc. So, back to Central Park it is, where I will hazard my chances with the strollers, toddlers and frisbees. Or, Madison Square Park, where I can eat my Shack burgers and hang out with the designer dogs eating frozen custard.