The show still goes on.
Union Square always had something going on in it, but it wasn't always the healthy and salubrious place that it was last Saturday when I strolled through it. The Greenmarket has expanded in the last few years and the the place was packed with a diverse crowd of shoppers. The whole park seemed to smell of sweet earth, vegetables, fruits, and late summer ripeness. There were also more stalls of artists' and artisans' wares than I recall seeing before, and Mighty Mutts (whom I'll write about soon) was back, which was nice. The day before they'd been gearing up for a concert on behalf, of all things, human rights. Sheesh! Could it be any more wholesome?
Let me take you back 120 years, however, to when New York City took its rightful place as a den of iniquity and corruption, mostly focused on the nefarious goings-on at the innocuous looking building on the northeast side of Union Square (see picture). This was Tammany Hall, the central location of the notorious Democratic political machine
that ran New York for much of the latter part of the nineteenth century, and reached its apogee in the corrupt administration of Mayor William "Boss" Tweed
, who never missed an opportunity to get a kickback or skim some money off a contract. As befitting the political showboating that went on there, the building
is now home to the Union Square Theatre
, before which it housed the International Ladies Garment Union