it takes an Erisian village...

Posted on: Sat, 11/20/2010 - 17:29 By: Tom Swiss

I've been to Greenwich Village a couple of times before, but previously I've always been tagging along with someone who knew the area, so I didn't really bother with navigation. But last night, I decided that I should check a map before heading down for dinner and a few drinks (at, as it turned out, a nice little restaurant called Village Natural, and then the famous Stonewall Inn).

Now, Manhattan is famous for being laid out on a grid of east-west streets and north-south avenues. Indeed, it's lent its name to the mathematical concept of "Manhattan distance", the sum of the horizontal and vertical distance distance between two points, as if you were walking a square grid. It's pretty much a canonical example of Order. Chelsea, which is the neighborhood where the Seido Karate Honbu is located and thus where I spend most of my NYC visits, is just about a perfect implementation of this grid.

But when you go just a few blocks south into Greenwich Village the grid breaks down. Here, the system is so warped that 4th Street actually bends to run north-south and intersects with other numbered streets.

Now, this would be a sign of the hand of what goddess of Chaos?

And what, my friends, do we find where 5th Avenue and 5th Street would meet, but Washington Square Park, the heart of the Village?

Guess if NYC is the Big Apple, this is the place where it turns to the Golden Apple.

Hail Eris! Kallisti!