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Washington S quare" Ne""W" York City By BETTY MORSE Those of you who have been to Washington Square, South, may have caught u p a fragment of its temperament, but only a fragment. To know Washington Square, South, to know its temperament, you must live there among those tall, overcrowded tenements, that line the narrow, dirty streets ; among the cries and laughter, the songs and th reats of an Italian people that steadfastly refuses to become Americanized. . Then, having noted all this sordidness and squalor, if you l ooked across the park to Washington Square, North, you were agreeably surprised, and also a bit perplexed. These two streets, Washington Square, South and Washington Square, N orth, that face each other with only a park between them, are extremely opposite in appearance and temperament. Wa"sh i ng­ ton Square, North is an aristocratic street, and its i nhabitants boast of position, wealth and distinguished ancestry. The i rony of it ! These two streets, as unlike as can be, face each other almost defiantly, and only a small park, two or three blocks square, to keep them properly sectioned off. The park i tself is a place where a stu­ dent of human nature may go i n quest of material. There you may find occasional art ists from the neighboring Greenwich Village i n the conven­ tional garb of unconvent ionality, trying to put on canvas a replica of New York University, or the J udson Memorial, or perhaps Washington Square Arch. There you may also find students from the University, lolling about i n the sun, and watching the painted shop-girls who go by not at all u ncon­ scious of this appraisal. There, t oo, you may see nurse-maids perambulat­ ing their charges, or keeping a watchful eye on them as they play on the lawn. Occasionally these children of fortune, who are much t oo young to be aware of social differences, make advances to the dirty, ragged Italian children who romp about noisily. They attract each other for some u nknown reason ; perhaps the poor marvel at the handsome clothes of the rich, and the rich, i n turn , marvel at the slovenly rags of the poor. It is said that opposites attract. *

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Four girls of possibly seventeen years of age were grouped together near the north side of the park. They looked like flowers, as sweet and expensively exquisite as a Fifth Avenue Shop could make them. And right in the middle of that pageant of flowers, like a splash of color, a single purple dahlia, was Toinette Givan n i o, very evidently from the Italian dis­ trict to the south of the park. She was dark and exotic, and of a rich, lus­ cious beauty. She was like a dahlia, only she lacked its fine, delicate finish. The girls who had encircled her, were imploring her to do something, but she was abashed at their loveliness. Their grace and poise made her feel self-conscious and awkward. She seemed c onfused. "But I can't go, " she was saying i n l iquid tones. "For one thing, I haven't the clothes. I live down that way. " She pointed south. "What of that ?" replied a slim girl in blue. "I will lend you one of my d resses. Oh, perfect ! My pale gold chiffon with your j et black hair ! Grit, wouldn't she be the belle of the ball ! My dear Toinette, you m ust go ! We shall all meet at three tomorrow and make more arrangements. Bye ! " T w o hundred eight

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Oracle 1927  

Oracle 1927