Washington Square is often felt to be the heart of the Village, even if geographically speaking it is not quite the centre. One of New York's most popular haunts, it has become a leisure venue for locals with a children's playground, a picnic spot for students studying in the vicinity, a makeshift stage for budding actors and a speaker's platform for commenting on controversial issues. The surrounding area has always been the stomping ground of highbrow intellectuals.
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