Union Square , Manhattan, New York City
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Union Square Park (also known as Union Square) is an important and historic intersection in New York City, located where Broadway and the Bowery came together in the early 19th century. Today it is bounded by 14th Street, Union Square East, 17th Street, and Union Square West. It is run and operated jointly by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation as well as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Important thoroughfares which lead away from the park are Broadway, leading both north and south; Fourth Avenue, leading southeast to the Bowery; and Park Avenue South, leading north to Grand Central Terminal. Union Square lies over 14th Street-Union Square, a New York City Subway complex served by the 4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, R, and W trains. Neighborhoods around the park are the Flatiron District to the north, Chelsea to the west, Greenwich Village and New York University to the south, and Gramercy to the east. The eastern side of the square is dominated by the Zeckendorf Towers.
Union Square is noted for its impressive equestrian statue of George Washington, created by Henry Kirke Brown and unveiled in 1856. Other statues in the park include the Marquis de Lafayette, created by Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, Abraham Lincoln, created by Henry Kirke Browne and James Fountain, donated by Daniel Willis James and sculpted by Adolf Donndorf. A newer addition, added in 1986, is a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the southwest corner of the park.
In April 1861, soon after the fall of Fort Sumter, Union Square was the site of a patriotic rally that is thought to have been the largest public gathering in North America up to that time.
In 1976, the Council on the Environment of New York City established the Greenmarket program, which provided regional small family farmers with opportunities to sell their fruits, vegetables and other farm products at open-air markets in the city. The most famous is the Union Square Greenmarket, held Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays between 8 AM and 6 PM year round. 250,000 customers a week purchase 1,000 varieties of fruits and vegetables at the market. The variety of produce available is broader by perhaps a factor of ten than what is found in a conventional supermarket.
Union Square is also known for the Union Square Holiday Market, which is held November 23 through December 24. Temporary kiosks are filled by over 100 artisans, who sell items ranging from candles and perfume to knitted scarves and high-end jewelry.
Union Square is a popular meeting place, given its central location in Manhattan and due to the fact that many subway lines stop at Union Square Station. There are many bars and restaurants on the periphery of the square, and the surrounding streets have some of the city's most renowned (and expensive) restaurants.
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