Yeah, well Washington Square Park is not exactly middle america - from the guys playing chess for money to the one man bands - and the fact that it is only about three blocks from the Bowery.
I was in Israel with the first digital Fuji camera, and back them people would stop and stare at me every time I even took a picture.
We were in the Armenian Section where a guy working a booth kept asking me if he could "show it to his brother," I said "yeah, tell him to come out here." I never took it out of my hand.
I could just picture me "lending it" to him and him walking back and saying "he took it to show my uncle, he'll be right back" and then three hours later.. "I don't know where he went" and finally "He just called, he got robbed! I am so sorry."