Volume 76, Number 53 | May 30 - June 5, 2007

Villager photo by Brian Dube

Famed funambulist is on another level

On Sun., May 20, the great Philippe Petit performed in Washington Square, giving parkgoers a show of balance, mime and juggling. Petit is best known for his Aug. 7, 1974, World Trade Center tightrope walk. He planned the unauthorized feat over six years, making more than 200 visits, posing as an architect, construction worker and tourist. He crossed between the towers eight times over one hour. In the early 1970s, Petit regularly performed on Sundays in Washington Square. This recent performance was to call awareness to the park’s proposed renovation. When he performs in Washington Square, he ties a slack rope between a tree and a lamppost and draws a circle with chalk on the ground, which spectators are admonished to stay out of.

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