At a talk this week in my department, the speaker kind of off-handedly mentioned, in the context of talking about how Central Park in New York and the Eixemple in Barcelona were developed roughly concurrently as part of the modernist movements in urban planning, that there has been a statue of Cervantes in Central Park that, after much skirmishing over where to locate it, ended up right across the street from us at NYU after years of wrangling over where it should go. I was really surprised, because I'd never seen a statue of Cervantes on campus and couldn't even picture some random statue I'd walked by a million times without ever really looking that could be Cervantes.
By total coincidence, I took a bit of a circuitous way home today, and something down the alley between the Mews and the brownstones on Washington Square north caught my eye. And there he was.
The placard is pretty worn, but reads: This statue was presented to the City of New York by the Mayor of Madrid, Spain, in 1986. Located in Bryant Park before being donated to New York University in 1989.
And, having never really looked down the alley before, I happily discovered a really nice, quiet outdoors spot on campus.