At Christopher Street and 7th Avenue South is Christopher Park, often mistaken for Sheridan Square. The latter is just southeast of Christopher Park at the triangle where Washington Place, Barrow, Grove, and West 4th Streets meet. The confusion is understandable—in Christopher Park stands a statue of General Philip Sheridan. Sheridan was a Union general best remembered for the unfortunate, often misquoted, line, “The only good Indians I saw were dead.”
Next to the general is a George Segal sculpture depicting two gay couples—one male, the other female. Erected in 1991, the statue commemorates the Stonewall Riots, which took place across the street at the Stonewall Inn on June 27, 1969. (The original Stonewall was at 51 Christopher Street and is now gone; the bar called Stonewall at 53 Christopher is a namesake.)
Across the street from Christopher Park is the former home of Thomas Paine (59 Grove St.), the Revolutionary War–era author of Common Sense, The Crisis, and The Rights of Man. It was Paine who wrote the famous words, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” Paine’s house, marked with a plaque, is now the venerable gay piano bar Marie’s Crisis Cafe (212/243-9323), named partly as a tribute to Paine.