The Southwest Porch at Bryant Park provided a picturesque setting for a secret performance by UK pop legends Squeeze on a warm summer night, presented by Southwest Airlines. The groundbreaking band played hits spanning their career, including “Is That Love,” “Pulling Mussels (From The Shell)”, and “Tempted” in celebration of their latest album, Spot the Difference, which features new recordings of Squeeze classics.
As teenagers on the South London Scene in the 1970s, teenage friends Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook formed Squeeze, the pioneering UK band that saw them dubbed “The New Lennon and McCartney.” Championed early on by the Velvet Underground’s John Cale, who produced their debut EP, Packet Of Three, Squeeze established their position as one of Britain’s most beloved bands with 1979′s Cool For Cats, setting off a career that would span decades and produce hits in the UK and abroad.
As far back as 1686, New York’s colonial governor Thomas Dongan designated as public property the land that is now Bryant Park. The area was still wilderness, and the hunting grounds of Native Americans. At the start of the Revolutionary War, in 1776, General Washington’s troops, after being routed by the British in the Battle of Long Island, raced across Manhattan, traversing the future site of Bryant Park. The city established a potter’s field on the site in 1823. During the Civil War, the Union Army held military drills in Reservoir Square. In 1853-54, New York’s first “World’s Fair,” the Crystal Palace Exhibition, took place on the site of Bryant Park. In 1974, the Landmarks Preservation Commission designated Bryant Park as a Scenic Landmark, calling it “a prime example of a park designed in the French Classical tradition… an urban amenity worthy of our civic pride.” After a major restoration effort by Bryant Park Corporation, the Park reopened in 1991 to lavish praise.