Yousef the Crossing Guard
Characters of the Village
For the last four years, West Villagers who cross at the confusing crosswalk at the intersection of 7th Avenue, Greenwich Avenue, and 11th Street, have come to know a school crossing guard who helps not only kids, but everyone. While crossing guards are paid for working from 8 am to 10 am, and 2 pm to 3 pm, Yousef Salama is out there even on the coldest days, all day from 8 am to 3:15 pm, with a one-hour break for lunch. His ever smiling face is one of the bright fixtures for West Villagers. I caught up with him on a cold February day and asked about his story. Yousef is from Egypt, having immigrated here 20 years ago. He earned a BA in literature after coming here, where he was chosen for the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society. He now takes courses in international diplomacy at the US Institute of Diplomacy and Human Rights in Washington, DC. Only in New York!