I'm not one for a cropped photo - at least when I'm doing it - others, who wish the image to fit the content, I'm more comfortable with.
This image on the other hand screams for a crop - as the content is meant to be interpreted in the square frame.
I converted to B/W with the help of tutorials of George Jardine - of photoshop fame. His blog and commentary is most definately worth a look. And - look up his podcasts where he rountables with Jay Maisel.