New York City is without a doubt the definition of a concrete jungle, but amid this mass of skyscrapers and busy streets are some great green spaces that you need to visit. Parks can be few and far between in New York, but are deeply treasured by locals and tourists alike. Whatever your after whether it be space to roam and play, somewhere to walk your dogs, or you’re searching for the perfect picnic spot – here are a few of my favourite parks in Manhattan.
Now, Central Park has to be one of the most famous parks on the planet. Arguably it has it all; from museums, to sculptures, to an ice-skating rink come winter and a zoo. At over 840 acres and nearly 40 million visitors every year this National Historic Landmark is situated right in the centre of Manhattan, hosting events like outdoor concerts and the New York City Marathon. You can rent a rowboat on the shore of The Lake at 72nd Street, or sit and have a cocktail at the Boathouse and watch people row to their hearts content. Central Park Zoo is also situated within the park, with over 130 different species of animals this is another great way you can pass time in this outdoor oasis. You could spend days wandering Central Park without seeing all there is to see, but luckily for us its open year-round.
Situated behind New York Public Library is an American gem, Bryant Park. They host over 1,000 free events for the public annually, including exercise sessions such as yoga and outdoor movie nights. The most popular events are the Holiday Shops and The Rink in late Autumn/Winter, but come summer time it’s the Bryant Park Movie Nights and Broadway in Bryant Park which are a must-see. They also have a great range of holiday themed pop-up shops, according to time of year. The park boasts lots of places to eat, and free Wifi/wireless access points throughout. A point to note is that Bryant Park is managed by Bryant Park Corporation, a private non-profit organisation that operates the park under arrangement with the City of New York. So whatever the time of year, to me there’s nothing better than watching the world go by at this green space.
For more details, visit http://www.bryantpark.org/
THE HIGH LINE
Flanking the west side of Manhattan from the Meatpacking District to West 34 Street, the High Line is built on a historic freight rail line, parts of which are still visible. Attracting millions of visitors every year, the High Line is an example of New York’s versatility and ability to innovate and transform. This park is 1.45 miles long, opening in 2009 it was built on an abandoned elevated train track above the industrial West Side neighbourhoods. Every season there are rotating works of art by different artists, New York’s elevated park being a secret no more. The flowers and plants are mostly native to the region, nestle yourself on one of the wooden lounge chairs with an ice-cream or soda from an artisanal vendor and its a little slice of heaven. This stylist park combines something old and something new, with stunning views overlooking the Hudson River and downtown New York’s spectacular skyline. This park may not be such an escape to the city, but gives you a whole new perspective.
Hidden throughout the metropolis of New York City are a number of wonderful greens spaces and parks. Some beautiful and historic, some magnificent and modern, located in all the boroughs of NYC they serve as a backyard to this spectacle of a city.