This is my favorite time of year in New York City. The buds are starting to come in on the trees, the crocuses and daffodils are popping up after their long winter’s nap, and the sun comes out more often than not to add to the warm, spring temperatures. My advice to anyone new to the city is to set out on foot to an area you’ve never visited. If you’re not that adventurous or you feel unsure of an area, head to Central Park. You will find tons of tourists there on a nice day, but if you head uptown a little on the East- or the Westside, you will discover the locals. Take a moment to sit on one of the many benches up near the Armory on Fifth Avenue or on the Eastside, find a seat near the 72nd Street Transverse and people watch or better yet, head into the park from that entrance and enjoy a picnic or some time with a good book if it’s a nice day outside.
Central Park, while not a pocket park by any means, is one of my favorite places. During summer weekends, you can walk from hill to hill and find a different activity in each section. My husband and I once walked to meet my brother and listen to a guitarist, but before we found him, we watched a roller skating club skate to someone’s playlist, a kid’s craft event, a small informational event for organic foods, and a quiet area where people were reading and napping on their blankets.
Enjoy the park during this time of new life (dare I say it?) after winter’s exit.
New York City public gardens are yet another thing that makes me love New York City. I discovered them when I was researching my book, BEST Pocket Parks of NYC, and had the idea to include them in my book. I decided against it after discovering Grace Tankersley’s book, Community Gardens of the East Village. She listed 39 gardens in the East Village alone and then told me there are probably hundreds throughout Greenwich Village alone. With over 530 POPS to explore already, I figured I would leave the gardens to her. Finding her book, however, put these little public gardens on my radar.
In December 2015, 596 Acres , a group dedicated to preserving and protecting public gardens in New York City, announced that gardens slated for development by New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) had been transferred New York City Parks Department to be officially preserved as public gardens. That’s 36 gardens with 27 of them in Brooklyn alone!
While I encourage you to pick up my book and explore the NYC POPS this spring, I think a great companion would be Tankersley’s book or use this online map to find your favorite public gardens in
New York City.
A while back, I was contacted by a group called Side Tours. They host tours by real people all over the U.S. and decided I should be one of their experts. Through their representative, I’ve developed a tour of 9 of the parks found in my book, BEST Pocket Parks of NYC. There are a range of dates and times, so take a look and see a few of these innovative pocket parks in the city that never sleeps. I kept them concentrated in one area, but there is some walking involved, so be prepared.
Visit Side Tours for dates, times and to book your tour.
Hope to see you in NYC!
The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and the Downtown Alliance have opened a new park a few blocks from the 9/11 Memorial on the corner of Greenwich and Albany Streets. Here it is from the horse’s (or Downtown Alliance’s) mouth:
The public space, located at Albany and Greenwich streets, is open seven days a week from 8 am until dusk. The plaza includes park furniture and plantings as well as shuffleboard, cornhole and mini golf games. A new table tennis is free and available for visitors to use during the plaza’s open hours.
- Downtown Alliance
No photos because I was not there, but I had to share. I can’t wait to visit!
I am very happy to announce that I won a scholarship to Facebook’s Vets In Tech Hackathon to be held at their headquarters in a few weeks. Thank you to theInstitute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University and VWISE for this opportunity. The event will give me the opportunity to pitch, once again, but this time it will be the app that will be pitched. If my project is chosen, a team will be formed to create the app or at least a prototype. I am very excited and humbled at this opportunity and look forward to your feedback. Would you use an app to find the nearest pocket park and get some information about it?
Second, I put up my first Etsy.com store with notecards with images of some of the parks in my book. They have a watercolor filter on them and look really beautiful. I am selling them on a trial basis to see how they do, but I would appreciate it if you took a look and sent your friends. Just click on the images below.
Thank you to everyone who has been supporting this venture. I hope to make you proud!
The New York Public Library is moving outside! Well, a portion of it will be when they open their pop-up outdoor reading room, “The Library Inside Out: Read Everywhere.” NYPL President Tony Marx is inviting New Yorkers to take a break and read outside their Fifth Avenue branch from today through August 15th. According to the New York Observer, the library is including the social media campaign, #IReadEverywhere in order to celebrate the power of reading. Post a photo of yourself reading in your favorite NYC places using #IReadEverywhere and you will be in the company of several authors who have already participated.
I would love to see my NYC readers and supporters taking advantage of this program by posting photos of yourselves reading in one of my ... wait for it ... pocket parks! Why not? That’s what many of you do when you’re in NYC parks on your own. I know I love nothing more than a beautiful day in one of these parks, a good book and a coffee or my lunch from a nearby deli.
Enjoy the fleeting summer weather. I look forward to seeing your Twitter posts.
Help me New York!
In honor of National Parks and Recreation Month, during the month of July 2014 I will be running a ‘thing.’ It’s not a contest and you don’t win anything except some traffic and a thank you from the bottom of my heart, so I’m calling it a ‘thing.’ It will still be fun. Here’s what you need to do:
Take a picture of yourself holding my book in one of the NYC pocket parks mentioned in my book, BEST Pocket Parks of NYC – in paperback or on your Kindle – and send it to me at rosie@PocketParksNYC.com. Remember to give your permission for me to post it on my site and tell me which park it is, then tweet about it using either @pocketparksnyc or #pocketparksnyc as well as #JulyOutIsIn. (You need to tweet both hashtags. Posting it on Facebook if you don’t tweet is fine, too.) Send me a copy of the tweet at rosie@PocketParksNYC.com and I will post your photo on my website and link back to your website, Facebook page or Twitter, so let me know which one you want. It’s a great way for you to get traffic/likes/whatever and for me to spread the word about the greatest book ever written about pocket parks in New York City!
1. Take a photo holding my book in a pocket park found in my book, BEST Pocket Parks of NYC
2. Tweet about it and include either @pocketparksnyc or #pocketparksnyc AND #JulyOutIsIn
3. Give me your permission to use your image
4. Tell me where to link back - Twitter, Facebook or your url
That’s it! We link to each other, people hear about my book and everybody’s happy.
Happy National Parks and Recreation Month!
I am very excited to announce the the New York Public Library has added me to their catalogue! I hope this means they will let me read at the libraries especially the Chatham Library. It is the library branch in Chinatown near the Kim Lau Gate. Keep an eye out for more activity from Pocket Parks Publishing!
Tiny oases of greenery in the concrete jungle are celebrated in this sprightly guidebook, the first of a planned series.
Recalling her salad days as an actress searching for that most precious of New York commodities—a place where you can sit down without paying—novelist O’Brien (First Saturday, 2012, etc.) offers this compendium of 56 “privately owned public spaces” and city parks in Manhattan, from Midtown on south. It doesn’t take much to make a park in those environs: Take a vacant lot or a recess bordering a sidewalk, add a few planters with shrubs, some chairs and furniture—you’ve got Gotham’s answer to Yellowstone. Some of these are little more than places to rest one’s feet during a shopping binge after grabbing a bite from a sidewalk vendor, but many manage to conjure a sheltering, distinctive space from cramped dimensions. O’Brien seeks out those that feature verdant foliage and clever landscaping, sculpture and artworks that add visual interest, dramatic views of the cityscape, a glimmer of a reflecting pool or a waterfall to mask the roar of city noise.
Read more at Kirkus Reviews.
Manhattan Plaza Park is a shady pocket park on 43rd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues in New York City. Its wooden benches and comfortable seating ledges make it a nice place to stop on a warm day. Built in 1977, this pocket park was originally going to be luxury apartments until the developer went bankrupt. Thanks to the work of Reverend Rodney Kirk, an Episcopal minister, the building became a residence for those who needed help caring for themselves during the AIDS crisis, but now runs as a retirement residence for the performing arts community.
This building must be a pretty good place to live because it has a six-year waiting list due to its income scale-based rent plan.
For more information on this and any of the other pocket parks in New York City, order your copy of BEST Pocket Parks of NYC by clicking on the photo or visiting Amazon.com. Thank you!