The Elevated Acre at 55 Water Street is another oasis in New York and one of the Financial District’s best kept secrets. When you get to the top of the stairs (or escalator), you are treated to a broad carpet of lawn, seating and an expansive view of the shore of Brooklyn. Visitors to yelp.com have mentioned free popcorn, but they were not serving it when I was there, so I can’t vouch for that. All I can say is the view of the Brooklyn Bridge and the East River is amazing, and the lawn is a lovely place to kick back and relax on a sunny day or during their summer movie nights.
Visit my friends at Untapped Cities for more history behind The Elevated Acre and Mario Burger International Photography for some great photos of NYC.
No, this is NOT an April Fool's prank! The Kindle ebook version of BEST Pocket Parks of NYC is available for FREE today on Amazon.com. Help boost those rankings by downloading your Kindle copy today. Here's how it goes:
1. Download your FREE Kindle copy of BEST Pocket Parks of NYC
through midnight Pacific time tonight,
2. Leave a review on Amazon.com (hopefully a glowing review),
3. Tell all of your friends who may visit New York City about
BEST Pocket Parks of NYC.
I love this space. A friend introduced me to it long ago when I first worked in New York City. It’s across the street from Grand Central Terminal at 120 Park Avenue on the southwest corner. In fact, you can see one of GCT's ornate windows in this shot. Despite how massive it is, it is rather quiet with people stopping to read or drink their coffee at tables scattered on the 42nd Street side and its built-in benches. The Whitney Museum of American Art keeps it fresh with pieces from its permanent collection rotated through on a regular basis.
The next stop was nearby Chatham Square. Kimlau Memorial Arch was erected in 1962 to honor LT Benjamin Ralph Kimlau, a World War II hero of Chinese decent, but the square, Chatham Square, has been there forever and previously hosted the site of the Second and Third Avenue Elevated Lines before their demolition in the mid-20th century. It is a short distance from there to Columbus Park. Though it isn’t a pocket park, I had to take my son there to enjoy the Asian musicians, impromptu singers and Mahjong games. It was a hive of activity as we stopped to listen and took a few pictures of our new-found obsession: Bubble Tea.
The schlepp to Bennett Park about ten blocks away was worth my son’s reaction to the Helix, a sculpture by Rudolph de Harak erected in 1969. It is a series of one-inch stainless steel strips fashioned into a helix that fascinated my future engineer. This was where I discovered what a wonderful photographer he is. I handed over the camera and he became my official photographer for the rest of the day.
New York City is a vibrant culture populated by pocket parks. It is a guide I was privileged to write and an experience I was privileged to share with my son if only for one day.
Thank you to Seeking Sanctuary at world's End blog for the lovely post about the book.
When I was a young actress in New York City, I frequently ducked into a pocket park in between work or auditions. I have always loved the concept of public space, little more than the space between buildings sometimes, with seating, greenery and the occasional waterfall or art installation. It took me three years of research and site visits to find, photograph and catalogue the pocket parks and public spaces that would be included in my guide, BEST Pocket Parks of NYC. On one of my site visits, I took my then 12-year-old son with me. It was an excellent decision that led to a day of discovery.
We headed into Manhattan on Metro North. Our first stop was actually an indoor pocket park located directly across the street from Grand Central Terminal. In fact, the Philip Morris Atrium was the first pocket park I ever visited when a friend took me there during my first weeks in the city. I was gratified to see that my son was as in awe as I was many years ago. We entered on the Park Avenue side right past 42nd Street where you get the best view of the space from the top of the stairs. He loved the built-in granite seating and four stories of glass on two sides, and thought the sculptures and art were interesting. They, in fact, are rotated in from the Whitney Museum’s permanent collection.
Next, we took the subway to Chinatown to grab an early lunch before the crowds. Jing Fong Restaurant at 20 Elizabeth Street is a favorite restaurant of my family. It’s a large banquet room at the top of an escalator and serves the best dumplings. Our entire family has stuffed ourselves there for under $35. The servers come around with steam carts from which you pick your favorites. We don’t always know what we’re eating, but we choose and take our chances and it is always delicious.
Next I'll take you downtown into Chinatown and the Wall Street area.
Thank you to On The Set of New York for the interview of Rosemary O'Brien. Read it by clicking the image to the left.
On the Set of New York (otsoNY) is a website purely dedicated to showcasing movies that have been filmed in the state of New York. otsoNY is a non-profit making website.
After finding a post yet again focusing on an image of Paley Park, this time from a Canadian publication, I have to speak my piece. There are many more pocket parks than Paley Park. Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against Paley Park, it’s just that it seems to be the only park that gets showcased when someone writes about these little green gems in the middle of the city.
Rev. Linnette C. Williamson Memorial Park was the first pocket park to be created in 1965 under the leadership of Whitney North Seymour, Jr. A boom of pocket park creation followed in the coming years including the creation of Paley Park designed by Zion & Breen and opened May 1967. Perhaps Paley is mentioned so often because it exemplifies what a pocket park should be in the eyes of the creators of what are actually known as ‘vest-pocket parks.’ It is easily seen by those passing by on the street, yet separate and welcoming. It has comfortable and movable seating, foliage and amenities such as a waterfall that masks the noise of the city creating a peaceful atmosphere.
Yes, I love Paley Park, too, but I also love Worldwide Plaza at 825 Eighth Avenue, One East River Place at 525 East. 72nd Street, Elevated Acre at 55 Water Street and 1211 Avenue of the Americas (otherwise known as Sixth Avenue).
These are only four of the best public spaces in my book. Of the 530+ Privately Owned Public Space (POPS) on the books in NYC, only about 225 were still used as intended with seating, foliage, etc. My guide has 56 of the BEST Pocket Parks of NYC, hence the title. BEST means it has seating and other amenities that make it a comfortable place to ‘take a load off’ in the middle of a busy day in Manhattan.
If you feel I missed a site, it may turn up in a future revision, but I would love to hear about your favorites in the comment section.
So visit Paley Park if you must, and I definitely encourage a visit, but make sure you head about two doors to the East and see a piece of the Berlin Wall at the tiny Continental Illinois Building’s pocket park.
These pocket parks really are amazing.
Everyone in the greater New York area be on the look out for this sweet little boy Avante Oquendo. He walked out of his school in Queens on October 4th and has not been seen since. He is 13 years old, he is Autistic. He is NON-verbal he cannot speak, however he is very intelligent and is familiar with the subway system. If you see anyone resembling Avante please call 201-921-7977 and contact his brother @kingdetrick ASAP! @kingdetrick is gathering search parties, and hiring a private investigator to help trace Avante’s steps. Any help is much appreciated. Email Avante’s brother for updates and info on Avonte. email@example.com and Visit gofundme.com/4o939c to help fund transportation costs for volunteers and P.I.
NOTE FROM ROSEMARY: I cannot imagine the horror his parents are going through right now. Please keep your eyes open for this boy and report it immediately if you see him.
PLEASE REPOST AND BLAST THIS ANYWHERE YOU CAN.
AT&T and Goal Zero have rolled out solar charging stations throughout New York City. Units have been installed in Union Square in Manhattan, among other locations, with more to come this summer.
My charge always gets too low for my comfort when I visit the City for site visits. This will give me as good a reason as any to sit in one of my beloved parks to charge my phone (not that I really need a reason).
Does anyone know where this one is located? It looks as if it's by the Intrepid and the cruise ship piers. If you know, please leave the location in the comments below.
409 E. 59th St.
I am always amazed at how much New Yorkers care about their city, at least most of the time. Those who have the means often try to contribute to making this place beautiful. The Evangeline Blashfield Fountain is one of these instances. Dedicated in May 1919 in honor of a patron of public space in New York City, this fountain was built to provide water for the vendors at the open-air market that originally stood on the site. In 2002, various patrons and economic agencies combined to restore it to its original beauty.
It sits at the end of the plaza attached to Guastavino’s, a banquet hall that is home to weddings, corporate events and other lush events. When the hall is not engaged, the plaza is open to the public. You must be warned that it is rather loud with its location directly below the 59th Street Bridge. Even so, it is worth a trip to visit this magnificent testimony to a benevolent person and the magnificent fountain created in her honor.