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!
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!
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!
1886 Broadway in New York City is just East of Broadway on 63rd Street and just past the entrance to Lincoln Plaza Cinema on Broadway between 62nd and 63rd. It is a large space that when looked at from above, seems to be enveloped in a hug by the building that owns it. Filled with lots of foliage and a waterfall in the center, there is seating scattered throughout the space, though not a ton. Most lunchtime visitors find a spot on the wide ledge by the street. Even near the street, the sound of the waterfall in this pocket park masks much of the city noise. Someone once said it almost looks as a if a little corner of Central Park (despite the waterfall) has jumped over a few buildings and landed near Lincoln Center.
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.
1166 Avenue of the Americas passes between 45th & 46th Streets. The neighborhood known as Little Brazil flanks it on the 46th Street side between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. It is noted by a small sign on Fifth and 46th, but you would realize where you are even if you did not see the sign. Several of the businesses on 46th broadcast their Brazilian ties by decorating their storefronts with the Brazilian flag.
This park is always filled with people when I pass. It’s peaceful and one of those comfortable, well-planned parks with many levels. Both built-in benches and moveable tables and chairs are scattered throughout the space, and there are a number of plantings and trees throughout. On the 45th Street side, there is a sculpture that seems to be floating in the pool of the fountain. Throwback (1976-1979) is an abstract sculpture made from black aluminum and created by Tony Smith. The 46th Street side features a Memorial to the souls from March & McLennan who were lost on 9/11. The inscription can be found at http://memorial.mmc.com/