Monday, November 18, 2019

NYC Parks

Winter weather has just begun and I'm already ready for warmer weather to come back. One of my favorite activities to do throughout the year is to go around to the different parks in the city to either hang out with my friends or just walk around and explore everything the parks have to offer. 

What I love about each of these parks is that even though they are all in the heart of the city or near the hustle and bustle of the city, you get the feeling that you are away from the city and enjoying nature. Below I've listed my favorite parks in the city that I have been too so far. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to explore Prospect Park yet, but definitely plan to on a rare warm Sunday or in the Spring Season, especially during cherry blossom season. 

Central Park 

Central Park is the best known park in the city. Sprawling for over 50 blocks in the middle of Manhattan, this park attracts hundred of thousands of travelers every day. What I love most about Central Park is that every time you go into it, you find something new. I suggest that if you have already been to Central Park through the Columbus Circle entrance on the west side or near the Plaza Hotel on the east side, go in from another entrance higher up on the city. You can find everything, from the famous Bow Bridge and Bethesda Fountain, to the Central Park Zoo, to a conservatory garden and finally in the middle of Central Park in the 80s you can find an off beaten trail find a natural waterfall. 

Washington Square Park 

Washington Square Park is well known for the arch that hovers over the main entrance to the park, but this West Village park offers so much more. Located by the NYU main campus, one can find many college students hanging out here studying between classes or New Yorkers on their lunch breaks. There's always artists in the area selling their work, musicians performing and even a guy who lets passerby's play create bubbles with the soap and wand. One of my favorite activities to do at this park is to eat lunch here during a busy work day and enjoy the first hit of warmer weather and enjoy the music. 

Fort Tyron Park

Fort Tyron Park is one of the lesser known parks in the city. Situated at the top of Manhattan, this park is the home to The Cloisters, a Metropolitan museum of Art building dedicated to medieval art. During my first year living in NYC, I actually lived a few blocks from the top of the park and so my roommate and I would frequent the park. There's so much to discover in the park from the different trails, to The Cloisters to the driveway overhang showing the remains of the Billings mansion that used to be where the park is now. I loved walking around this park after a snowfall because it honestly felt like a scene out of Narnia with how the snow fell around the trees and lampposts. 

Brooklyn Bridge Park 

This is another big traveler draw. Brooklyn Bridge Park expands between Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge. What I love about this park is that it's right next to the East River and has a mix of a grassy area and a more rocky area to hang out by the water. This park is also the home to the famous Jane's Carousel, which was designed to resemble how the first carousels were created. During the summer season, I love to come out here and sit on the rocks to look out to the Manhattan skyline. 

Battery Park 

Similar to For Tyron Park, this park is one of the lesser known parks of the city but at the bottom of Manhattan. Most people pass through this park to get to the Ferry to go to the Statue of Liberty, but few actually stop to explore the park. What's cool about this park is that it's convenient to many popular locations, such as World Trade Center and Wall Street. Inside this park, there is also a hidden glass carousel for people to enjoy. 

Bryant Park 

Bryant Park is the park of midtown Manhattan. Situated next to the main branch of the New York Public Library, this park is always bustling with people. This is the popular spot for New Yorkers to enjoy their lunch after picking up their food at Sweetgreen, Whole Foods or one of the street vendors. What I love about Bryant Park is that there is always activities going on there. During the summer they do concert series during the lunch hour, including Broadway in Bryant Park, where Broadway shows get a chance to perform a few numbers from their shows to passerby's and the ever popular Winter Village during the winter season complete with an ice skating rink. This is actually my preference for going ice skating because it is free admission, one only needs to pay for the skates and to rent a locker for their belongings. 

There are still many parks to explore around the city and I cannot wait to start finding them when the spring season begins. What are your favorite parks to hang out at in the city? 

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