It’s hard to think of a time when parks were more essential to life as a New Yorker than right now. In these days of mandatory indoor time even my introspective soul is climbing the walls.
Walking some of the larger parks of New York City like Central Park or Hudson River Park
has always been my lifeline to creativity. Lately, parks are my tenuous link to sanity. Lucky for us New Yorkers, parks are everywhere and come in all sizes.
We lived near iconic Central Park for years and enjoyed the whole scene from the NYC Marathon to the Boathouse to the Zoo, to horse shows, concerts and Shakespeare. Mac and I spent endless hours walking round the reservoir in every kind of weather. Personally all of that was fun and I wish I had a nickel for every time a tourist asked me where the Balto statue was (it’s near the East Drive off 65th Street) but I loved the rare quiet times even more— like after a soaking downpour, in the midst of a blizzard or walking my dog early in the morning.
I love majestic Central Park the way I imagine a mother loves a child who becomes famous. I love her for herself, in every season for who she’s always been: a joy that belongs to me and the rest of the world.
Washington Square Park was the park of my college years at NYU.
I ask you: is there any more perfect place to be eighteen? No. The answer is no. It’s safe to say I loved everything about that park from the enveloping hippie/grunge vibe and skateboarders to the Arc de Triomphe meets Founding Father style architecture of the arch with all the New York and U.S. history it celebrates.
Clement Clark Moore (who wrote The Night before Christmas) Park on Tenth Avenue and 21st Street was the park of my childhood. It’s across the avenue from our church and elementary school. Sometimes we brought our street games like stoop ball, manhunt, ringalario, jumprope, hopscotch, rollerskating, and skelzies from our block into that park.
In Covid times I appreciate every single lower west side park from cozy little corner park like Churchill Park aptly situated on Downing Street in the West Village
to Minetta Park with its state of the art yet classic playground.
Do you have a favorite NYC park?