A Guide to the New York City’s Parks...
BY SARAH BROCKETT
NYC INDEPENDENT MEDIA CENTER
In a city of 8 million people, New York’s
26,000 acres of parks may be well worth
some investigation as the summer heats
up. The following parks, many of which
are off the beaten path, not only offer a bit
of breathing room, but they might even
drown out the noise of the city for a
Pelham Bay Park
6 train to Pelham Bay Park
This is the city’s largest park, with over
2000 acres of all kind of terrain, includ-
ing forests, fields, and Orchard Beach
along the Long Island Sound. The park is
full of recreational facilities and features
the 1836 Bartow-Pell Mansion and its
Van Cordtlandt Park
1,9 to 242nd St.
New York’s third largest park also offers a
wide range of outdoor activities, from
running trails to bird watching to histori-
cal house tours. Look for the carrot sign
across from the entrance and try some
tasty local carrot cake.
Sunset Park Greenacre Park Astoria Park
Joyce Kilmer Park 41st-44th Streets, 5-7th Avenues East 51st Street between 2nd and 3rd East River at 21st Street, Hoyt Avenue,
Grand Concourse and Walton Ave. B,M,N,R to 36th St. Aves. and Ditmars Blvd., Queens
4, D, B trains to 161st St. This park also houses a giant neighborhood 6 to 51st St. N to Astoria/Ditmars
Recently reconstructed, this park bears the pool which is open to the public. These This is not your average vest pocket park. Aside from the usual recreational facili-
name of the poet who wrote “Trees,” the grand but imposing pools, which could Greenacre features a two-story waterfall and ties, the park boasts bocce grounds, a mix
nature-friendly poem that Parks hold as many as 5,000 swimmers, were one babbling brook in addition to some green. of art, and yet another of Moses’ pools. It
Commissioner Stern reads at every dedica- of the many New Deal contributions to the will host the East River Festival on July
tion. The park’s old fountain once city by Robert Moses, Parks Commissioner Inwood Hill Park 14th.
belonged to City Hall Park and was recent- for nearly 30 years until 1960. 207th Street and Seaman Ave.
ly given back. Joyce Kilmer Park received A, 1, 9 to 207th Street Flushing Meadows Corona Park
City Hall Park’s newer fountain in Fort Greene Park This park boasts Manhattan’s largest Grand Central Parkway
exchange, only now it holds plants instead. Navy Street, DeKalb and Myrtle Aves. woodlands. These 196 acres not only con- 7 to 111th St. or Shea Stadium
D,M,N,Q,R to DeKalb Ave. tain the usual nature trails, but also a Once serving as an international mecca
Crotona Park Established in 1847, Fort Greene Park series of nooks and crannies, called the during the 1939 and 1965 World’s Fairs,
Fulton Ave., Crotona Park N, S, E owes its existence to the efforts of park Indian caves, which are perfect for this enormous park is still thriving with a
2, 5 to 174th Street activists such as Walt Whitman. Today its exploring. A few of the trickier paths will rainbow of nationalities. This summer, for
Named for an ancient Greek colony greenery delicately balances the tension lead you onto narrow ledges jutting over example, it will host Latin, Peruvian,
famed for its athletes (and for the city between historic brownstones to the east the Hudson. Colombian, Ecuadorian, Chinese, and
aqueduct), Crotona Park is an athletic and public housing to the north. Korean festivals.
hub. It is not just for sports enthusiasts, Saint Luke’s Garden
however; nature lovers can also visit the MANHATTAN Hudson Street between Barrow and Grove Rainey Park
relatively new nature center at the shore 1, 9 to Sheridan Square 34th Avenue and Vernon Boulevard
of Indian Lake. Fort Tryon Like something out of The Secret Garden, N to 36 Ave or BQ Queensbridge
West 192nd Street to Dyckman; Riverside this quiet little school yard offers the pub- This park takes its name from William
BROOKLYN to Broadway
A to 190th St.
lic a centuries-old sense of solitude. Rainey, known as the “Father of
Queensboro Bridge.” After 25 years of
Prospect Park Along the Hudson, this park houses John Marcus Garvey Park campaigning and planning, the bridge
Eastern Parkway at Flatbush D. Rockefeller’s prize, the Cloisters (the 120-124th Sts. and 5th Ave. was finally built a few miles south of
2,3 to Grand Army Plaza, F to 15th St., medieval extension of the Metropolitan 4,5,6 or 2,3 to 125th St. Rainey’s proposed site, where this pretty
SUMMER 2001 • INDY PENDENT • PAGE 10
D,Q to Prospect Park Museum of Art), which is composed of Harlem’s oasis, this park has its own park with its promenade, oaks, and calley
Aside from the Brooklyn Public Library architectural elements from three mountain, as well as the usual recreation- pear trees now lies.
and the Brooklyn Museum of Art, see the European monasteries. Rockefeller even al facilities. It also houses a stately 1855
drum circle on the eastern side of the bought the property across the Hudson to cast iron water tower, a relic left over
park. Locals enjoy weekend afternoons preserve the pristine view from the from the bygone era of wooden houses. ROOSEVELT ISLAND
with their drums and a small market of Cloisters and the park. The park is currently receiving a major
African and Caribbean food and trinkets. facelift. Lighthouse Park
Conservatory Garden Take the cable car over from Manhattan at
Nassau, Bayard, Leonard, and N. 12th
105th Street and 5th Ave.
6 to 103rd St.
QUEENS 59th Street and 3rd Avenue and head to
the northern tip of the island for a seclud-
L to Bedford, G to Nassau Just inside Central Park, this elegant gar- Socrates Sculpture Park ed spot, great views, and a cool river
The park offers a fresh fruit and vegetable den is a haven for less sports-minded park 31-29 Vernon Blvd.; Long Island City breeze.
market on Saturdays. Every year the local goers. It is home to a variety of plants and N to Broadway
“Greenpoint Swim Team” comes out to flowers that have been laid out in the Right near the East River, this park offers
demand the restoration of the abandoned Victorian garden style. Manhattan views, quiet concerts, and an
olympic-sized pool on the north side. array of works by local artists.