In New York, the largest city in the United States, more than eight million people live between the boroughs of the Bronx in the north and Staten Island in the southwest. Few New Yorkers are in the enviable position of owning a handsome single-family home in a desirable neighborhood or an extremely expensive home with a view of Central Park.
New York - on the road in the hip district of Tribeca
Anyone who wants to see greenery in the giant city would do well to visit a park. Average Joe, America's average citizen, chooses from dozens of parks and park-like amenities in New York City's five boroughs. The Department of Parks & Recreation reports https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks New York's public parks and many of the activities and attractions they offer. The recommendations and advice are also aimed at visitors to the “Big Appl
Cruise metropolis New York City
In recent years we have regularly visited New York as part of cruises. We used every free hour to discover parts of Manhattan for ourselves.
Cruises to and from New York depart or terminate at Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, Manhattan Cruise Terminal or across the Hudson River in upstate New Jersey Cape Liberty/Bayonne. No matter where the journey begins or ends, there is usually a time buffer that can be used for excursions. Among the many attractions of this incredible city, we recommend visiting one of the five Manhattan parks featured below. The parks could not be more different.
Cape Liberty/Bayonne Cruise Terminal
Like the bow of a ship, the Manhattan Peninsula juts out into the Hudson and East Rivers. The south of the peninsula was first occupied by Dutch settlers when they conquered the country in 1623. Times were uncertain, it seemed appropriate for the colonists to secure their position with a few cannons. From this first line of defense, Castle Clinton, the “Battery”, developed over the course of almost 200 years.
In 1855, landfills expanded the Battery site, and before Ellis Island was established as the United States' immigration center, 8,5 million people passed through the Battery area's immigration procedures. Later, in 1896, a public aquarium was established at the Battery for the convenience of New Yorkers.
A demolition of the plant, which was considered at the beginning of the 1940s, was prevented. To protect the site once and for all, the United States Congress declared it a National Monument in 1946. Today the park is heavily frequented, as the ferries to the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island or Bayonne/New Jersey depart from there. More than six million people visit the park every year.
Battery Park - Korean War Veterans Memorial
It is also rich in monuments. Here is just a small selection: American Merchant Mariners Memorial, East West Memorial, New York Korean War Veterans Memorial, The Immigrants or The Sphere. The latter commemorates the more than three thousand deaths in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
Located between 3,9th and 5th Avenues, the manageable 6-acre park features a large central lawn, attractive kiosks, and a children's carousel.
It borders 40th Street to the south and 42nd Street to the north. Times Square and the theater district are just a few steps away. The New York Public Library completes the park on 5th Avenue.
During the summer, the park administration initiates a variety of events; an ice rink is set up in winter. A large Christmas tree and a Christmas market complete the winter fairy tale.
The world-famous, three-and-a-half square kilometer park is bounded by 5th Avenue to the east and Central Park West to the west. To the north, the park ends at 110th Street; to the south on 59th Street. The rectangular park is four kilometers long; its width is 860 meters. It was created in 1859 as the first public park in the USA. More than 25 million people visit Central Park every year.
If you like, you can spend the whole day in the spacious landscape park without feeling bored. The offers for sporty people are diverse. Less active people enjoy the varied landscape with 80 hectares of high forest, 150 hectares of water areas, 50 fountains, many monuments and sculptures or the zoo. The area has 36 bridges and several bodies of water with names such as Harlem Meer, The Lake or The Pond. The largest body of water was named after Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
The Bethesda Fountain and Bethesda Terrace on the southern edge of The Lake are striking. Within sight of both properties, The Loeb Boathouse connects to the lake with a restaurant and terrace. The Central Park Dairy in the south of the park was originally planned as a dairy with the aim of distributing milk to children. Today the facility is used as a visitor and information center.
Spectacular buildings tower over the park landscape on its west side. These include the American Museum of National History, the Essex House, the San Remo and The Dakota.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art rises in the park area on the east side.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Since 1980, Central Park has been run by a non-profit organization. She takes care of the continuous raising of donations, the maintenance of the park, repairing damage, guided tours etc. The annual double-digit million budget of the Central Park is covered to 85 percent by donations.
And what is right for the people also pleases the migratory birds. The many bird species living in the park are joined by migratory birds twice a year, which rest in the park when the birds are migrating.
City Hall Park
Another quiet zone is the eight-acre City Hall Park, located in the bustling Manhattan Down-Town District. The many employees of the surrounding public administrations relax there. Bridal couples are also drawn to the park when they visit the neighboring City Hall for their wedding formalities. City Hall, built between 1803 and 1812, is the seat of the city council and the official residence of the mayor. The historic building counts, as does the Tweed Courthouse zu New York attractions. Across from the courthouse is the Surrogate Court. A short distance away is the colossal Manhattan Municipal Building. The building was designed with the idea of creating a building worthy of the metropolis of New York.
The park area is framed by Broadway, Chambers Street and Park Row. There are a dozen monuments in the park and there is an impressive fountain at the southwest corner of the park. Not far from City Hall Park, the Brooklyn Bridge crosses into the borough of Brooklyn.
The High Line
A special kind of park is the High Line, which is about 2.300 meters long and runs from Gansevoort Street to 34th Street in western Manhattan. First it follows Washington Street and later 10th Avenue. It follows the former route of a 20-kilometer freight rail line that originally served the historic Meatpacking District. To avoid accidents and personal injury, the tracks ran several meters above the streets below. After the freight railway was forced to cease operations in the 1960s due to inefficiency, most of the track systems were dismantled. Only the area developed today by the High Line remained intact.
One of the access to the Highline
The "Friends of the High Line", an organization also committed to the common good, developed the idea of using the remaining section as a resort. The track is owned by the City of New York; the Friends of the High Line are responsible for the entertainment and raising more than 90 percent of the necessary maintenance expenses. In September 2014, the third and last section of the route was inaugurated. The High Line is accessible at eleven points. Five of the entrances are equipped with lifts so that people with restricted mobility can also use the route. A ramp provides access to the facility at 34th St, the northern entry and exit point of the route. The narrow, former railway line consists of plant beds, sun loungers, shaded areas and parts of the old railway tracks.
Which park do we choose?
We know each of the presented parks from our own experience. We do not like to make a recommendation for a single park because of their diversity. If you only have a few hours, we recommend visiting Central Park first, walking north to south. Convenient access is the 96th Street subway station.
We leave Central Park at the southern end on 5th Avenue. We follow this to Bryant Park. Along the way we pass - to name just a few - such memorable institutions as the Plaza Hotel (be sure to check out the public basement area!), Tiffany, Trump Tower, the Peninsula Hotel, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Rockefeller Center and Saks Fifth Avenue .
Arriving at Bryant Park, we take the subway in the direction of Brooklyn to 23rd Street. From there we head west over to the High Line. We follow it to the two ends of the facility, either south to Gansevoort Street or north to 34th Street. So we get to know three of the parks presented and also enjoy the atmosphere of the world-famous 5th Avenue. Have fun!
Update March 2023