Ohhhhhh – Look at that! I cannot tell you how many times I uttered those words, and Le Flaneur listened patiently, turned and followed my pointing fingers at heucheras, sailboats, meat packing establishments, roof top restaurants and etc., etc., etc.
We took the train into the city and set off to explore an array of Parks. We began at Battery Park, South Ferry, where people can get ferries to Staten Island, or Ellis Island or the Statue of Liberty. This area has all been refurbished since we left New York in 1979. The plantings were big and varied, with spring bloomers, foliage in every shade of green and red, ferns, grasses, and shrubs. The weather was mild, although rain threatened all day, and people were enjoying the promenades along the Hudson River.
Guide books are available with information about plantings. For the website click here.
School children were enjoying Wagner Park, the first of the Parks for Battery Park City. Plantings for this Park were designed by Lynden B. Miller who I heard speak about her book, Parks, Plants and People: Beautifying the Urban Landscape. She was the inspiration for this tour. We saw our first roses in bloom here.
These gardens between the Hudson River and the building of Battery Park City look right down at the tidal river. With its tides and moods the river becomes an amazing water feature.
We had lunch at the South West Restaurant. We watched the boats on the river, the joggers, bicyclists, moms with strollers, and workers taking their lunch hour picnics.
I expected a lavish conservatory to be inside the Wintergarden, but the large skylit lobby had only eight very tall palm trees – and a wonderful photography exhibit of the faces of our Elders, Clint Eastwood, Bishop Tutu, Vanessa Redgrave, Madeline Albright and many others.
We set off to find The Highline and saw that parks aren’t the only place to see magnificent plants. These wisteria are amazing.
We walked uptown and over to 14th Street and ascended to the new High Line Gardens built on the old elevated freight train tracks. We walked along up to West 23rd Street. The High Line is still being built and planted and will continue up to 34th Street.
The beauty of the Battery Park City Gardens was an unexpected pleasure. They were so beautiful and were being enjoyed by so many people, even on this less than lovely day. But Bryant Park, the park behind the 42nd St. Public Library, was the highlight of the day. The park was restored and renovated in 1986 and it is a treasure. Seating, drinks, and so much more.
A section of the park was designated as The Reading Room with a number of bookshelves filled with books and audio books, to be read and returned right there. If you aren’t reading those books you can’t sit in this area of the park.
Actually, I guess you were allowed to sit here, if you had read the books. A lively book club meeting was being held here. Nearby were people playing chess and one gentleman was offering chess lessons. This park is named for one of our great American poets, William Cullen Bryant. A statue of this poet who was born in Cummington, Mass, not far from us, watches over the gatherings in the park. I am sure he will be happy to know that tomorrow we will be celebrating Emily Dickinson at the New York Botanical Garden.
This Post Has 9 Comments
Thanks for this tour of New York, Pat. This is a beautiful side of the Big Apple we don’t usually see in the guidebooks. I love the idea of the Reading Room in the park! What a wonderful time you must be having! Looking forward to reading about your celebration of Emily.
Pat, I really enjoyed your well-illustrated tour!
Rose – I loved the Reading Room! Warmed the heart of this librarian.
Jan – It could have been more heavily illustrated. I took 155 photos – and most of them were usable.
Great pix, Ms. Pat, but your friend is going to have to change his name. This is way too much energetic, focused walking for a flaneur.
Ahhh, the hum and thrill of the city with its’ own tribute to green respites. Enjoy your trip.
Wow! This is a NYC you don’t see in movies, unless maybe Nora Ephron films. Thank you so much for the pictures. I doubt I’ll ever go so it was great fun seeing through your eyes.
NYC is lovely to visit. Thanks for your photos, but it is so beutiful here at home right now. My narcissis, ground flocks and other lovelies are out! Stock is coming too.
Tinky – Le Flaneur was not too exhausted to turn down 10,000 steps at the NYBG and shopping at Little Italy in the Bronx.
Layanee – It was stunning to see how much new green I saw in NYC.
Nan – this has been a great trip for me and I’m glad you got to share some of it.
Judith – It is beautiful at home. If it weren’t for the Emily Dickison exhibit I might not have gone at this time of the year. And I’ve only been gone 3 days. I’ve got to hurry home and plant the black raspberries that my husband said were delivered at 9 pm today!