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Thread: New York's Hidden Parks

  1. #16
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Exploring the Harlem River's Little-Known Swindler Cove Park

    (click photos to enlarge)


    [Swindler Cove Park, hidden on the Harlem River, was opened in 2003. All photos by Nathan Kensinger.]

    Swindler Cove Park is one of Manhattan's least known yet most beautiful parks. Opened in 2003, the park occupies a five acre patch of land along the Harlem River that was once used as a communal dumping ground. Before construction on the park could begin, workers reportedly "removed tons of garbage, rusted-out cars, sunken boats and construction debris" from the waterfront. Today, the park houses a series of ponds and waterfalls, with meandering footpaths leading to birdhouses, a communal garden, and one of Manhattan's only beaches. Swindler Cove Park was created by a unique partnership between New York Restoration Project (NYRP), New York City's Department of Parks & Recreation, and the NY State Department of Transportation. The park is maintained by NYRP staff and volunteers.

    Swindler Cove Park's central pond flows down to a waterfall. Turtles, ducks and geese are common visitors:



    The park houses a community garden where students from a nearby elementary school grow vegetables:



    Their crops include beets, carrots, lettuce, and strawberries:



    The park includes birdhouses and habitats meant to lure wildlife back to the Harlem River:



    A metal footbridge crosses over the mouth of Swindler Cove, where the Harlem River meets the shore:



    A wild marsh rests on the inland side of the footbridge, surrounded by a dense stand of trees:



    One of Manhattan's only beaches is accessible via an unmarked dirt path in the park:



    The beach faces the Peter Jay Sharp Boathouse, which was opened one year after Swindler Cove Park:



    The boathouse is part of the park and is open to the community. It offers boating lessons to the neighborhood and houses boats for a variety of clubs and colleges.



    A series of placards throughout the park remind visitors that Swindler Cove used to be a local dump.



    Next door to the park, an abandoned property is an even better reminder of what Swindler Cove once looked like.



    The abandoned lot houses several empty boathouses and piers that are slowly collapsing into the Harlem River.


    Nathan Kensinger

    Swindler Cove Park [NYRP]
    Official Site: Nathan Kensinger Photography [kensinger.blogspot.com]

    http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2012/0..._cove_park.php

  2. #17
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Manhattan’s Privately Owned Public Spaces, A Photographic Investigation

    by Charles-Antoine Perrault


    E 53th St., between Park and Madison Avenues
    “Privately Owned Public Spaces (POPS), are an amenity provided and maintained by a developer for public use, in exchange for additional floor area.”
    - New York City Department of City Planning

    New York City zoning rules set in 1961 incentivized the creation of privately-owned public spaces. The resolution had its greatest effect in Midtown Manhattan where the economic spur was strongest for developers to include publicly accessible space in their lots in exchange for height bonuses on their towers. The added public spaces could take various forms, from open plazas to covered arcades.

    From a quantitative standpoint, this regulation has been very successful. More than 500 POPS have been created over the last 50 years, covering 82 acres throughout the city.

    However, as far the quality of these public spaces is concerned, achievements are way more questionable. While some POPS fulfill their original function, many are blamed for being either uninviting, inaccessible or not well maintained. A state of fact which is a direct byproduct of the POPS’ undemanding definition set in the zoning regulation, which lead developers to provide poorly designed public spaces in exchange for valuable added development rights. Zuccoti Park at Occupy Wall Street may be the posterchild of the anti-POPS movement, but midtown Manhattan is where POPS have their fullest expression. This is where the latest city initiative, 6 ˝ Avenue, seeks to link the disconnected POPS that dot the area.


    Paley Park, E 53rd St. , between Madison Avenue and 5th Avenue



    E 26th St., between 6th Avenue and Broadway



    W 53rd St., between 5th and 6th Avenue



    E 54th St., between 1st and 2nd Avenue



    48th St. and 1st Avenue



    E 48th St, between 2nd and 3rd Avenue



    57th St. and Lexington Avenue



    W 57th St., between 7th and 8th Avenue



    E 39th St., between 2nd and 3rd Avenue



    E 38th St.,between 1st and 2nd Avenue



    E 38th St.,between 1st and 2nd Avenue



    E 38th St.,between 1st and 2nd Avenue



    Phoenix Garden, E 40th St., between 2nd and 3rd Avenue



    E 41st St., between 2nd and 3rd Avenue

    http://newyork.untappedcities.com/20...investigation/

    Edit:

    Article is still there:

    http://untappedcities.com/?s=manhatt...&submit=Search
    Last edited by Merry; May 26th, 2013 at 06:45 AM.

  3. #18
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Some are gorgeous....


    Some are.....there.

  4. #19
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    POPS goes the Website

    APOPS & Municipal Art Society launch digital platform for improving New York's privately owned public spaces.

    by Branden Klayko


    A POPS at the IBM Building at 590 Madison Avenue. Courtesy APOPS

    Privately Owned Public Spaces (POPS) have lately leaped into the daily lexicon, thanks to promotion from an unexpected source: Occupy Wall Street. Today, New York City has around 525 POPS, created as a result of the city’s 1961 zoning resolution granting zoning concessions in return for public space. Yet despite their considerable number, many of these spaces remain shrouded in obscurity.

    “Occupy Wall Street did us a favor when they put the spotlight on Zuccotti Park,” said Jerold Kayden, founder of Advocates for Privately Owned Public Space (APOPS). “They reminded us that these spaces are there to be claimed.”


    The map on the APOPS@MAS website shows POPS across New York City. Courtesy APOPS

    On October 18, Kayden and the Municipal Art Society (MAS) launched a new mobile-friendly website—apops.mas.org—to engage and inform the public by making data, photos, and site plans of the parks available in an easy-to-use format. The information was drawn from a comprehensive study in 2000 of the city’s POPS and from Kayden’s subsequent book, Privately Owned Public Space: The New York City Experience.

    On the website, users can browse detailed information on each POPS location, learning about its amenities, history, and hours of access. “We’re in the process of really bringing the information up to date,” Kayden said. “In 2000 it was in perfect shape, with incredible information, including all of the legal obligations attached to each of these spaces.” Mobile users can also geo-locate themselves to find nearby POPS to explore.

    The public can participate in the project by ranking and commenting on POPS, making recommendations and announcements, posting photos, and reporting problems with the public spaces.

    Information submitted will appear online, but according to Kayden, future phases may involve more active communication among the public, property owners, and the city, especially in terms of reporting and correcting problems. “This isn’t a ‘gotcha’ thing, but it’s also not just allowing the owners to do whatever they want,” he said. “We plan to take these comments and forward them to the appropriate parties.

    “At the end of the day, we don’t’ care about digital, we care about physical public space,” Kayden continued. “We’re inviting the public to be our eyes and ears as a means to make these spaces more of an asset for everyone in the city. And to make people in other cities realize they can do the same thing.”

    http://www.archpaper.com/news/articles.asp?id=6312

  5. #20
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    The Odd POPS at 33 Maiden Lane

    by John Hill

    About five days a week I walk on John Street past the Privately Owned Public Space (POPS) at 33 Maiden Lane in Lower Manhattan, never venturing inside. The "two-level open-air covered pedestrian space," as Jerold Kayden calls it, is frankly an oddity, a fairly large space that is always dark and empty. Further, its dramatic barrel vault does not extend to John Street; instead a small rectangular portal gives a glimpse and access to both the pedestrian space and subway below.


    [All photographs by John Hill, unless noted otherwise.]

    But where else do the stairs and escalators beyond lead, besides the subway? And what's with the postmodern design? On Friday I decided to trek through the POPS and do a little research on it to finally get the story behind this oddity.



    Before heading into the space, lets walk around to the Maiden Lane side from the above views from John Street on the north. Below are two portals that provide access from Nassau Street on the west. The large column, rounded brick piers, and arched openings all fit into the theme of the building's design.



    Those three elements can also be found on the Maiden Lane side (below), which faces the Federal Reserve Bank. Actually, the 1924 building is the driving force for Philip Johnson and John Burgee's design of 33 Maiden Lane (aka 2 Federal Reserve Plaza), completed 60 years later. That inspiration can be seen in the arches, barrel vaults, rounded corners, and brick color, as well as the turrets that top the tower's corners and piers. That the Federal Reserve leased space in 33 Maiden Lane and then purchased the building outright last year cements the connection between the two structures.



    The design for the POPS can be seen as an inexpensive version of the ideas Johnson put into practice during his postmodern phase, especially the lobby of the AT&T (now Sony) Building and the lobby of 190 South LaSalle in Chicago, both completed around the same time as 33 Maiden Lane. Compared to other POPS in the city—be it covered pedestrian spaces, plazas, or some other type of space—the design is decent, if dated. But if the rhythm, texture, and scale of the space has merit, it disappears when amenities are considered; outside of connecting to the subway, making for a covered shortcut from Maiden to Nassau, and providing one newsstand, there's nothing going on here, hence it always being pretty empty.



    The end of the passageway near John Street (below) is the most boggling part of the design. Escalators from the south and steps from John Street on the north provide access to the Fulton Street Subway Station, but also to a checkerboard-tiled space flanked by doors on two sides.



    This space (below) looks like it serves a purpose, and it fact it did. As Jerold Kayden explains, "Years ago, this level also housed a satellite branch of uptown’s Whitney Museum of American Art." The Downtown Branch was designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects and was completed in 1987; a few years later they exhibited their "Domestic Arrangements" installation in a gallery of their own making.



    Entrance to the Whitney was through double doors (in the screenshot below, and just out of frame-right in the above photo) and down more steps to the gallery two levels below grade. The subterranean location was hardly ideal for the branch of an institution as respectable as the Whitney, but Williams and Tsien overcame this by adding a 20-foot-high pylon near the base of the escalator that was visible even from the vantage of the photo at the top of this post.


    [Screenshot from Billie Tsien lecture at SCI-Arc (44:17), November 15, 1989]

    Even in the lo-fi photo of this space above, it's clear that for a short time (until the 1992 closing of the Whitney, at least) the POPS provided an amenity, a destination on the lower level. Now (photo below) this level is barren, even more so than the space above.



    It's worth discussing a couple adjacent open spaces. If one ventures farther east on John Street, a very narrow—and equally boggling—space with astroturf at its rear can be glimpsed:


    The sign on the left in the above photo reads: "Open to the public dawn to dusk" and is accompanied by a tree logo that looks just like the official POPS logo. But this narrow space is not documented in Jerold Kayden's book or website, nor on the city's list of POPS, so what is it?



    The space belongs to the John Street United Methodist Church (left in photo above, right in photo below), the oldest Methodist congregation in North America (dating to 1766) and the third church on the site.



    The church is hemmed in by much taller buildings on three sides. Looking skyward in the below photo, we can see the church, 33 Maiden Lane, and the back of 59 Maiden Lane. This fact makes the narrow open spaces on both the east and west sides of the church particularly uninviting; the blank walls facing the spaces don't help either.



    Below are a couple photos of the space on the east side, about the same scale as the one on the west, but in place of the astroturf are some steps leading to a statue and seating area. It's clear from the paving, wall painting, light stanchions, and plantings that this space is more important to the church than the other. Nevertheless it's only marginally more inviting than the space next to 33 Maiden Lane.



    The spaces described above are three of four semi-public spaces on the block bounded by John Street, Nassau Street, Maiden Lane, and William Street. The fourth is at 59 Maiden Lane, which Kayden describes in his POPS book as "originally a barren plaza" that was "voluntarily upgraded by its owner in the late 1980s...the result is a substantial improvement." So there is some hope for the other three spaces on the block, given the right attention.



    http://archidose.blogspot.com.au/201...iden-lane.html

  6. #21
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    A truly horrible building from the outside, faux castle in bad brick. One of Johnson's major failures.

  7. #22
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    ^ It's whimsical .


    40 Secret Gardens, Parks And Green Spaces Hidden Across NYC

    by Hana R. Alberts



    Now that summer is really and truly upon us, we thought we'd explore some of the lesser-known green gems tucked away in far-flung corners of New York City. When everyone you know is spreading an old sheet out on a grassy knoll in Prospect Park or taking their cousin for a stroll along the High Line, a storehouse of under-the-radar spots becomes crucial. From unexpected oases in the atria of office buildings to 17th-century farmhouses that still keep piglets in a pen and crops a-growin', there's a destination for every stripe of flora- and fauna-lover in all five boroughs. Follow our map, and you'll be trading in that concrete jungle for a real one (well, almost) in no time.


    Narrows Botanical Garden
    7200-7398 Shore Rd., Brooklyn, NY 11209
    (718) 748-9848
    Website

    Located along the Belt Parkway, this Bay Ridge gem doesn't feel like it, with lots of flora and fauna (a turtle sanctuary, willow grove, butterfly garden, and rose bushes aplenty—to name a view) lined to the south by waterfront paths with views of the Verrazzano Bridge. [Source: New Yorkers For Parks]


    Sutton Place Park
    1 Sutton Pl S, New York, NY
    Website

    This secluded getaway by the United Nations is accessed by a stairway down to the water from Sutton Place, behind a row of townhouses. Expect great views of the Queensboro Birdge and a unique statue of a wild boar. [Source: New Yorkers For Parks]


    Queensway
    58-12, Queens, NY 11373
    Website

    Advocates want to turn this 3.5-mile stretch of elevated railroad tracks into Queens' version of the High Line. In the meantime, the most adventurous of park-goers can traipse around its rugged, overgrown flora and rusty industrial remains.


    Sakura Park
    500 Riverside Dr, New York, NY 10027
    Website

    Located by Grant's Tomb in Morningside Heights, during the springtime you can find a bunch of blooming cherry trees here (hence the name) along with a quaint gazebo. There are also nice views of Riverside Church. [Source: New Yorkers For Parks]


    Elevated Acre
    55 Water St, New York, NY 10004
    Website

    Take an escalator up to this acre-long plaza, lined with benches and foliage and boasting views of the Brooklyn Bridge. Home to outdoor movie screenings and office workers' lunch breaks, it's unassuming, attached to 55 Water Street.


    New York Chinese Scholar's Garden
    Staten Island, NY 10301
    Website

    Located within the Snug Harbor Harbor Cultural Center, this Asian oasis comes complete with moon gates, a koi pond, lots of rocky landscaped features, and picturesque pavilions.


    Joseph Rodman Drake Park
    Hunts Point Ave., Bronx, NY 10474
    Website

    Located in Hunt's Point, what's special about this slightly rougher park is that there's a cemetery right in the middle of it. Inside the wrought-iron gates, you can spot names from prominent Bronx families, which are now street names. It also served as a slave burial ground. [Source: New Yorkers For Parks and NYC Park Advocates]


    Seton Falls Park
    Bronx, NY
    Website

    This NYC Parks Department outpost near the last stop on the 5 train counts as its highlights some picturesque forest trails and a small waterfall. [Source: New Yorkers For Parks]


    Barretto Point Park
    Tiffany St, Bronx, NY 10474
    (212) 639-9675
    Website

    At his riverfront park, fishermen try their luck in the east river, while canoes and kayaks are available for rent. Add in an amphitheater for outdoor performances and a floating pool to boot, and that's summer fun in a nutshell. [Source: NYC Park Advocates]


    Canarsie Park
    Brooklyn, NY
    Website

    Recent renovations and an expansion have vastly improved this green lung. Beautiful old trees, a pond, a skate park, a cricket field—in parts (maybe not amid the boarders), you almost feel like you're upstate. [Source: NYC Park Advocates]


    Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum
    895 Shore Rd, Bronx, NY 10464
    (718) 885-1461
    Website

    This 19th-century manor house is a glimpse at the "country" life that once dominated the Bronx. Tour the mansion, or just take a walk around the lush, landscaped grounds to see another side of the city. This photo tour of the gardens should pique your interest.


    Tudor City Greens
    E 43rd, New York, NY 10017
    Website

    Like Tudor City itself, the Tudor City Greens sit above and astride 42nd Street, next to a pair of staircases that elevate visitors above street level. Here one can take in the terraced solitude in the shade of the trees and Gothic towers that surround you.


    Heather Garden
    Fort Tryon Park, New York, NY
    Website

    In 1935 the vaunted Olmsted brothers were tapped to design this three–acre park, one of the largest heath and heather gardens on the East Coast, located 100 feet above the Hudson River with views of the Palisades over in New Jersey. There are other flowers to be found here, too, from hydrangeas to irises.


    The Imani Garden
    91 Schenectady Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11213
    Website

    Home to the City Chicken Institute workshop (read: lots of clucking!), a beautiful weeping willow, planting beds and a goldfish pond. A chicken-keeping workshop is open to the public and it takes place every second Thursday. Check the NYRP's website for more details.


    Greenacre Park
    217 E 51st St, New York, NY 10022
    Website

    It's the 25-foot waterfall that draws people into this midtown pocket park created in 1971. Greenacre Park serves as a living room to neighborhood residents and a lunch spot for workers from the many midtown towers that crowd around it.


    Garden at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum
    417 E 61st St, New York, NY 10065
    (212) 838-6878
    Website

    The Mount Vernon Hotel was once a country getaway resort for New Yorkers who lived miles to the south seeking a retreat "outside" of the city. New Yorkers today can seek seek refuge in the past in the museum's garden, where there are occasional parties and performances. There is a small museum entrance fee to enter the garden.


    Creative Little Garden
    530 E 6th St., New York, NY 10009
    Website

    Since 1978, this oasis has been considered a backyard by East Village residents. Gardeners don't tend individual plots, but rather work together to landscape the whole park, making it a welcome getaway for anyone from laptop-toters to horticulture buffs.


    Staten Island Greenbelt
    Staten Island, NY 10306
    Website

    Basically the Adirondacks of the five boroughs, this 2,800-acre expanse is home to mature forests, wetlands, meadows, wildlife, and over 35-miles of marked hiking trails.


    6BC Botanical Community Garden
    601 E 6th St., New York, NY 10009
    Website

    Yet another one of the East Village's carefully maintained and lovingly cared for community spaces, and a place that's making strides with both solar power and composting projects.

    More secret gardens, parks and green spaces (Curbed)

  8. #23
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merry View Post

    It's whimsical
    More like Woes-mical

  9. #24
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    .....
    Because the site in lower Manhattan was irregular, Johnson/Burgee used projecting cylindrical bays to minimize the impact of the building's nonorthogonal geometry and animate its surfaces.
    The Architecture of Philip Johnson

  10. #25
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    The 8 Best Pocket Parks In Manhattan

    by Rebecca Fishbein

    New Yorkers are lucky enough to have rambling green naturescapes like Central and Prospect Parks, but the small, public-accessible pocket parks that dot the city are an oft-overlooked joy, a temporary respite from the hustle and bustle of the urban artery. For this guide, we're confining our list to Manhattan, where slivers of semi-green space clocking in at 5,000 square meters or so can be found wedged between office buildings in Midtown and beyond.


    Courtesy Yo Yeo's flickr

    PALEY PARK: This intimate, 1/10 acre space has long been celebrated one of, if not the, city's best pocket parks since it was funded and developed by former CBS chairman William Paley in 1967. Nearly a half-century later, Paley Park's still a lovely spot, with scattered small tables and chairs, ample thin-trunked trees, potted plants and a spectacular 20-foot waterfall that drowns out all the Midtown din. Paley Park is also located just a few feet from the 53rd Street Plaza where remnants of the Berlin Wall once stood, though those have reportedly been removed for restoration.

    Paley Park is located at 3 East 53rd Street between 5th and Madison Aves in Midtown East.


    Via Yelp

    SEPTUAGESIMO UNO: It's easy to miss this minuscule strip of park, sandwiched between two brownstones and hidden behind an open gate on West 71st Street. But behind that gate lies 0.04 acres of lush greenery that line a romantic cobblestone path, shading a few small benches that serve as temporary relief for tired passersby. There's not much to Septuagesimo Uno (71, in Latin), and that's part of it's charm—it's a lovely, understated, unexpected green respite in an otherwise urban space, just like a pocket park should be.

    Septuagesimo Uno is located at West 71st Street between West End and Amsterdam Avenues on the Upper West Side.


    Courtesy Joseph Romano's flickr

    TUDOR CITY GREENS: Tudor City's two small parks sit on either side of East 42nd Street, boasting flourishing old trees, flowers, plants and other much-needed Midtown greenery. There's plenty of seating space here, and the park is decorated with elegant small touches—old-timey lampposts, vintage urns and the like—and though the park is privately owned, it's open to the public from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily. Bonus points for a killer view of the United Nations building which, while not perhaps the most beautiful building in the city, is still impressive in its own right.

    Tudor City Greens is located at 1 Tudor Plaza Place between 40th and 41st Streets in Midtown East (TudorCityGreens.org).


    Via Yelp

    ELEVATED ACRE: This appropriately-named 1 acre spot is a sort of downtown baby sister to the High Line in Chelsea, sitting on a 30-foot deck by the East River and boasting a massive lawn, an amphitheater, plenty of greenery, chic light sculptures and wooden benches. From 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., the public is invited to take in some quiet, sun and a stellar view of Brooklyn Heights across the way—the space can also be rented out for private events and weddings.

    Elevated Acre is located at 55 Water Street near Coenties Slip in the Financial District (212-963-7029).


    Courtesy Amy Stephenson's flickr

    GREENACRE PARK: Greenacre Park, built in 1971, is another one of Midtown's hidden gems. Which, considering it's only 60 feet by 120 feet, is particularly impressive. What this spot lacks in space it makes up for in design, sporting an exquisite 25-foot-tall waterfall (complete with a running stream!), ample seating, lovely greenery, an elegant stone sculpture wall and even a food vendor for passersby aching for a seat and a snack. What is a Second Avenue?

    Greenacre Park is located at 217 East 51st Street between 2nd and 3rd Aves in Midtown East (212-838-0528).


    Via Yelp

    CREATIVE LITTLE GARDEN: This lush East Village nook is part pocket park, part community garden, since it's maintained by volunteers from the neighborhood. And their work has paid off—the spot's well stocked with delightfully colorful flowers, trees and bushes, in addition to sweet little benches, potted plants, old-timey brick touches, sculptures, fountains, birdbaths, a waterfall and a birch-chip path. And if you yearn for chirping non-pigeon birds, this is your place: the Creative Little Garden is a National Wildlife Federation Habitat thanks to its hard work providing avian friends with happy little homes.

    Creative Little Garden is located at 530 East 6th Street between Avenues A and B in the East Village (creativelittlegarden.com).


    Courtesy Wally Gobetz's flickr

    SUTTON PLACE PARK AT 57TH STREET: Okay, we're cheating a little here. Sutton Place Park's technically too big to count in this list, but it turns out that strip of waterfront made famous in Manhattan is actually comprised of five separate vest-pocket parks, so for the sake of this list, we'll focus on the East 57th Street portion. That adorable little spot's got a spectacular view of the Queensboro Bridge, which should be enough draw for some quiet riverside contemplation. But as an added perk, the park harbors a secret wild boar statue modeled after a famed bronze fountain by Renaissance sculptor Pietro Tacca. That fountain, "Il Porcellino," lives at the Palazzo Mozzi in Florence, though you can rub the snout of another replica in the city's Mercato Nuovo.
    Sutton Place Park's 57th Street section is located at 57th Street by the East River.


    Courtesy Rebekah Burgess Abramovich

    GARDENS AT ST. LUKE IN THE FIELDS: The charming gardens located behind the Church of St. Luke In The Fields got a mention in our secret gardens roundup earlier this year, but the spot is worth revisiting. The church's gardens are technically private, but the Barrow Street and North gardens are open to daily from 8 a.m. until dusk, and the Rectory garden is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. During those hours, the tree-starved are free to take in the 2/3 acre worth of breathtaking flora and fauna, butterflies and birds; there are benches for quiet reflection, with Cloisters-esque architecture amplifying all that natural peace.

    http://gothamist.com/2014/09/25/nyc_...cket_parks.php

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