Discovering Nature in New York City
Coming from the Gold Coast, I’ve never really thought much of parks. They’re great places for a quick game of touch, but sitting on the grass too long made my legs itchy… plus most of them are so close to the beach, anyway, I’d just rather walk the extra 20 meters – if that – to settle down on the soft, warm sand or to enjoy a swim.
Having moved to a city sans gorgeous beaches, I’ve found that the parks here are not only the next best thing, but are – to my endless delight – actually an experience unique to New York.
Walking through the world-famous concrete jungle, I’ve found that one is never more than a stone throw’s away from the closest green space. The sheer number of parks peppering the city are a testament to its incredible urban plan. Nestled among the varying neighbourhoods, I noticed that each one possesses it’s own unique atmosphere.
For example, Bryant Park, neighbour to the New York Public Library, is a small, chic oasis set right at the heart of tall skyscrapers in Midtown. Gramercy Park, the city’s only surviving private park (complete with impeccable rectangular hedges tended to by its own personal gardner) reeks of exclusivity and social status. And Central Park… well, that one’s a whole other thing/planet/world/rabbit hole all on its own.
Upon reflecting on my week and realising that I’d inadvertently visited a park almost every single day, it suddenly dawned upon me how much I have subconsciously missed the great outdoors. Back home, when I felt restless from being cooped up indoors for too long, I could hang out by the pool or even drive down to the beach. But this isn’t the Gold Coast, I’m not at our now-sold riverfront house with a side of pool and there are certainly no 5 minute drives to the beach.
Even so, every single time I meander along the foliage lined pathways, I can’t help but notice how content all the park goers look with life. Whether they are sitting on the benches, grass or simply perched upon a rock or steps, they seem to possess this air of peace that is definitely missing from the busy pedestrians pushing their way through the streets surrounding them (as for exactly why, I have yet to investigate). If all the grassy lawns, fountains and general greenery don’t manage to lift my mood, then the satisfaction that’s just oozing from the people around me will certainly will.
While I like to think that I’ll always be a beach girl at heart, I’m extremely grateful for these little pockets of nature at my immediate disposal. To discovering many more amazing places and spaces!
“JT is a small town girl with restless feet living it up in the big city. Join her on the “Year of Happiness” at littlebigone.wordpress.com, Instagram and Pinterest.”