New York City is a city like no other. There are so many impressive sights, buildings and events, sometimes you don’t know where to look first. Next to the very well known spots and places, there are also a lot of beautiful and less know spots where you can escape from the loud and busy parts in this city.
This article has been published on the 500 Hidden Secrets Website, where you can find more tips and an interactive map.
(Tips under picture)
The Brooklyn Bridge Park is a 2 kilometer long waterfront park on the shore of the East River. The park has spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline and 6 piers with wonderful features. Every pier has its own karakter: Pier 1 is the one with the ferry and the ice cream factory. Pier 2 has a roller skate rink, basketball courts, fitness equipment, swing sets and so much more fun stuff! On Saturdays there is also free kayaking. Pier 3 has a magical exploratory labyrinth and a large green lawn. Pier 4 is a little, idyllic beach. Pier 5 has sport fields and a large picnic area. Pier 6 has a water-playground and a pizzeria with a lovely rooftop bar, where you can enjoy a perfect sunset.
Governors Island was the first landing place of the first settlers in New Amsterdam and is regarded as The Birthplace of New York. Since its opening to the public in 2005, Governors Island has become a favorite summer spot for many New Yorkers. The island is only half a mile (800 meters) far from Manhattan and it takes only a few minutes to get there by ferry from Downtown New York. Nevertheless it fees as if you have stepped into a different world. The phenomenal views of the skyline and the Statue of Liberty remind you that you are indeed still in NYC. The large 172-acre park is car-free and perfect to explore by bike or on foot. There is a summer icc-skating rink, there are play-fountains to cool off, there a lovely Hammock Grove to relax and there are always experimental exhibitions and a lot of cool events to discover.
Gantry Plaza State Park & Hunters Point South Park are only one subway stop away from Grand Central (Manhattan). Nonetheless it feels like a different world here. No horns or sirens, but a 12-acre (4.9 hectare) riverside oasis that offers spectacular views of Manhattan’s skyline. You can see the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building and the United Nations Building at a glance from here. Originally the park was a dock facility for cargo ships. Some of the industrial elements have been incorporated in the park’s design. Every pier was given a new use. There is a pier with loungers, a pier with picnic tables and a pier with a long table which the fishermen use. The two large transfer bridges have also been preserved. They were once used for loading and unloading ships and train cars. Now these large black ‘gates’ have become the symbol of Long Island City. The iconic Pepsi sign and the LIC Ferry Landing are the perfect spots to watch the impressive ‘Manhattanhenge’, or a beautiful sunset on every other day.
Socrates Sculpture Park is a special place on the shore of the East River in Astoria, with a view of Roosevelt Island and the Upper East Side Skyline. Until 1986, the park was an illegal dumping ground until an artist’s collective, led by the sculptor Mark di Severo, transformed it into an open studio and exhibition space for artists and a community park for the locals. Nowadays Socrates Sculpture Park has become a unique outdoor museum with outstanding sculptures. The permanent team develops various exhibitions every year. To date, over 1,000 artists have exhibited their work in the park, in a laidback bohemian ambience. In the summertime, the park also hosts (free) weekly cultural events and activities. The park is open 365 days a year.
The Greenacre Park is one of the more than 500 P.O.P.S. ‘s (Privatly Owned Public Space) in NYC. This little, peaceful, park is hidden at 51st Street, between 2nd and 3rd Avenue, in the middle of crazy Midtown. This little oasis has an enchanting waterfall and the sound of the water falling down, fades away the sounds of the load and busy city. The Greenacre Park has been design by Hideo Sasaki and has received awards for its exceptional concept and design. This little gateway offers a great escape for residents and a wonderful lunch spot for people who work in the neighborhood.
Are you intrested to find more hidden gems and beautiful spots in The City? The book 'NYC Guide for Instagrammers', is a guide with 100 suggestions for impressive or special Instagrammable spots in New York City.
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