This week I decided to take advantage of Saturday's perfect weather and dedicate all the posts to a few choice Manhattan parks. Enjoy!
The Upper East Side, especially Yorkville, could by no means be called gritty or unsavory. The worst it could be called is homogeneous, bland or exclusive. This makes it all the more impressive that a humble 7-block park could have such positive effect on an already thriving neighborhood. Feeling like an 18th Century French Garden, the multi-leveled Carl Schurz Park hasn't always been so glamorous. After falling into disrepair in the 1970s, the Carl Schurz Park Association took it upon themselves to expand their scope to help pick up the aging park. Not living in New York (or even being alive) in the 1970's, I find it a bit surprising, especially since the park contains the home of the Mayor, Gracie Mansion (which, unsurprisingly isn't used by Bloomberg) that it would be anything less than a stellar example of landscaping.
To me, the 15-acre space feels like a condensed version of Central Park, featuring only the best elements of its bigger brother to the west. The incredible elevated promenade that overlooks the East River, Roosevelt Island and Queens, more than makes up for the lack of any water features within the park itself. A number of sunken plazas feature numerous statues, including one of Peter Pan near Gracie Mansion. Every step changes your perspective and presents new and unique views of your surroundings. A handful of playgrounds, basketball courts and even some small open fields allow for a myriad of activities.