August 6, 2008

Going Green in the Big Apple

During our time in New York City Laura and I frequented many of the city’s parks, mostly due to the assurance of shade and a place to rest our weary feet. What we found more often than not was a microcosm of activity ranging from dog walking to sunbathing to horse-back riding. I began to understand why Central Park is quite possibly the most successful urban landscape in the world. Olmstead, not a fan of the city’s rigid grid system, designed an enormous rambling English garden incorporating the natural granite outcroppings and supporting magnificent trees and ponds. The contrast is stark as you walk across the street and into the park. Grey walls turns to green walls, taxis turn to bicycles, straight blocks turn into meandering paths, even the smell changes from the city’s mix of exhaust and grime to a subtle sweet forest smell. Note that I am not discrediting the rest of the city, the smell (while not the most pleasant) had Laura and I nostalgic for Rome and the great grid of the city facilitates a smooth flow of business (not to mention helps tourist like me find things relatively easy). I just wanted to show that the dichotomy between the park and the city, a dichotomy that makes life in the Big Apple a lot more manageable.

Here is a map of Manhattan labeling the parks that we specifically visited. Notice that there is actually a lot of green on an island with 1,537,195 people living on it and some of the highest land value in the world.
And here are some of our pictures of the various parks in NYC:

I also posted some of our other trip pictures here:
and Laura posted up pictures here:


Laura said...

Columbia isn't a park is it? Also, you forget to put "I" in the first sentence.

Anonymous said...

Awesome! I would have liked the parks the best.