Believe it or not, spring has actually sprung—and that means New Yorkers are no longer restricted to shiver sprinting from point A to point B. We can now lounge like lizards on sidewalks, stairs, stoops, or any other semi-permissible places of chilling.
Sure, there are the obvious places to soak up the sun—Central Park, High Line, Rockaway Beach—but why trek all that way for a few minutes of overcrowded bliss time?
It’s time to reclaim every inch of the city as a possible beach chair.
Armed with only sunglasses, a few members of our creative team recently set out to locate the city’s best-hidden spots to take five. And here they are.
Secret gardens: not just for beloved British children’s novels anymore! This stealthy patch of gardens is enclosed within brick walls in the West Village—shielded from cabs and cars but open to the grazing public. Shaded by blossoming trees and rich with horticultural wonders, it is an ideal spot to eat lunch or zone out for a cool minute.
Don’t be deterred by the fanciness of the word “esplanade” (it’s a great word, isn’t it?)—this locale is low-key through and through. It meets our admittedly low-maintenance requirements for a hashtag chill zone: There’s water (and boats off the pier! Can’t forget the boats), lush patches of grass, and plenty of similarly tuned-out folks reclining in one of the many chairs provided on the deck. But if you are looking to take in a little culture, there was a ballet class taking place during our jaunt. Fancy.
Let’s just go ahead and say it: there’s a legit 25-foot waterfall in Midtown East—and it’s really nice. Besides the nap-inducing main attraction, you’ll find lush plants, dozens of wire chairs—which are more comfortable than they look—and wooden tables, plus a small café. It’s the perfect spot for drowning out planes, trains, and automobiles. Also: this.
Our 25th president, William McKinley, was a man known for his actions, not his charisma. He was neither a brilliant orator (like Lincoln) nor a master strategist (like Johnson). But the man got things done. And we’re glad his legacy includes this modest playground in the East Village. It’s a no-nonsense square of sunshine filled with benches (for relaxing) and nearby bodegas (for refreshment).
This triangle patch of benches is like a mini little island, just without the water, a hot second away from our offices. Cop a squat and start ogling the flowers. Sure, there is traffic but once you grab an iced coffee from a nearby cafe and start absorbing all that Vitamin D, you’re golden. Who cares about noise ordinances now?
During the past couple hundred years, this historic site has been home to farmhouses, country retreats, and a tactical fort during the Revolutionary War. Now it’s a picturesque, fairytale land (see that Peter Pan sculpture?) that is equal parts public park and grounds for the Gracie Mansion, which is the official residence of our mayor. (Neat!)
According to the Internet, there are 14.9 acres of property—meaning there is an abundance of space for napping, reading, chilling, drooling, eating, whatever.
Okay, as you can probably guess, “personal pier” is not the official name of this bite-sized hangout. We actually have more questions than answers: “Why were you built? What’s your purpose? Were you a mistake? Why are you so perfect?”
We may never get to the bottom of it. However, if you’re ever looking for a venue that can hold a small get-together (say, like, one to five people—max), this is your spot.