Exploring the Greener Side of New York City

Johana Vazquez Staff Writer


I recently went to the United Nations trip to New York City (NYC) on Sunday, April 14, 2019, and I realized that there is more to NYC than the city attractions. NYC has beautiful tucked away green scenery in its various corners that really come to life in the spring and into the summer. The United Nations is in the Tudor City area of New York; it is just to the right of Manhattan, the heart of the city. We got there, maneuvering through the busy streets and tall glass buildings that paint the staple image of the city. Once at the United Nations headquarters, we did not get to see much of the towering building; we mainly just saw the exhibits open to the public on the weekends in the visitor center. What we did get to see was impactful and drew attention to the difference the United Nations makes around the world. However, it was short-lived and it wasn’t long until we ventured back to the city for a few hours. Having been to the touristy parts of NYC like Times Square more than once or twice, my boyfriend and I decided to stay in the area and explore the greener side of New York. We went park-hopping, if you would call it that.

The first park we visited was Tudor City Greens. The park is split in two and connecting them is a bridge. On one side of the bridge you catch a glimpse of Long Island and the body of water in between. On the other side, you see shiny buildings, one of which is the Chrysler building, and hordes of cars speeding below you to get under and past the bridge. We briefly walked through one part of the park and made it to the second part, where we sat on a bench in front of a fully bloomed tulip magnolia tree. There we talked, laughed, and observed the people and animals around us coexist in this tiny part of the big city. A couple in front of us were working on a crossword puzzle in a newspaper (which I had thought to be a dying practice only older people did). A guy sat to our left working on his laptop. Little birds and pigeons alike pranced around looking for food.

The second park we visited was Peter Detmold Park where steep stairs led down to a wooded waterfront area with a dog park. I definitely recommend going to this one. It has a nice view of the Long Island skyline across from Manhattan, and the Pepsi Cola sign standing out in distinguishable letters. Dogs of all breeds and sizes walked around with their owners, some on leashes, some not. Also, at the park is a walking bridge leading you closer to the waterfront where you can take a better picture of the view with your phone or sit at a bench and take a memorable mental one. Unexpectedly, we also came across and visited Greenacre Park, a sight for sore eyes, really. The park is crammed in between buildings but has a 25 foot waterfall, moveable chairs and tables, and an outdoor café. There is not enough greenery to make it stand out on Google Maps, but it immediately stood out to us from the concrete atmosphere around it. I’m so happy we came across it.

I personally enjoyed seeing the natural bits of New York City. I’ve been to Central Park, but then again so has everyone who visits NYC for a one-day trip. I loved seeing the more reserved parks that attract mainly the people that live there. The best part was seeing their dogs. The trip made me realize the city is not all about fast-paced lives and stone-cold walls. There are places within the city to escape the city. Places New Yorkers can go to hide from the bustle of their busy lives and block out the city noise. Places they can slow down and unwind for a little bit, even if it is just to admire the trees and flowers that were planted there for them to admire.

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