Like most New Yorkers, we love the concrete jungle that our city prides itself on. But every now and then, we like to escape the bustling metropolis and find a secret garden or peaceful boardwalk to explore. Luckily enough, there are plenty of urban oases right here in the city. Here are a couple of our favorite city-escapes that are perfect for satisfying a thirst for nature.
Rise Above it All at the Elevated Acre
Just a hop, skip and jump away from The Wagner on 55 Water street lies the Elevated Acre, a secluded park located above the busy streets of the Financial District. This one-acre public garden features a lawn, amphitheater, summer beer garden and unbeatable views of the Brooklyn Bridge and East River. Undoubtedly one of the Financial District’s best kept secrets, just venture up the escalators to discover this pleasant green space right in the heart of downtown.
Take a Fragrance Walk at the Gil Hodges Community Garden
This community garden in Gowanus, Brooklyn was recently renovated in 2013 to become the first community garden in New York to have a water-filtering landscape that manages stormwater and improves local water quality. The newly implemented system includes bioswales, rain gardens and permeable pavers that filter water on its way to the Gowanus Canal. In addition to protecting the vulnerable waterway nearby, the Gil Hodges Community Garden contains a one-of-a-kind fragrance walk, sponsored by fragrance master Jo Malone London. Walk through for a whiff of magnolia, azalea or mountain mint.
Watch the Goats Take Down Weeds in Riverside Park
When it comes to New York City wildlife, most residents will tell you that squirrels, raccoons and gophers run the town. But this summer, the goats are moving in. The Park Conservancy has introduced a squad of 24 goats to an area of Riverside Park that has had particularly pesky weed problem. The program, adorably called Goatham, will employ the goat’s natural ability for consuming weeds and standing on sloped ground to help bring this section of the park back to its original glory. Stop by on August 1st to see the G.O.A.T award ceremony, or anytime before August 30th to see the weed-eating goats in action.
Hear Poetry in the 6BC Botanical Garden
Nestled in the heart of Alphabet City is the 6BC Botanical Garden. Home to hundreds of plants, flowers and a small pond, 6BC describes itself as ”a place to relax, meet your neighbors and enjoy nature.” Only open during the warmer months, visitors can enjoy the serene, green setting, or take part in one of the many scheduled activities, like poetry readings, turkish coffee fortune telling and jazz nights.