New York has lots of lovely pocket parks that offer a hideaway from urban life.
But the stretch of East Midtown known by its wonderfully pastoral 17th century name, Turtle Bay, seems to have more of these patches of green than other neighborhoods.
Even better, many of these parks have cascading waterfalls that drown out urban noise and heat and leaves us feeling calm and soothed. No need to head to Central Park for a waterfall fix—these do the trick.
Paley Park (top photo), on 53rd Street between Madison and Fifth Avenues (not technically Turtle Bay but close) has a back-lit waterfall, along with ivy-covered walls and locust trees. Financed by a foundation set up by William Paley, former chairman of CBS, it’s attracted quiet crowds since 1967.
Carved out of a space surrounded by modern apartment buildings and old-school tenements is Greenacre Park, above, created by a foundation organized by a Rockefeller family member in 1971.
The park is designed to be such a break from urban life, photography isn’t allowed (but no one will stop you from taking pictures from the street).
If the park with this circular wall of water has a name, I missed it. Wouldn’t it be lovely to live in the blue-purple house, with the sight and sound of falling water accessible from your terrace?
Across the street from the United Nations on 47th Street and First Avenue is lush, secluded St. Mary’s Garden, part of Holy Family Roman Catholic Church.
It’s hard to see the benches and walkways along the sides, as well as the small waterfall that feeds into the pond on the left.
Tags: Greenacre Park, Kips Bay NYC, Kips Bay parks, Midtown East parks and gardens, Paley Park, Pocket Parks NYC, quietest places in New York City, secret parks and gardens in New York City, Waterfalls in New York City