Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan. After pounding several blocks on concrete and surrounded by buildings, I looked forward to seeing the stands of mature sycamore trees, green lawns and many chairs in this urban park.
There has been a park here since 1847, but by the 1970s it had been nicknamed "Needle Park" due to the number of heroin dealers and users who frequented the area. A restoration of the park was started in 1988 and in 1992 it reopened to much acclaim and instant popularity with New Yorkers and visitors. It has been compared to Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris and has a French flair and atmosphere.
The main building of the New York Public library stands at one corner. There was an outdoor Reading Room where books can be borrowed for children or adults to read in the park. Roses were blooming along the walkways and annual flowers were in planters near the tables and chairs.
Of course, the most famous green space in Manhattan is Central Park. We walked through it from the south end, through the small zoo and up to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. After walking through the huge museum we were too tired to go up to the Harlem Meer. I wish I hadn't left this park until our last day! Some areas are landscaped and others are more natural. These wildflowers grew along bridle trail and track around the Jacqueline Onassis Reservoir.
I would have loved to visit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, especially with the roses at their peak. Admission was included with our NYC passes. Another time I would choose the gardens over the trip to the top of the Empire State building with all of its security lines. But there was just so much one could see in three full days...
...maybe next time.