Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday Flowers: In Manhattan

Roses in Bryant Park, NYC
Reading Room in Bryant Park below

Our hotel was in easy walking distance of 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.

Peonies at the Rockefeller Center

Another area that boasted lovely flowers and fountains was the plaza at the Rockefeller Center. As we walked down towards the main fountain and bronze statue of Prometheus, fragrant peonies bloomed along the smaller fountains that led to the front of the building. This was another lovely spot to sit and watch people.

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.


  1. Because of the security line ups, we didn't do the Empire State Building when we were in N.Y.

    Our hotel room cost us the earth! I hope you did better than we did. But we didn't book ahead, not knowing exactly what day we would arrive. Not always a good plan.

  2. It's so nice to see so many green space areas carved out in the middle of the city. I remember seeing "Needle Park" in 1977 and it's lovely to see that's it's been reclaimed.

  3. My daughter booked ahead at a hotel at W42nd and 10th, just a few blocks from Times Square. The cost was $300/night including on site parking, fridge and microwave. We split the costs by 4. Many hotels were double or triple the cost and parking was an extra $40 per day. In contrast, a much nicer room in Geneva NY, with a hot breakfast included was $110 per night. We paid $106 for our NYC passes and ate cheaply, so I think we did quite well.

  4. You almost make me change my mind about visiting cities.

  5. Anonymous7:40 am GMT-4

    Your blooming flowers pictures are lovely. It's amazing that plant life can survive the smog of NYC.

    I'm enjoying your tour of NYC.

  6. I stayed in the same area last time I was in NYC. I love Bryant Park. I loved the hawks defending against the pigeons. The pictures bring back a lot of good memories. Thanks

  7. Beautiful flower post, Ruth! I love the first park - it does have that European look! And what a wonderful job they've done to restore it. I would enjoy this walking tour, too.

  8. I will be in NYC at the end of this month and plan to revisit all these places again. No doubt they will look very different from your pictures, but lovely all the same.

    I think the outdoor Reading Room at Bryant Park is such a cool idea!

  9. I've been to NYC about four times and never visited the Empire State Building. Our visits were always rushed but we did manage Radio City Music Hall several times. You did good, Ruth. And you found flowers in beautiful bloom. NYC is a fantastic place.

  10. Thank you to all who commented. It is usually possible to find beauty and tranquility somewhere in the midst of chaos. I would like to spend more time in the Reading Room at Bryant Park. Rondi, I hope you share something of your upcoming visit to NYC.

  11. Ruth,

    Just getting caught up on your posts. I love the flower photos on this one. It looks like you had a wonderful time. I think I would have chosen the Botanical Gardens over the Empire State Building. I am not a great one for heights.



Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.