Want a little reading to go with the green space? Head over to Bryant Park’s Reading Room, a Depression Era tradition recently revived in 2003
Bryant Park is 9,500 acre public park found in Manhattan. Tucked behind the magnificent New York Public Library, and just blocks from Times Square, it is a verdant oasis, perfect for a brief respite from the Manhattan madness.
It wasn’t always so: in the 80s Bryant Park was known as Needle Park. Taken over by drug dealers and addicts, it was considered a no-go zone by locals and tourists. Since then it has been dramatically rejuvenated through the introduction of amenities by the Parks Council, with the support of the Rockefeller family. They also implemented the “Broken Windows Theory” with a rigorous and rapid program to clean and repair the park. And it worked: Bryant Park is considered an emblem of the regeneration New York underwent in the 90s.
Today the park is a favourite destination for locals and tourists alike. It offers sprawling green lawns, coffee kiosks and spaces for al fresco chess matches. There’s also the Bryant Park Grill which, when not booked out for weddings, has a bar that’s perfect for a twilight cocktail, and its sister establisment, the Bryant Park Café, which provides a more casual alternative. The lawn itself serves not only as a lunchroom for office workers, but also as the seating area for some of the park’s major events, including the HBO Summer Film Festival.
At the other end of the calendar, Christmas in New York is special, as any Die Hard fan knows. At this time the Winter Village, replete with a giant, enchanting Christmas tree, offers ice-skating and is packed with lovely stalls serving much needed hot chocolate, coffee, hot apple cider, and crepes of all kinds. And, of course, Santa’s corner makes an appearance too.
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