Looking up from the lawn at Bryant Park, you get the feeling of being in canyons. I sometimes call the city, especially Midtown, a canyon because everything towers above you. I love spending time in Bryant Park, which is well known for being a lovely green space in the city. The park is a great spot to have lunch and people watch—and it also offers free WiFi.
The park hosts events throughout the year ranging from a skating rink in the winter and movies on the lawn in the spring to weekly tai chi classes. In the winter, they also host a pop-up restaurant and bar called Celsius beside the ice rink. Top Chef star’s Tom Colicchio’s ‘wichcraft has great sandwiches year-round for visitors as well.
Bryant Park was named for William Cullen Bryant, who descended from the Pilgrims. He’s an American icon and his legacy continues today at Bryant Park where people can think, be and live in the city.
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The Enormity of It All
Spending the noon hour in Bryant Park is such a great break for tourists and locals alike. You can grab great food whether it be 'wichcraft or the more upscale Bryant Park Grill and then park yourself outside. Have some lunch, read, play ping pong or just stare up at the Bank of America building and think, "I'm luckier than they are."
Bryant Park with 2,753 Chairs in remembrance of the 2,753 lives lost as a result of the September 11, 2001 WTC attacks. This was an interactive public art project by Sheryl Oring.
By AFAR Traveler
Taller than Trees
The concret jungle grows its glass and steel structures high in the sky in New York City. At least one can sit in the grass surrounded by trees just behind the main branch of the New York Public Library on 42nd Street between 5th and 6th Avenues.
Yes, Central Park is big and beautiful but hiding in a nook on West 40th Street is a quaint park which many tourists miss. It's called Bryant Park, is right next to the New York Public Library (another must do) and on my trip to New York City I spent many days and nights wandering around, eating and drinking from market stalls and watching people ice skate before Christmas.
Stepping into the gardens you feel that you have a place away from the hustle and bustle of the street and can enjoy some time to yourself in the midst of the big apple.
Bryant Park is one of those places I've always wanted to go but kept missing. On this trip, it was the place I kept passing on the way to somewhere else and I can see why people don't want to leave.
With its leveled cafe, the myriad of green metal chairs sprawled around the lawn, that maginicient lawn right behind the New York Public Library and a carousel, you really couldn't ask for a better lunch pit stop or place to people watch.
It always seems like there's something happening here. I paritcularly liked the ping pong tables set up and nearby jugglers. Their site includes more events including viewings of old movies in the park. Magic!
Amidst the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple, New Yorkers, visitors and tourists alike can enjoy this oasis, Bryant Park.
Bryant Park provides a solace from the conundrums of the Big Apple. While enjoying this massive park, one can quench your thirst and grab a bite at the Southwest Porch (http://www.bryantpark.org/things-to-do/southwest_porch.html) while you sit, relax, people-watch or just simply enjoy the sights and sounds of Bryant Park.
Bryant Park is located behind the New York Public Library in midtown Manhattan, between 40th and 42nd Streets & Fifth and Sixth Avenues.
Take the B, D, F, or M train to 42nd Street/Bryant Park.Take the 7 to 5th Avenue.
Admittedly not the best ice-skater, I still truly enjoyed the experience because of the atmosphere at the Bryant Park rink. A massive ice-rink welcoming people of all ages and cultures, this is as perfect an introduction to Manhattan as can be.
(Not to mention how iconic the park is due to its countless references in Hollywood rom-coms)
There is so much to do at Bryant Park and the fact that New Yorkers are actually using the park so its full potential is the best thing about it.
I witnessed a business meeting happening over a game of Guess Who and total strangers sparking up a friendship while playing an intense game of chess in the "Games" section. The pingpong tables, Pétanque area and putting green were always full. People were always using the "Reading Room" section yet there was more than enough content for everyone to enjoy. Crowds gathered daily to hear the live piano music. The carrousel and kids section were always filled with cute little families. That lawn seemed to be packed from open to close, but especially at lunch time.
One of my favorite moments was seeing a man, in a full suit, walk up to a group of jugglers on the lawn and ask if he could join them. He put his briefcase down, took off his jacket, rolled up his sleeves and juggled bowling pins like it was nothing.
To me, there is nothing more “New York” than sitting on a park bench with a good coffee, while letting the time pass by and people-watching the loveable crazies that inhabit the city. During the summer months, this park is the best place to do exactly that.