An emerald expanse in the thriving, concrete jungle that is New York City, Central Park lies in the heartland of the Manhattan borough. It commences its labyrinthine stretch from Midtown, all the way to Harlem. It was created in 1857 by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, who envisioned a sprawling green space in the center of the island. The park spans 843 acres (341.15 hectares) and bustles with life throughout the day, even as the layered, multi-hued fold of the city's skyline unfolds at its hem. The park's 21 playgrounds are speckled with ornate fountains, sculptures, myriad bridges and arches, together forming an urbane respite where several come to find peace from the city's chaotic pace. Attractions within the park include the Bethesda Fountain, the Conservatory Garden, Belvedere Castle and Central Park Zoo.
The High Line is an urban oasis filled with beautifully manicured landscapes. It sits above the city on old train tracks that were installed as part of the West Side Improvement Project back in 1929. The line was primarily used to transport goods along the Lower West Side, but with the advent of vehicles in the 1950s and more accessible routes elsewhere, the last train eventually ran in 1980. Thereafter, the elevated tracks fell into disrepair, and the whole structure was nearly demolished. It was instead converted into an innovative public park, delighting locals and visitors alike. Today, the High Line is a cherished sanctuary away from the bustle of city life.
This small but beautiful botanic garden features a Japanese garden, as well as the Cranford Rose Garden, herb garden, the Children's Garden, and the Steinhard Conservatory of indoor flowers and plants. In all, there are 52 acres and 12,000 varieties of botanicals, ranging from the tiny bonsai to the towering oak. Self-guided tours, individual classes and certificate programs are all available. Students come with your valid id cards, if you want to avail of a discount.
Open to visitors from April until November, the Bailey Arboretum offers up a world of color during that time: daffodils kick off the season, followed by flowering trees and a variety of annuals and perennials all through the summer. This arboretum has a particularly wonderful collection of conifers, and features a sensory garden for the physically challenged. Many events are hosted here, along with guided walks and other educational opportunities. No entrance fee for children 16 and under; $3 for adults.
The erstwhile estate of Marshall Field III was the genesis of the Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve. Various bird species have made this land their habitat making it an ideal location to observe birds in their natural surroundings. The park provides outdoors enthusiasts with a range of adventure choices.
The Sands Point Preserve makes full use of its 216 acres (87.41 hectares): landscaped gardens lead to tangles of trees, meadows become cliffs overlooking beaches, vines of honeysuckles and other flowers surround a freshwater pond, and a castle sits on sweeping lawns. Explore Long Island history by touring the elegant gray-stone Hempstead House or the French eclectic Falaise, after exploring the natural beauty of this diverse environment on 6 marked trails. Educational visits are welcomed, and festivals or special events often take advantage of the spectacular scenery.
Located on 28 acres (11 hectares) of beautiful gardens and woodlands, this non-profit cultural institution overlooks the Hudson River. Wave Hill is dedicated to exploring the interaction between human beings and the natural environment. It maintains four historic buildings and five greenhouses and has won many awards for its gardens. Its Arts Program presents the work of contemporary artists and landscape professionals. Partake in educational, horticultural and art programs that are held at the cultural center from time to time. Come enjoy the feast of nature in its own arms.
A walk at the Untermyer Park in Yonkers, New York will make for a good evening. Previously infamous as the spot where serial killer Son of Sam did satanic rituals, the park has now been beautified to a vast extent and yet manages to retain its natural beauty. The Greek columns and pillars along the park look brilliant and there are also some light hiking trails within the park. The park is said to be haunted by some, but it might just be a deer roaming around the trees.
A local favorite since 1960, the E.J. Murray Memorial Skating Center offers state of the art facilities for some skating fun. From professional rollerblading lessons to ice-hockey, one can indulge in various activities here. In the evenings, young crowds skate with their partners to the beat of peppy numbers. A good place to unwind, drop by and lose yourself to the excitement that is experienced at this venue.
This arena is named after Vincent dePaul Draddy, a voice for consistent outstanding achievement both in academics and athletics. Draddy was also once a scholar at Manhattan College and is listed in the College Football Hall of Fame. The Draddy Gymnasium itself can seat up to 2,500 people and has also been featured in The Cosby Show's first season.
Many don't know this fact of history, but there is a part of Manhattan inside the mainland contiguous United States. This part of Manhattan is located across the Harlem River in what many would consider as the Bronx, however when the East and Hudson Rivers were connected in 1895, Manhattan lost Marble Hill and it became an island with the northernmost Spuyten Duyvil Creek as its border. The Bronx filled in the 'Spouting Devil' creek years later and claimed the now landlocked piece of real estate. Both boroughs battled over who could claim the tract, and in 1984 the city settled in Manhattan's favor. To visit, take the 1 to Marble Hill - 225 St. and walk west, where the neighborhood offers visitors a step back in time, as many of the wooden houses are hardly seen in anymore in New York.
Located along Harlem River, Rocco B. Commisso Soccer Stadium is part of Baker Athletic Complex. This stadium is named after the Italian-American businessman, Rocco B. Commisso. Formerly known as Columbia Soccer Stadium, this stadium can seat thousands of spectators. Built in 1985, this stadium is known to host several soccer and rugby games.