I think – I'm pretty sure – that of all the parks in NYC, Madison Square Park is my favourite.
I don't go there often these days, but I used to walk through the park all the time, on my wanders from The Maybe Apartment to Trader Joe's and Whole Foods in Chelsea. When we moved uptown, I adopted a new Trader Joe's and a new Whole Foods, and now I have no reason to return to the park other than sheer pleasure.
Madison Square Park is surrounded by lots of awesome things – the Flatiron building*, Eataly, La Mar Cebicheria – but it's the park itself that wins me over. I don't know what I like about it so much. It's not that big, with just a couple of lawns and a small playground, but it's laid out in such a way that even though the rest of the city is right there, just outside its borders, inside it's verdant and leafy and calm.
Every spring, a new art installation goes into the park. This summer, it's Red, Yellow and Blue, by Orly Genger, which consists of giant barriers, made up of tons of knotted nautical rope, that appear to have spontaneously launched themselves out of the ground, where they create rolling walls and spread their ends over the grass. I can't even begin to imagine the work that must have gone into this, or the setup, for that matter. It's gorgeous.
When I took these photos, I was in the park for the sole purpose of checking out this year's art. While I was there, however, I remembered how much I loved it, and promised myself that I would make more effort to spend more time there. Madison Square Park is a total treasure, and we're lucky to have it right in the middle of town like that.
Are there any places you love, but don't spend much time in any more? What are they?
*My favourite building in NYC, incidentally.