New York, NY – Esther noted on her travels to New York, amidst all the busy hustle and bustle were hosts of open spaces pocketed about the city. They were wonderful urban spaces where people of all classes and walks of life could retreat even for a moment. The open spaces ranged in size to tailor to what was available. Smaller more intimate parks tended to foster a serene and formal environment, attracting business professionals needing a break from their schedules. Larger parks drew in a more casual crowd, inviting kids to run around, friends to play ping pong or frisbee, or allow couples to lay on the grass and enjoy a movie.
People responded strongly to a little change from the concrete and buzzing noises of the city. All the components in each park worked together thoughtfully to create these special spaces of refuge! At Paley Park a waterfall shielded its occupants from car noises and the scattered trees provided an escape from the concrete jungle above. The High-Line Park utilized the unused rail tracks to give pedestrians a new view of New York, granting a unique and visually stimulating way to see these enormous skyscrapers up close. Bryant Park catered well to various interests and activities including informal seating areas, place for games – chess and ping pong – and an open lawn to lay on and unwind.
What attracted so many to share in these intimate and compact spaces appeared to be that people have a need for connection with nature and a refuge from a fast-paced life. They desire those little reminders of the amazing sensations our world brings to us. As small and subtle as each park was compared to the enormous impact of the surrounding skyscrapers, it was significant to the people there – It was a concept that really worked! Spectacular open spaces working above and between the web of structures, fulfilling the inner need for an outlet and sanctuary.