We traveled to New York City to shoot our September 2019 collection: THE URBAN JUNGLE. With concrete underfoot and towering above us, we were thrilled to navigate the bustling city but found ourselves seeking out green spaces to unwind. As cities develop, urban green spaces unfold as well—built and natural environments intertwine. The clarity and peace brought by a day in the park is a reminder: We all have an essential need to stay connected to nature. From the Bronx to Brooklyn, read on for a guide to pockets of nature tucked away in the concrete jungle—spots discovered by yours truly.
THE CLOISTERS (In Fort Tryon Park)
Explored by: Justin, Copywriter
I used to live near The Cloisters, but I only discovered this spot while visiting NYC years after I moved—and man, was I missing out! The grounds are completely tree-lined, and there are a lot of great walking paths—along with the most gorgeous view of the Hudson River from almost every angle once you get to the main section of the park. The museum itself, which is a branch of the Met, gives you a trip back in time with a focus on medieval architecture and lots of Gothic sculptures. It’s the perfect breath of fresh air with a little dose of culture. If you’re going into the museum, the cafeteria gets super crowded…even more reason to bring your lunch and have a picnic in Fort Tryon Park!
JACKIE O LOOP (Central Park)
Explored by: Alexa, Website Marketing Manager
What I love about the loop is that it truly allows you to forget you’re in the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s easy to get swept up in NYC’s 24/7 noise and commotion, and walking the loop is an opportunity to relax. We’d walk the loop on Sunday mornings then stop at our favorite diner, Gracie Mews at 81st and 1st for a late breakfast. They have amazing gluten-free pancakes, which are pretty hard to find in the city.
THE HIGH LINE
Explored by: Jenny, Senior Marketing Manager
I used to run the Highline in the mornings or evenings—3 miles round trip from my front door in Chelsea. It was also my go-to for where to bring family and friends when they visited NYC. As it’s just above the fray, it has an amazing perspective of the city. There were some amazing vendors set up on the Highline too. Be sure to pop by Terroir Wine Bar.
JEFFERSON MARKET GARDEN
Explored by: Ann, Editorial Manager
There’s a tiny park in Greenwich Village that was a sanctuary in my early 20s. Any heartache, career meltdown or bout of homesickness was nursed there in quiet solitude—always with a book or cup of coffee from Jack’s in hand. Go for the peaceful retreat; stay for the stunningly beautiful flowers you rarely find in NYC.
PIER A PARK (Hoboken)
Explored by: Billy, Senior Men’s Merchandising
I used to live in Hoboken and Pier A Park was a favorite. It’s very close to NYC and gives you amazing views of the entire NYC skyline. There’s a big open lawn that stretches out into the Hudson River, and you have a full view of Manhattan—from the Verrazano bridge to the George Washington bridge. It’s perfect during the summer to lay out, read a book, bring a picnic or hang with friends. During the summer, they also have movies in the park at night with the NYC skyline as the backdrop to the movie.
ELIZABETH STREET GARDEN
Explored by: Ray, Digital Design Director
Just blocks away from the touristy Soho neighborhood is The Elizabeth Street Garden—a truly romantic garden filled with greenery and statues. On weekend afternoons, I’d walk from my tiny East Village apartment—down the restaurant supply shops along the Bowery and browse the boutiques of Nolita. When my legs had enough, I’d grab grilled corn from Café Habana and head to the garden. After I moved out of the city, I’d find myself rediscovering this special place while aimlessly wandering around downtown Manhattan.
BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK
Explored by: Sarasvati, Senior Web Designer
Brooklyn Bridge Park really surprised me on my last visit home. It’s been slowly developing from the truly derelict waterfront of my childhood into a beautiful destination. You can sit along this little beach as the sun sets. There are many good restaurants close by with views of the city, a long stretch of green space with small rambles and tons of bridge photo ops. Tourists are everywhere on certain blocks trying to get their perfect bridge selfie. I also recommend taking the ferry to and from the park across the river if you can. Once you get across, you’re just a short walk from Battery Park—another lovely green space which didn’t used to be. In NYC you’re surrounded by water, but you don’t always see it or think about it much. Brooklyn Bridge Park takes great advantage of the river, a vibrant neighborhood and fantastic views.
GREEN DOME IN MCCARREN PARK
Explored by: Stephanie, Editorial Director
Nestled away in McCarren Park, the Green Dome is a secret garden that’s pure magic. It’s not crowded like Central Park, so you get a real sense of peace and quiet when you’re there. Do like the locals do and stroll the McCarren Park Green Market on a Saturday for farm-fresh veggies and fresh-baked breads while you’re at it. The nearby dog park is sure to be bustling with furry friends.
Explored by: Kim, Art Director
Prospect Park borders two of my favorite neighborhoods, Park Slope and Prospect Heights, and is a lot more laid back than Central Park. I’ve been going here since I was a kid—there’s a zoo and a vintage-style carousel—and now I love going to chill solo or listen to live music with friends. Grab a sandwich from Cheryl’s Global Soul and find a bench near one of the many bridges for people watching. Or, get there early with your running shoes and do a loop around the park—it’s a little over 3 miles.