Bryant Park is the park of my dreams. Lucky for me, our apartment in the city was only a few blocks away from it.
I’ll be the first to admit that we spent a little bit too much time out of the New York City portion of our honeymoon at Bryant. Yes, we’re on first name basis.
Our typical day at the park went something like this: Pick up lunch from the sandwich kings at Untamed Sandwiches. Grab a magazine from the outside “Reading Room” and eat lunch on that gorgeous green lawn. Obsess over Blue Bottle’s New Orleans Iced Coffee. Play a round of Scrabble and/0r Scattergories at the “Games” section. Check to make sure that the ping pong tables were free but be totally disappointed when we notice they aren’t. Drown sorrows inside the beautiful New York Public Library.
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. The pingpong tables, Pétanque area and putting green were always full – I’m not exaggerating when I say that getting to play was nearly impossible. People were always using the Reading Room 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 families and cute pregnant moms whose style I will one day emulate. 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. My other favorite moment was the first time I finally beat Jack in Scrabble.
I’m sorry. I should stop. It’s pretty obvious that I’m in love with Bryant Park.
It’s just that, 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.
Midtown Manhattan, between 40th and 42nd Streets & Fifth and Sixth Avenues.
June – September Hours
Mon to Fri – 7am to Midnight
Saturday & Sunday – 7am to 11pm