I have been living in the East Village for over a year and in that time, have never visited the East River Park. Urban dwellers are mostly all familiar with its counterpoint, the Hudson River Park, which lures visitors with its sparkling water, glamorous High Line and all-around ritzier setting.
The East River Park involves a stroll through a seedy stretch of town, a stop at Mister Softee (thanks, Brian), and a walk over the FDR Drive. It was worth it.
In its 57 acres, there is a baseball and soccer field, a track, a concert venue, and a field for barbecuing. It seemed like every other downtown New Yorker caught the same case of spring fever that we did.
Just when the day couldn't get more idyllic, we stumbled across a smattering of tiny gardens on the way home.
Along a quiet section on 6th Street we found the 6BC Botanical Garden, aka: the-cutest-little-utopia imaginable. Fountains trickled, people picnicked, cats walked on leashes (seriously).
As great as it was to find these peaceful, hippie havens, the best part was learning that each garden was founded and maintained by volunteers who had the insight to think, "hmm, we might want a patch of grass to hang around in 50 years when everything is bulldozed." To this day, the gardens are funded by donations and groomed by locals who give of their time to plant flowers and tidy up. So inspiring.
Jungle gym for the neigborhood birds at the Creative Little Garden
And the best part is...
Branches run beautifully amok.
They are available to rent for outdoor dinner parties!
I see picnics in my future.