By Brienne Walsh
Spring has arrived in New York, and love (to rely on a cheesy phrase) is in the air. What better place to meet your soulmate than outdoors, in one of the city’s many secret gardens?
Don’t fall back on the usual suspects— Central Park, Bryant Park, or the closest beer garden—the next time you connect with someone on MeetMoi. Suggest one of the following outdoor spaces, which we think are some of the most charming places to fall in love in New York City.
1. The Brooklyn Bridge Park, Dumbo, Brooklyn: Beginning under the base of the bridge, and stretching for almost 2 miles down the waterfront, this recently refurbished wonderland features acres of rolling lawns, pathways through mazes of wildflowers, a promenade with an old-fashioned ice cream store, and, on certain summer evenings, outdoor screenings of classic films.
2. The High Line, Chelsea, Manhattan: Although the High Line is no longer a hidden secret, the elevated oasis never ceases to stun. With a new strip of parkland opening last year that extends the park an extra ten blocks, from Gansevoort Street to West 30th, there are myriad hidden coves in the carefully curated landscape where a couple on a date could have a private conversation.
3. Fort Greene Park, Fort Greene, Brooklyn: Comprising of over 30 acres, this hilly landscape is Brooklyn’s first park. Full of lush lawns that never get too crowded, and terraced hills dotted with ancient trees, the location’s high elevation affords for great views of Brooklyn.
4. Fort Tryon Park, Washington Heights, Manhattan: Although it’s farther uptown than most New Yorkers tend to venture, this gorgeous outdoor space, with its commanding views over the Palisades, is worth a trip. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., and donated to the city by John D. Rockefeller in 1917, the park is crowned by the Cloisters, an old castle that holds the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s medieval art collection.
5. Wave Hill, West 249th Street and Independence Avenue, Bronx: Once an estate leased by Mark Twain, among other notable residents, this 28-acre landscaped garden features vistas of the Hudson River. Carefully landscaped and exploding with flowers, it’s the perfect place for people who have romantic notions about American History.
6. Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City, Queens: Founded by the sculptor Mark di Suvero, this quiet space on the East River hosts artists who use the garden as their outdoor studios. Open to the public, it’s a walk from the subway, but a great space for art lovers.
7. The Elevated Acre, 30 Water Street, Manhattan: Although this space is sometimes closed for events, on most nights, it’s open to anybody. Cradled by buildings, and completely secluded, it’s a pretty place to watch the sunset with someone who works in the neighborhood.
8. Greenacre, 51st Between 2nd and 3rd Avenues, Manhattan: Midtown Manhattan may seem like a concrete jungle, but it’s fully of tiny parks and gardens. The best of these is Greenacre, a lush courtyard that features, among other delights, a functional waterfall.
9. Tudor City Greens, 42nd Street Between 1st and 2nd Avenues, Manhattan: A privately maintained garden that’s fortunately open to the public, this park is slightly raised from the street, and full of quiet benches. Perfectly manicured and mostly empty, it feels like Gramercy Park, only you don’t need a key to access it.
10. East River State Park, Williamsburg, Brooklyn: In recent years, the waterfront in New York’s famously hipster neighborhood has exploded with outdoor spaces, including the seven-acre East River State Park. Featuring a beach that is best avoided barefoot, it draws a more subdued crowd than the one that flocks to McCarren Park right down the street.