People-Watching and Bright Skies
The New York Times recently printed "Places to Picnic," a short article about the best places to eat outdoors in NYC. We'll assume you know well the virtues of picnicking, such as people-watching and bright, blue skies. So here is a short list explaining not only where to go, but when to go.
Uptown: Central Park, duh. But at 843 acres Central Park is gigantic. So here are two favorite spots, one popular, one lesser known. 1) Sheep's Meadow, a 15 acre preserve on the west side of the Park between 66th and 69th. This is one of the most popular spots and can draw up to 30,000 people per day. The large lawn opens skyward to a great view of the NYC cityscape. 2) McGown's pass is farther north at 102nd and on the east side of the park. You'll find more shade here and enjoy a hilltop view of Harlem Meer. ("Meer," if you're interested, is a Dutch word meaning "lake.")
Midtown: Bryant Park is located between 5th and 6th avenues and 40th and 42nd streets. It's home to "The Great Lawn," two rare acres of green grass, which from time to time hosts fashions shows and film festivals. It borders the New York Public Library's Main Branch, and actually sits on top of an underground structure that house's the library's stacks.
Downtown: Liberty Park at The World Trade Center is one of NYC's newest parks having opened in June 2016. This park is elevated, sitting atop the Vehicle Security Center and overlooking the National September 11th Memorial & Museum. NYT calls Liberty Park one the best places in the city for people-watching. Look for the "living wall," 862 panels of golden star, Japanese spurge, coral bells, and winter creeper, among others.
Uptown, midtown, or downtown, NYC offers charming nooks for your picnic.