I saw some green space on the Upper East Side a few times from ferries, and wondered, well, what is this relatively uncrowded riverfront space in New York City?
I asked a colleague who lives in the 80s, and he said, “Schurz. It’s just a local park.”
Actually, Carl Schurz Park is a lot more than that. The park extends from 84th to 90th streets in Manhattan, along the East River. It’s the home of Gracie Mansion, though not much of the outside of the mayor’s official residence can be seen and it’s not the main attraction anyway. The river views and the beautiful landscaping are the attraction.
Schurz was a Civil War general among other things, but the history of the park is available on the website above. The point of this blog is, it’s free, it’s worth seeing and even on summer days, it’s not too crowded. The park is off the main tourist track, but not far from the Q train, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Frick and other Museum Mile stops.
The park offers offers views of Roosevelt Island, the Triborough Bridge, Randall’s and Ward’s islands, and there are playgrounds and places to fish (eating something from the East River is perhaps not a good idea). The grounds are well-kept, with several sculptures and architectural features.
The park website tells about activities there. There was an art show along with the obligatory food trucks when we visited, but all that was kept along the western edge of the park. The river walkways were not obstructed.
So check out Schurz Park. It’s free, it’s easy to get to, and it offers a relief from Manhattan crowds. On the way back to the Q station, we stopped at The Little Frog, a small French bar and restaurant on 86th Street for drinks and dessert. Nice, not cheap but good, and we will try it again.
Schurz Park. Try it!