I haven’t lived on the Upper East Side since 2009, but I couldn’t possibly forget the beauty and tranquility of Carl Schurz Park. This NYC park is more a neighborhood hideaway than tourist attraction for sure, but if you find yourself in the Yorkville section of the Upper East Side, then a stop by Carl Schurz Park should be on your agenda.
If you’ve never been, the park begins at East 84th Street at East End Avenue and ends at East 90th Street. Coming in at just under 15 acres, it’s small in comparison to Central Park and Riverside Park (the West Side’s green space), but packs a lot into its tiny parcel. During my recent visit with Mike and Bogey, I was quickly reminded that there are multiple reasons to love Carl Schurz Park.
The park leads to the East River Greenway, so you can amble through and end up on the water in minutes. Once on the promenade, power walk, jog, bike, or watch everyone else be active as you gaze at the East River. Not a shabby way to spend an afternoon, if you ask me.
Stairs are an essential design element in Carl Schurz, and the different levels add to the park’s uniqueness.
Plenty of soft, green grass.
While Carl Schurz offers an array of plantings, you won’t find a shortage of spots to sunbathe. And since miles of concrete cover NYC’s streets, every square inch of grass matters.
The landscape design of this park is traditional but magnificent.
The dog runs.
There’s a good amount of space for your four-legged companion to romp and relax too. Bogey played around in one of the park’s two dog runs, after which he was super thirsty!
Sun and shade.
With its winding walkways and grand old trees, Carl Schurz Park caters to sun worshippers as well as those seeking a shady retreat from the summer heat.
Though his office is in Lower Manhattan, the mayor lives at East 88th Street and East End Avenue in Carl Schurz Park. Gracie Mansion, also called the “Little White House,” was renovated in 2002 and offers tours on Tuesdays.
The park feels local.
So, it’s not as sprawling as Central Park or as bohemian as some of downtown’s parks, but who cares? If you’re not a New Yorker, you’ll get an accurate portrayal of everyday life when you visit Carl Schurz Park. If you’re a New Yorker who’s never been to this Upper East Side gem, what are you waiting for?
All photos by me, except the Gracie Mansion photo is from Eden Pictures via Flickr.