Not quite midtown and not quite downtown, Madison Square Park is an urban oasis located in the lively Flatiron District. Wedged between Fifth and Madison Avenues and 23rd and 26th Streets, the seven-acre green space overflows with lush gardens and outdoor vignettes waiting to be photographed.
Named after President James Madison, Madison Square became a public park in 1847. Fast forward and it might be 170 years from its beginning, but the park is more alluring than ever. Not only is the space irresistible on its own, but the blocks surrounding Madison Square Park boast some of the most iconic buildings in the city, such as the Flatiron Building, the Met Life Clock Tower, and the New York Life Insurance Company Building.
I don’t get to this area of Manhattan as often as I’d like, but I was in the NoMad area a month or so ago and spent some time in and around Madison Square Park. Entering the park brought on an almost sedative-like effect for me – I felt the stress leave my body just steps in. Was I still in Manhattan? A pair of tightly plugged ear buds filled my head with music, blocking out any horns, sirens, and the steady hum of traffic on Fifth Avenue.
Yes, it had been more than a year since my last visit, but this slice of outdoor heaven was as enchanting as I remembered it. That Saturday was a picture-perfect summer day as I roamed inside and around Madison Square Park with no particular purpose. That’s the best way to roam, isn’t it?
Besides plenty of space for sunning and socializing, Madison Square Park boasts a dog park, a Shake Shack, the beautiful Madison Square Fountain, and a playground next to Bridget’s Garden. Plus, the park features public art projects, concerts, and annual foodie events like Madison Square Eats and Madison Square Chefs. There’s a lot of great stuff happening year-round in this neighborhood park that continues to bring happiness to countless New Yorkers and visitors every year.
The next time you’re anywhere near 23rd and Fifth, do yourself a favor and skip over to Madison Square Park, a treasure and a welcome respite in what’s almost midtown and almost downtown, but not quite either.
Madison Square Park
11 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010
Have you walked through Madison Square Park? For more about the park, visit madisonsquarepark.org.
Also, be sure to check out this charming pocket park, and a here’s our guide to picnics in New York. Also, things to do in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park! And while you’re in the Flatiron District, do some shopping. 🙂