About twenty plus years ago, I worked in a building that is across from the Bryant Park in midtown NewYork city. Although the New York Public Library fronts its Fifth Avenue boundary, the park then was not considered a peaceful escape from the concrete jungle of New York city. Not once did I ever step inside the park. I was told then that there were lots of unscrupulous and illicit business undertakings in the park. Every, morning when I got off the subway station, I glanced briefly in the direction of the park, noting its forestations emanating an air of menacing undertone. I then went about my own business.
|Carousel in Bryant Park|
Fast forward to today and this park has metamorphized into a celebrated green oasis in midtown New York city. Thanks to the restoration project initiated in the late 80's, the park now features a finely landscaped lawn filled with sun lovers during the warm months. Here, visitors could kick off their shoes and lie on the grass, settle in to have a picnic, engross onself in a good book or enjoy music programs occasionally held here. The signature Bryant Park fountain spraying refreshing cool mists together with the colorful carousel lend a touch of French charm to the surrounding gardens. There is also the Reading Room program in the park whereby visitors could peruse books and periodicals. Tables and chairs abound providing chess players the platforms to show off their skills. Since the restoration, I have left my footprints in the park many times.
During the summer at lunch hour, you could get a taste of Broadway in Bryant Park whereby a couple of songs from a Broadway show is performed weekly to packed crowds. As the winter approaches, the big lawn is eventually replaced by The Pond at Bryant Park, New York's only free ice skating rink. You could bring your own skates or rent there. The festive picturesque atmosphere is enhanced by the sprouting of holiday gift shops in the park.
To top it off, the park provides some of the cleanest public restrooms in NYC. I have often bypassed them not knowing much about their conditions. I had the oppportunity to utilize them recently. First, I was bowled over by the huge gorgeous bouquet of flowers at the entrance. The restrooms were clean and there was even classical music piped in.
I hope this year's Broadway in Bryant Park show agenda is as strong as the previous year selections. I can't wait for it to start in July. I hope to catch at least one show this season especially if they are showcasing the Broadway Wicked musical.
|Chrysler Building as seen on the 42nd Street side of Bryant Park|