Bryant Park is just glorious. Located in Midtown, tucked squarely between the busy-ness of Times Square, the Rockefeller Center & Grand Central Station, this park is a standout NYC spot. Bring a blanket to lounge on, or not. There are tables and chairs aplenty, ready to serve your every park-loving whim. Substantially smaller than Central Park, this is an excellent spot to meet a friend for lunch and bask in the citylicious fun of Midtown. With lots of greenery and foliage to bathe your scurried mind in a peaceful calm. Ahhhh, breathe in that oxygen.
There is just something about Bryant Park that is old-school, inviting some kind of connection to the past generations of corporate New Yorkers. Their leather-bound briefcases and smart, tailored suits. Gazing upward at the impressive structures that represent industry, success, power. But here? Put business time aside and just relax. It's the perfect place to meet a pal for lunch. To ice skate in the winter. To read in the summer. Come visit the free Art Cart! Yes, there are free arts and crafts, where you can just draw and paint for hours, lounging by Le Carrousel. What is that? Oh, just the most charming, fanciful merry-go-round in the city. Or if that's not your thing, you can always head over to the Putting Green or Potanque Court for a friendly game. And did I mention the summer long Film Festival? Oh, how I loathe that I cannot be present for this summer's lineup of classic films. This park seriously has it going on, hosting every kind of community activity from yoga to book club to juggling, modern dance and fencing. Yes, fencing.
I recently met my sweetheart friend Jenna in Bryant Park for a quick (and delicious!) sandwich at 'Wichcraft, a delicious food cart of sorts. We met each other in Boston when we worked for an ad agency (she hired me!) and we somehow both found ourselves in NYC not too shortly after. I have loved getting time to explore the city with her. On this particularly perfect sunny afternoon, we basked in the breezy warmth and discussed the craziness of living in this city, and the craziness of leaving the city. And she gave me a most beautiful, poignant gift: this book, Good Bye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York. It is a meaningful collection of essays, an homage highlighting all the glorious and gritty that New York offers its proud citizens. Such a sweet gift. I sat in the park for the afternoon, after she scurried back to her office, and read and read and read. And found a thankful peace in the midst of such a strange, exciting transition.
Basking. And thankful.
Thank you, sweet Jenna, for celebrating our departure from New York as a positive thing. For making me feel that this bittersweet decision is really just a progression from one season to the next, leaving a delicious taste in my mouth for this wonderful place I was proud to call home, even if only for a short time. And thanks to Bryant Park, I will always remember that feeling :)