Perhaps New York’s most famous oasis
NYC Dept. of Parks & Recreation
Central Park Conservancy
Central Park, especially above 96th Street. In the summers, families carry blankets, food and radios for evening picnics and rent boats on the lake. I learned to skate in this area.
In the center of the city, a place for retreat.
Central Park may seem an obvious choice, but it’s not one that should be taken for granted. I am lucky enough to live within a block of the Park and it is very important to me. I love New York City down to my toes, but I grew up in a small town where the woods were literally my backyard. Exploring them was an everyday part of my life and I embraced that experience. Having Central Park here in the city and so close by means I get to enjoy the best of both worlds. I realize it a large place to nominate but one of the things that is so joyful about it is its expanse and variety of environments, from Sheep Meadow to the Ramble to the Reservoir to the Harlem Meer. Without Central Park New York would be primarily just a super dense city with nothing like the relief and beauty provided it by Central Park.
Central Park is still open during the coronavirus pandemic and, from what I have witnessed, people are doing a good job of maintaining a distance. Because of the size of the Park and because fewer people are out and about, it is, at least at this point, possible to maintain a safe distance from others. I’m not sure how this will hold up once warmer weather comes.
(added April 2020)