By Frank Smith

Among the excitement and chaos that's NY City, tiny havens have been put aside for the enjoyment of the overall public. The New York public parks and gardens offer a place of rest and retreat from the bustle of day-to-day life.

Central Park

Central park is maybe the most renowned of the New York public parks. Over one hundred fifty years of age , this park is found in the center of Manhattan in NY Town. As the town became more crowded, the citizens required a place to escape from the cramped conditions of New York City. The solution was the commission of Central Park in 1857. The 843-acre park is completely landscaped excepting a untamed wooded area. The park remains a sanctuary from the noise and havoc of New York. 1 or 2 miles of walking trails, sports fields, out of doors pools, and rock climbing provide a selection of paths to exercise. Central Park is also home to a sizeable zoo, a nature center, and hosts ice skating in the winter. Entertainment is provided in the guise of the once a year Shakespeare Festival in the outside amphitheatre and free performances in Summerstage, an outdoor arena.

New York Botanical Garden

Set up in 1891, The New York Botanical Garden is a spectacular 250-acre facility found in the Bronx and is now a National Historic Landmark and maybe the most world famous of the New York gardens. With 50 separate gardens, there is always something in bloom. The 50 acres of native forest offers a rare opportunity to view New York forestry as it was before Europeans settled the area. This New York garden is home to the largest botanical library in Northern America. Extensive botanical research is conducted in the huge Pfizer Plant Research Lab. This facility has many important botanical examples and carries out crucial research on plant genetics. The only clean water river in NY City winds its way through the gardens in New York.

Bryant Park

Bryant Park is a New York public park rich with American history. This park has been the site of significant riots and protests and even a visit from George Washington. Up till just recently Bryant Park was host to New York fashion week for 17 years. Located in midtown Manhattan, Bryant Park is the most densely occupied urban park internationally. The park is packed year round with free classes and events. Visitors can enjoy concerts, theatre, chess lessons, knitting lessons, yoga, and tai chi courtesy of the Park. An ice-skating rink and a holiday market opened during the cold winter months makes this park as popular in winter as it is in nicer weather.

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