(all photos by Malcolm)
Bryant Park is a city centre (Manhattan) park that used to be a drug haunt but has been cleaned up and given a complete makeover (back some years ago now). I’m told by one who knows about these things that it’s often used as a case study on how open spaces can be used to transform an area. The quote below is from an article in The Guardian in 2000:
Bryant Park, just off Fifth Avenue has been transformed, with the help of $10m of private sector money, from a disused six-acre stretch of land that averaged 10 rapes and 150 robberies a year into a park that hosts fashion shows and open-air cinema and attracts 10,000 visitors daily
Today y0u would never ever guess at the park’s sorry past. It is a lovely, busy, well-used, vibrant / peaceful space (yes both – find in it what you will), with a range of free activities that would make the average community centre green with envy.
We happened upon it by chance as we explored Manhattan. I’d picked it out on the map as somewhere we could sit and recover from our long morning walk and maybe find a coffee. I wasn’t wrong.
But coffee and a peaceful sit wasn’t all we found there that middle of the day.
There was music.
There were games.
There were other games. Free to borrow, suitable for adults and children of any and all ages.
There were books.
And then, on our way off to somewhere else, we found that there was knitting. Oh joy!
These people gather every Wednesday afternoon through the summer. They come from all across NYC. The yarn is supplied by the sponsoring yarn store. They knit beautiful scarves for a homeless charity, which distributes them for the winter. Those who are experienced knitters help and teach beginners and improvers. Win-win.
We returned to Bryant Park several times during our stay. Of course.