When you live in New York City’s Gramercy Park/East Village area (or anywhere but Central Park) it can be hard to find nature on an everyday basis. I’ve recently started a morning procedure involving a grande Starbucks coffee and a walk through the housing mecca of Stuyvesant Town. As I step off the First Ave. curb into the freshly landscaped development I can imagine it’s similar to the steps that John Muir took his first morning in Yosemite. Chickadees chirp, squirrels scamper about and pigeons feed off of smashed McDonalds french fries. Just like Yosemite.
They’ve done a tremendous amount of landscaping in the last few months. Trees that were once peppered throughout the area are now growing among a veritable forest of flowers and ferns.
And the constant flow of water in the fountains brings a certain European plaza flair to the whole scene. A full block in all directions from the streets, the sounds of rusty breaks is replaced by the persistant rush of water.
If you’re in search of a little nature and can’t make it up to Central Park, maybe a walk through this college campus-like landscape will do it. It’s not perfect, but it’s something. Add it to the list of compromises that we New Yorkers are so used to.