Riverside Park

Riverside Park is the quiet cousin to the crowded and boisterous Central Park.  Frederick Law Olmstead developed both parks, but considering the vastly different locations, they provide vastly different experiences.  Hugging the coast on the Upper Westside, the park stretches from 72nd St to 158th St, outshining Central Park in length, if not width.

The park lays claim to beautiful river views that can be seen from several vantage points.  There are technically three levels to the park, but I can only distinguish two.  There is a lower level with walkways and bike paths right next to the river.  Considering there are few trees at that level, it is wise to wear a hat.  Besides the river views, the lower level offers envious views of people’s boats docked at the marina.  I wonder if people ever take them out to fish along the Hudson.  Is it safe to fish in the Hudson?

Riverside Park

The upper level contains the more wooded and landscaped areas you would expect from Olmstead.  Here is a view of the upper level with glimpses of the river.  Looks very much like Central Park, doesn’t it?
Riverside Park

The upper level also contains lawn space and benches along the sides – perfect for quiet reading or picnics.  There were so few people around on a beautiful weekend afternoon that I had to wonder if this park is on people’s radars.
Riverside Park

One landmark of note when you reach the upper 80’s is the Soldiers and Sailors Monument.   It was built in the 1920’s to honor the New Yorkers who died in the Civil War.  It is reached via stairs, and the view of the park from up there is not quite as spectacular as the view of the monument itself up close.
Riverside Park

The more famous monument in the park, Grant’s Tomb, is much further uptown in the 120’s. If you are up for a very long, leisurely stroll, it is very possible to walk from 72nd St to 125th St (there are breaks in the park for traffic at 96th St and 125th St). Just wear good walking shoes!

To get to the bottom starting point of the park, take the 1, 2, or 3 to 72nd St and walk west to the river.  The park is good for biking, dog-walking, and jogging. There are also many sports facilities and playgrounds sprinkled throughout the park.


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One Response to “Riverside Park”

  1. Spam Is Better Fried Says:

    Cool! Now I have a new walk to conquer!

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