Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias / Social Fabric community, and have been compensated to share my experiences here with my audience by Collective Bias and their client, MasterCard.
You’d think in a city like New York there would be no place for an introvert like me to truly relax and enjoy the city’s vibes from a quiet perch, but this is one of the reasons why I love this city: there are nooks and crannies everywhere from which you can sneak away and unwind, even amidst all the hustle and bustle. One of my favorite places in fact is a “secret” garden nestled amongst a series of buildings just off of South Street Seaport. Of course, it’s not really THAT unknown (how secret can a garden be if it’s listed on Yelp anyway), BUT it IS relatively hidden enough that less than a handful of people are usually found walking the footpaths there. It’s located up two flights of stairs, so once you reach the top you are afforded a priceless and memorable view of the East River as it feeds into the Hudson, as well as the Brooklyn Bridge and skyline.
That’s an actual photo by the way. I was using a digital zoom via a camera app on my iPhone to get a closer shot of the ship passing by, but the resulting photo was (as you might have expected) pretty grainy and pixelated. I used a water painting texture to make up for the loss of quality, and now what had previously become one of the poorest photos I’ve taken is quickly becoming one of my favorites. WINNING!
In addition to the Brooklyn skyline, look further to the east you can see the famous Brooklyn Bridge, again all from the comfort of this quiet little garden.
So what’s the name of this particular garden you ask? Oh well, it’s called the pFfttdghfhTTss…
Ok, ok, I probably shouldn’t be too worried that everyone in creation will suddenly show up at the garden if I spill its name, but JUST to be safe, if you reaalllllly want to know, shoot me an email. BUT, only if you promise to be quiet while you’re here. Shhhhhhhhhhh!
Once I was done taking photos here and hanging out downtown, I decided to make my way further up, partly to check out a hotel for a friend, and partly to settle in again at another favorite place of mine in the city: Madison Square Park.
I have to say, when it comes to autumn, leaf peeping isn’t my only favorite pastime; I also love “sky peeping” as well, especially when it comes to some of my favorite buildings in New York. Most modern buildings don’t leave much to the imagination, but you won’t have to walk very far to be treated to architectural delights that continue to stand the test of time; buildings that hail from those days when builders were more artists than architects, such as the Flatiron Building.
Madison Square Park is truly another hidden gem for the introvert, and despite serving as a central hub for tourists and shoppers alike, there are plenty of places to get comfortable for either sky peeping or people watching (or just reading on the iPad like I do, thanks to the free wifi here). In a way it’s kind of like a mini-version of Central Park that I find ideal, especially given its close proximity to Penn Station where I usually check in and out of the city. Sometimes I visit the main city library further uptown when it’s open, and failing that I’d sometimes hit Borders at Madison Square Garden for good reads and tasty hot chocolates (before they closed it down that is. Boooooo.)
When I need a change of scenery or need to kill some time before I get back on the train home, I tend to lazily walk up and down 34th Street, taking in the bustling atmosphere with aplomb (and the shish kebabs from the food carts).
Not content to leave just yet though, I make one more stop for coffee (my third cup in case you’re counting), and settle in somewhere along 7th Avenue with my iPad:
Cars, people, the rumblings of a subway moving underneath, and yet somehow… I’m still perfectly at ease, an introvert recharging in the midst of chaos. Only in New York.