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Photo: Molly Beauchemin

How To Spend A Beautiful Spring Weekend in NYC

Central Park is the obvious choice as the weekend destination for sport and relaxation in New York City, but here at Garden Collage, we have a few other ideas about how to experience nature in the concrete jungle. Once spring hits, Manhattan and the other Burroughs come alive as residents flock outdoors to soak up the sun. The city boasts some amazing green spaces and outdoor recreation activities– but you have to know where to look. Here are our Garden Collage staff picks.

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Union Square Farmer’s Market: Saturday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 8 am – 6 pm in Union Square Plaza at E. 14th St. & Broadway

Daisy Helman, Founder:

The Union Square Farmers Market has the buzz of a small country town center. This is a place that really displays the seasonal shifts, and it’s usually my first stop once the weather changes from bitter cold to balmy. I go early, grabbing a green juice from the Squeeze truck that is usually parked on 17th Street, and sit on the edge of park to watch the market wake up. Chefs roll up, pulling wagons to fill with produce, checking in with the venders they buy from weekly. Locals from the neighborhood, dog in one hand and coffee in the other, stand around and chat with farmers, inspecting produce and buying flowers. Hundreds of people walk through the Union Square Farmers Market on a daily basis, just narrowly missing each other as they balance huge bundles of wrapped flowers and swinging bags of peppers. Lines start to form, and as the season shifts seeing the first flight of tomatoes starts to feel like spotting gold. Tourists fill the plaza, tasting local wine, chipping local cheese off the block, taking photo after photo. All this action, all these people, and yet hardly anyone is snappy or pushy. Everyone is too happy to rush. I love that I can truly get everything I need for the week – from small pale blue eggs to flats of herbs – in one place. I can even buy soil or an ostrich egg huge enough to feed the entire family.

Gansevoort Market: Open Daily from 8AM to 8PM at 52 Gansevoort St

 

Lena Braun, Marketing Director:

If you want to spend time in an urban oasis with culinary highlights and the possibility of buying beautiful spring bouquets, this is your spot. Right in the heart of Meatpacking District, the Gansevoort Market offers a great variety of international products, which is why I love it. This place is great for a quick oyster protein stop, a fresh brick oven pizza, and endless options of salads and freshly-made juices under the tree-lined skylight.

Photo: Andreana Bitsis

The Cloisters at The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Open 7 Days a Week March–October, 10:00 a.m.–5:15 p.m. at 99 Margaret Corbin Drive

 

Zoe Camp, Content Strategist:

Located in the Upper West side of Manhattan, the Cloisters (an uptown church property owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art) are home to an impressive collection of tapestries and relics – but the best part is the expansive monastic garden, which is modeled after the plots kept by Spanish monks during the Middle Ages. It’s a fun way to step back in time and into nature all at once!

Photo: Molly Beauchemin

Farm To Yoga at Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm: Various Weekends in Spring + Summer at Brooklyn Navy Yard Farm, on the roof of Building #3 at 63 Flushing Avenue in Brooklyn

Molly Beauchemin, Editor-in-Chief:

Farm To Yoga at Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm is one of my favorite experiences not just in New York, but anywhere. Brooklyn Grange is an amazing institution: its a gorgeous flower, vegetable, bee, and chicken-filled farm on the rooftop of an old Navy building with what is possibly the most outstanding view of the Manhattan skyline in all of New York City. For Farm To Yoga, they set up a giant wedding tent amongst the flower beds and teach a yoga class at sunset, which is then followed by a Farm-to-Table dinner made exclusively from produce they grew on the rooftop farm. The tables are set with flower bouquets from the surrounding garden, and Brooklyn Grange times the dinner so that there are gorgeous views of the Manhattan Sunset as a breeze wafts through the Sunflowers that weren’t picked for the place settings. I can’t impress the beauty of this event enough. Imagine this: you are wandering through a field of flowers and stepping over ripe tomatoes plants and mixed greens and hot peppers; bees are buzzing and chickens are clucking and you’re sipping homemade Turmeric tea from the glass pitchers set up on wooden picnic tables where they serve dinner. This is a great place to go with friends; tickets for the event even come with a private tour of the facility, so you have the farm to yourself for a few hours of stretching, lounging, and dining. Everywhere you turn you are surrounded by lushness and green, with a gorgeous view of Manhattan across the water– it’s spectacular. Farm To Yoga is a hidden gem amongst New York City’s many marvels, and Brooklyn Grange is a spectacular urban oasis– where the wilderness meets the concrete jungle.

Jane’s Carousel at Brooklyn Bridge Park: The carousel is open Thursday – Sunday 11:00 am – 6:00 pm on Dock Street in DUMBO, Brooklyn

Laura Braun, Designer:

A sunset stroll on the waterfront in DUMBO is such a perfect way to relax and take in the environment that surrounds New York City. Manhattan is an island, after all, and watching the waves lap on the rocky shore in front of Jane’s Carousel— a restored 1922 carousel set in Brooklyn Bridge Park with a view of the bridge and the Manhattan skyline– is simply gorgeous. Brooklyn Bridge Park is really lovely in the evening, when the sun makes the skyline burn with light. It’s also a beautiful spot to have a picnic or take a walk with a friend (and if you’re looking for a great photo opportunity with a Manhattan backdrop, this is it).

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