Union Square Park | Historic, Vibrant and… a Foodie Destination

by NYJ Team

This vibrant and historic urban park is the perfect place to people watch in New York City. Located at the intersection of Broadway and 4th Avenue, Union Square Park was the site of the first Labour Day parade in 1882. It also houses the flagship location of the popular Greenmarket Farmers Market, a state-of-the-art children’s playground and a majestic bronze sculpture of George Washington.

Union Square Park

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Things to Do at Union Square Park

From art vendors to street entertainers to the occasional protest, there are plenty of interesting things to do and see in Union Square Park. Friends can congregate by the James Fountain and kids can play at the 15,000 square-foot playground which features a mini-mountain and rubber-tiled floor to protect little knees from scrapes.

Union Square Park is a popular destination for foodies- it is home to the flagship location of the world-famous Greenmarket Farmers Market. Situated at the north end of the park, the Union Square Greenmarket attracts thousands of visitors all year round eager to shop for fresh, locally grown produce, heritage meats and artisan breads and cheeses.

Union Square Park is also a perfect place to relax and do nothing at all. There are lots of benches to perch and people watch or grassy spots to spread out a blanket and enjoy a picnic lunch.

A Historic Public Space

Union Square Park opened in 1839 and quickly became a bustling town square and one of New York’s most popular public spaces to meet. Centrally located in Manhattan, Union Square was named for its location at the “union” of Bloomingdale and Bowery Roads which is known today as Broadway and 4th Avenue.

Union Square has a history of being a hub of political and social activism and was the site of many workers’ rallies in the 1930’s. It has served as a place for people to gather for political demonstrations, labor protests and community events.

A crowd of 10,000 workers gathered in Union Square for the first Labor Day parade on September 5th, 1882. Labor Day became a national holiday in 1884 and Union Square’s role in American labor history led to its designation as a National Historic Landmark in 1997.

Statues in Union Square Park

Union Square Park is one of the most popular places for New York City locals to meet up at and one of the highlights of the park is its collection of majestic statues. They not only honor important historical figures, but they also are a great way to find someone – “meet me by Abraham Lincoln!” In addition to a statue of America’s 16th president, Union Square Park features sculptures of the Marquis de Lafayette (created by Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, the designer of the Statue of Liberty) and Mohandas Gandhi.

Visitors should be sure to seek out the spectacular equestrian statue of the first president of the United States, George Washington. Located at the south end of the park, this bronze work is the oldest sculpture in the New York City Parks collection.

Where Is Union Square Park in New York City?

Union Square Park runs from East 14th Street to East 17th Street between Park Avenue South and Broadway.

For more information on Union Square Park including maps of the area and directions call 212-New-York or visit Union Square Park official website.

Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with official website.

The High Line | Take a Stroll Above the Streets of Manhattan

by NYJ Team

Take a stroll on The High Line and you’ll find yourself walking high above the streets of Manhattan admiring some pretty amazing city views. This New York City public park is built on a former elevated railroad structure in Manhattan’s West Side.

The High Line stretches from Gansevoort Street to West 34th though the neighborhoods of West Chelsea, the Meatpacking District and Hell’s Kitchen. This unique park is a greenway over a mile and a half long landscaped with regional flora and dotted with benches where you can sit, relax and experience spectacular vistas of the city.

The High Line

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A Part of Manhattan’s Industrial Past

This elevated park is built around an old rail line that operated from 1934 to 1980. Known as the West Side Line, the tracks were built to lift the increasingly busy and dangerous traffic caused by the freight trains into the air. This helped to eliminate the growing number of train accidents and fatalities in Manhattan’s biggest and busiest industrial area.

For decades this freight rail moved a variety of goods around the west side of the city 30 feet above the streets. Agricultural products and manufactured goods made their way to factories and shipments of meat were delivered to the Meatpacking District. The West Side Line also moved mail to the city’s Post Office.

From the Threat of Demolition to Urban Oasis

The last train (carrying frozen turkeys) traveled The High Line in 1980. A few years later, the structure faced demolition. Property owners with land located under the former rail line, which was now unkempt and overgrown, wanted the tracks removed.

Recognizing the historic importance of The High Line, a non-profit group called Friends of the High Line was formed by community residents in 1999. The group was successful in lobbying the government to preserve the structure and eventually develop it for pedestrian use. An international competition was held for the architectural firm and landscape design team that would transform the old rail line into the elevated public park it is today. The High Line opened to the public on June 9th 2009.

Friends of the High Line now works together with the City of New York to maintain the park and raise funds for its preservation and development.

Experiencing the High Line

From the rotating art exhibits to the stunning sunsets over the Hudson River, the High Line is a great destination to check out the next time you are shopping in the trendy Meatpacking District or Chelsea Market (where High Line tracks run through the second floor).

The park’s landscape showcases a wide variety of colorful perennials and trees with many of the plantings inspired by the species that originally grew along the rail line.

Visiting the High Line in New York City

The High Line stretches from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues.

Visitors can access The High Line park from Gansevoort, 14th, 16th, 18th, 20th, 23rd, 26th, 28th, 30th Streets as well as 30th Street and 11th Avenue along with 34th Street and 12th Avenue. Elevator access is available at 14th, 16th, 23rd and 30th Streets and bike racks are located outside the stairs at Gansevoort, 16th, 18th and 20th. Bicycles and dogs are not permitted on the High Line. Visit The High Line website where a downloadable/printable pdf guide is available. Hours vary by season.

Mailing Address: 529 West 20th Street, Suite 8W, New York City, New York
Phone: 212-500-6035
Fax: 212-206-9118
E-mail: info@thehighline.org

Click here to visit The High Line official website.

Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with official website.

Trinity Church | Established in 1698 | A National Historic Landmark

by NYJ Team

Trinity Church, located at Broadway and Wall Street in lower Manhattan, is an active Episcopal parish with a long history. The third church to be built on the site, Trinity Church has been a beacon to ships arriving in New York Harbor as well as to area residents since it was established in 1698.

Trinity Church

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History

The original Trinity Church was built in 1698. At the time, it was one of the tallest buildings in Manhattan (hard to believe today) and the church’s spire acted as a beacon to ships arriving in New York Harbor. In 1709, the church began a charity school, whose first classes were held in the steeple of the church, and in 1754, a school of higher education, King’s College, was added. That school continues today as Columbia University.

The first Trinity Church was destroyed by a massive fire in 1776 that razed over 500 buildings in lower Manhattan. The second Trinity Church was completed in 1790 and counted George Washington among its parishioners. The second church was hastily constructed, however, and suffered extensive damage in a 1838 snowstorm. It was torn down in 1839.

The present Trinity Church was completed in 1846, designed by Richard Upjohn in the popular Gothic Revival style. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976. Trinity continues to be an active, vibrant parish.

St. Paul’s Chapel, a nearby part of Trinity Church is the oldest public building in continuous use in New York City. Miraculously, the chapel, located across from the World Trade Center site, escaped damage during the 9/11 attacks and served as a community shelter and source of inspiration for thousands of New Yorkers during that difficult time.

Trinity Church is affiliated with three historic burial sites. The burial ground at Wall Street and Broadway is the final resting place for Alexander Hamilton and his wife, inventor Robert Fulton, printer William Bradford, and several members of the Continental Congress. The Church also maintains a cemetery at Riverside Drive and e.155th St., on the former estate of James Audubon. Mr. Audubon is buried there as well as several members of the Astor family, including John Jacob Astor IV who died on the “Titanic,” and Clement Clarke Moore, the author of “The Night Before Christmas.” The third is connected to St. Paul’s Chapel and is home to many historic, pre-Revolutionary War graves.

Community Outreach

In addition to its school, Trinity Church operates a preschool and day care center; the John Heuss Center, a 24-hour drop-in center for homeless, mentally ill, and mentally-frail residents; and St. Margaret’s House, an apartment-style complex for elderly and mobility impaired residents.

Music at Trinity

Music is an important part of the ministry at Trinity Church. The church’s “Concerts at One,” held since 1962, have become a tradition in the financial district. In addition, Trinity’s Sunday service and musical selections are broadcast on New York’s WQXR 96.3 FM each week.

Visiting Trinity Church

Trinity Church welcomes visitors of all denominations. The church is within an easy walk of New York’s Financial District as well as other sites in lower Manhattan, including South Street Seaport. The church can also be easily reached via bus, subway, or taxi.

Trinity Church holds several worship services daily including at least one Eucharist service. Free tours of Trinity Church are offered each day at 2pm. Visitors may also explore the adjoining museum, which houses exhibits about the church’s long and illustrious history. The museum is open Monday through Friday from 9am to 11:45am and from 1pm to 3:45pm. Weekend hours are Saturday from 10am to 3:45pm and Sunday from 1pm to 3:45pm. The museum, too, is free.

Location: 74 Trinity Place, New York, New York
Phone: 212 602-0800

Click to visit Trinity Church official website.