Best West Village parks to read in

Revel in the elegant green spaces of the West Village including James J. Walker Park and the Gardens at St. Luke in the Fields while relaxing with a good book.



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  • Photograph: Alvina Lai

    Abingdon Square Park

  • Photograph: Alvina Lai

    James J Walker Park

  • Photograph: Alvina Lai

    The Jefferson Market Garden

  • Photograph: Alvina Lai

    The Church of St. Luke in the Fields

Photograph: Alvina Lai

Abingdon Square Park

Onetime West Village resident Edna St. Vincent Millay said that city trees sound as “thin and sweet” as those “in country lanes.” (At least when you’re not hearing “the traffic and trains” she mentions in the same poem.) As New York’s arbors wear their lovely summer linen, why not revisit Millay’s old neighborhood and go off the grid—literally get off of Manhattan’s planned streets—for the desultory, tightly knit lanes of what still feels like old New York? While you’re there, bring a book (we’ve suggested a few), a magazine or an e-reader, as you’re bound to find yourself near one of the many quaint public parks to read in. Locals and tourists alike know of Washington Square Park and the High Line, which tend to be crowded, so we’re recommending a few choice spots that many New Yorkers often overlook. Some provide a communal feel, others afford a rare sense of isolation. All of them offer a retreat into nature—and an escape from the often consuming pace of ordinary Manhattan street life.

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