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

    James J Walker Park

  • Photograph: Alvina Lai

    James J Walker Park

  • Photograph: Alvina Lai

    James J Walker Park

Photograph: Alvina Lai

James J Walker Park


James J. Walker Park
In view of a playground, a large baseball diamond and the small but picturesque Hudson Park branch of the NYPL runs a corridor of benches that enjoys abundant shade. You won’t have to fight for a seat in this reading area, as the park is located off the beaten path and seems to be area residents’ well-guarded secret. A sweeping row of gorgeous 19th-century townhouses faces you from across the street, bestowing a sense of history and grandeur on this little enclave. Out of deference to authors Sherwood Anderson and Theodore Dreiser, who once occupied numbers 12 and 16, respectively, you might dip into one of their American classics: the beautiful linked stories of Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio; or perhaps Dreiser’s Sister Carrie, a powerful, naturalist novel about a young woman’s move to the city. If you’re at a loss, the library next door will provide a title, or you can download e-books from nypl.org. Edna St. Vincent Millay’s own former domicile—a narrow, Dutch-looking façade at 75½ Bedford Street—is just a few blocks away, as is the Cherry Lane Theatre (38 Commerce St), which Millay helped found in 1924. St. Luke’s Pl between Seventh Ave South and Hudson St

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