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

    Bleecker Playground

  • Photograph: Alvina Lai

    Bleecker Playground

  • Photograph: Alvina Lai

    Bleecker Playground

Photograph: Alvina Lai

Bleecker Playground


Bleecker Playground
On one of the Village’s most celebrated streets sits an unlikely, surprisingly cozy, spot. Benches, picnic tables and smaller individual tables rest in a tiled, open plaza filled with shade trees. Though there’s a crosswind of shoppers and pedestrians from nearby stores and restaurants, there’s still a chance to find serenity here. Since the park boasts an intriguing bronze sculpture called The Family, by Chaim Gross, in its northwest corner, you might consider two inspiring novels about family life and coming of age, both set in and around New York. James Salter’s Light Years is a multifaceted portrait of family members as they grow a little older, and a little further apart. E.L. Doctorow’s World’s Fair presents a young boy living in Depression-era New York, in anticipation of the great exhibition that would end the decade. The park also happens to be catty-corner from Magnolia Bakery (401 Bleecker St at 11th St; 212-462-2572, magnoliabakery.com), should you want a guilty snack while flipping pages. Bleecker St between Hudson and W 11th Sts

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