Relaxing walks

Take a mind-clearing stroll.

  • East 61st Street between Park and Third Avenues

  • East 61st Street between Park and Third Avenues

  • Commerce Street

East 61st Street between Park and Third Avenues

Commerce Street
This teeny West Village lane—it’s only a block and a half long—feels awfully secluded from the rest of the neighborhood, especially since it winds in a way that few city streets do. Amp up the serotonin levels by stopping in for a snack at Milk & Cookies Bakery (19 Commerce St between Seventh Ave and Bedford St, 212-243-1640, a chocolate-chip treat is $1.75.

East 61st Street between Park and Third Avenues
You may never be able to afford to live here, but strolling down this gorgeous block is totally free. The buildings are a beautiful mix of architectural styles—including several 19th-century brownstones with curved exterior staircases.

Hicks Street between Middagh and Orange Streets, Brooklyn Heights
There’s a lot of history on this little stretch. The Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims, at the corner of Hicks and Orange Streets, was led by abolitionist Henry Ward Beecher (who was also the bro of Uncle Tom’s Cabin writer Harriet). The Federal-style houses with clapboard siding and the stereotypical Brooklyn brownstones give the two-block spread a small-town feel.

Montgomery Place between Prospect Park West and Eighth Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn Few streets in the city are as picturesque as this Park Slope road, which is only one block long and dead-ends at bucolic Prospect Park. It’s entirely residential, and the homes—mostly Romanesque Revival--style townhouses, some of which were designed by noted NYC architect C.P.H. Gilbert—look like the New York that you see in movies.

Shore Boulevard, Astoria, Queens
At the border of Astoria Park, this boulevard hugs the East River and offers unparalleled views of Manhattan. Head to the span between the Robert F. Kennedy and Hell Gate Bridges for some quiet contemplation (though it can get busy in the summer).

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