Fort Washington Park, Little Red Lighthouse, below the bridge, spring
Forest Park, pine woods off Forrest Park Drive, summer
Prospect Park, Long Meadow, autumn
Pelham Bay Park, Twin Island, looking north, summer
High Rock Park, spring
Photographs: Joel Meyerowitz, Courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York
“We think we know New York,” says photographer Joel Meyerowtiz. “But most people are shocked that less than ten miles from 42nd Street, you can have a natural experience.” In 2005, the Bronx native and self-described “urban Huck Finn” was commissioned by the Department of Parks & Recreation to document the city’s green spaces, the first time this was done since the 1930s. They granted him special access to areas closed to the public, like Central Park’s Hallett Nature Sanctuary, and he snapped shots of woodlands, streams and marshes—the hidden splendor of the city. The result is his new book, Legacy: The Preservation of Wilderness in New York City Parks (Aperture). Meyerowitz talks about the tome on Wednesday 9 at the Strand Bookstore(828 Broadway at 12th St, 212-473-1452; 7pm, free). You can also tour his “Legacy” exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York(1220 Fifth Ave at 103rd St, 212-534-1672; through Mar 7, $6--$12), which features 90 of his photos, depicting all five boroughs. Here, he describes some of his prettiest images:
1 Fort Washington Park, Little Red Lighthouse, below the bridge, spring
“This is Manhattan’s only lighthouse, and it’s been there for more than 100 years. Standing next to this picturesque beacon and looking north to the Palisades is like being lost in time.” Fort Washington Park, W 178th St at the Hudson River (historichousetrust.org). Walk along the Hudson River underneath the George Washington Bridge.
2 Forest Park, pine woods off Forest Park Drive, summer
“This place helped me understand the difference between nature and parks. Parks are managed, but nature is a wild place, and the two coexist. This quiet, red-needled forest is not far from main roads, but it feels like you could be standing in the Georgia woods.” Forest Park Dr near Myrtle Ave at the southern edge of the park, Queens (718-235-0815)
3 Prospect Park, Long Meadow, autumn
“The Long Meadow isn’t exactly wilderness, but it’s spacious. There is a hidden ravine near this open field, and I was drawn to that contrast.” Enter from Prospect Park West at 3rd, 9th or 15th St, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-965-8951). Search for the ravine between the meadow and the Nethermead.
4 Pelham Bay Park, Twin Island, looking north, summer
“At Twin Island, you can see granite deposits that are 10,000 years old. It’s fantastic to be in New York City and take in these huge, glacial boulders. ” Orchard Beach, Orchard Beach Rd at Park Dr, North Games Area at Section 5, Bronx (718-430-1890). Walk to the northern end.
5 High Rock Park, spring
“This was the last spot I photographed for the book. I just stumbled upon it, high in the woods in a secret little pond. The fog settled over it, and it was dark and beautiful.” Nevada Ave, off Rockland Ave, go through the Greta Moulton Gate to get to the Greenbelt, Staten Island (718-667-2165)
See more Park life
Bus Stop Café
By name alone, Bus Stop Cafe evokes a no-frills neighborhood greasy spoon; a place that’s full of commuters hastily grabbing a quick bite that’s dependably just fine before hustling to catch a bus (or a train or a plane or a cab). That vignette does not capture the Parisian-bistro essence of Bus Stop Cafe, which likely gets its name from being located near a, you guessed it, bus stop in the heart of the West Village. The hefty, wide-ranging menu—which includes an entire page of served-all-day breakfast options like warm banana-walnut pancakes ($12), a jalepeño-avocado omelette ($13.75) and a fully loaded bagel-and-lox sandwich ($13.75)—is where Bus Stop’s diner likeness starts and ends. The ample sidewalk seating hugs the perimeter of the quaint, dimly lit corner restaurant’s street-facing walls. The rustic wooden two-tops are each bedecked with a small vase and flower, and the waitstaff’s informed but not overbearing friendliness elicits the feeling of idling at a European bistro; it’s a perfect place to have an intimidate date, dine alone as you read or simple watch passersby while sipping a glass of vino ($9 to $10.75). For dinner, appetizers run the gamut from savory beef nachos ($13.75) to a cocktail of fresh, succulent shrimp ($12.75 for four pieces), while homemade soups (4.75 to $5.75, or complimentary with an entrée) like chicken or French onion are simple and comforting. All regular-menu entrées, like a prime-cut sirloin steak with fresh vegetables and potatoes, a
Venue says: “HAPPY HOUR: Mon-Fri 12-7, $5.00 House Wine & Selective Beers. Mon & Tue ALL wine bottles 1/2 OFF. Call for delivery 212-206-1100”