the sunday guide to // new york
Is it possible to enjoy a relaxing Sunday in the city that never sleeps? New York may be famed for its never-ending night life, bustling shopping streets and hordes of tourists, but it is possible to visit the Big Apple and bypass all of this. There are plenty of opportunities to unwind in New York, whether you prefer finding a secluded spot in a park or admiring modern art. Read on for our top tips for how to spend a relaxing Sunday in NYC.
Walk the High Line
Rise above the hectic city streets by retreating to the High Line. This mile long public park has transformed an old freight train line into a popular place to walk and relax away from the traffic below. Although it can get busy at weekends and in summer, the High Line is the perfect place to start your day. There are plenty of sundecks and seating areas where you can sit back and enjoy the view of the city, watching the day unfold from above. All along the park you can discover works of art both in the gardens and on the walls of the buildings that you pass by.
photo: by mike peel (www.mikepeel.net). CC BY-SA 4.0 via wikimedia commons
Escape to Four Freedoms Park
Honouring Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famous State of the Union speech, Four Freedoms Park is a tranquil oasis in the middle of the city. Located on the southernmost point of Roosevelt Island, the memorial is little visited by tourists, proving to be a relaxing refuge for those who have tired of the fast-paced city life. The green triangular lawn and white marble monuments are the ideal locations for a quiet reflective stroll, or sitting down and watching the world go by on the other side of the river.
photo: daranz (own work) CC BY-SA 3.0 via wikimedia commons
Discover Zen in the middle of the city
There is an almost endless amount of choice for visiting museums and galleries in New York, but if you are after quiet and relaxation, the Noguchi Museum should be the first place that you visit. Dedicated to the life’s work of Japanese-American artist and architect, Isamu Noguchi, the museum both showcases a retrospective of his sculpture work and demonstrates his architectural style. The Japanese-style Zen garden is a peaceful paradise, where you can wander amongst the sculptures at your own pace.
photo: by elizabeth beller (own work) CC BY-SA 3.0 via wikimedia commons
Seek out the most secluded spot in Central Park
Located on the West side of the popular park, there is a 40 acre area known as North Woods, where it is easy to imagine that you are no longer in the heart of the most densely populated city in America. Designed to replicate the Adirondack Mountains, the woodland is mainly left to itself in order to create a truly natural environment. Wander past fallen trees and through dense woodland to discover narrow streams, waterfalls and rock pools, where you enjoy the view of nature rather than the towering skyscrapers that are shielded from view by the tree tops.
photo: freddie marriage, via unsplash
Frequently described as one of the most impressive and important art galleries in the entire world, the Museum of Modern Art is an essential visit for any trip to New York. Founded in 1929, the historic museum was given an overhaul in 2004 that doubled its exhibition space, added a sculpture garden and coincided with the opening of a luxurious restaurant. The spacious exhibition halls showcase a diverse array of contemporary art, including a variety of rotating exhibits and installations.
Wander around the Botanical Gardens
The immense size (250 acres) of New York’s Botanical Gardens may seem overwhelming, but the gardens are the ideal place to while away an afternoon and unwind. The outdoor areas include the Thain Family Forest, native plant garden, rose gardens and seasonal walks, whilst there are several indoor gardens to enjoy during inclement weather conditions. The Enid A. Haupt Conservatory is the perfect location to escape to during the winter months, to admire the collections of tropical plants, palms and cacti whilst enjoying the humid temperatures.
Enjoy a steaming Cup of Joe
The perfect way to warm up in winter is to accompany the native New Yorkers in enjoying a cup of coffee in a slick coffee bar. Head to Devocion in Williamsburg to enjoy the freshest coffee in the city: their raw beans arrive from the roaster in Colombia just ten days after they’ve been picked. The slick, modern and well-lit open space is the perfect place to sit and relax, featuring a big skylight and a living wall.
photo: devocion by daniel maurer, via bedford & bowery
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