One thing I absolutely love about the East Village is its number of community gardens. In such a densely populated city, open space is rare and highly prized. When a developer can so easily plant a 30-story glass high-rise smack in the middle of a historic and residential block, it's wonderful to come upon a garden instead. Even better, these gardens are free and open to everyone.
I've lost track of the number of gardens in the EV (last I checked, there were about 35), but they dot the neighborhoods east of 1st Avenue like little green oases. Each has its own distinct personality and offers up a unique experience. When ever I want a little quiet time to sit and read, or just enjoy the birds, flowers, fish, turtles and sun, I have a heap of gardens from which to choose. If I want to hear live music and a little theater, there's a garden for that; if I want to loll around in a hammock out of sight, there's a garden for that; if I want to host a bbq with a few friends, there's a garden for that...and all of these within easy walking distance.
A few of my favorites include:
...with resident kitteh.
The lovely shed.
Beautiful basalt columns surrounding a fish pond.
Sara D Roosevelt Garden
Everything is big in NYC, including the insects!
Foxglove and roses.
La Plaza Cultural
Pretty in pink.
Home for birds.
A nice statue at the 6th Street Community Garden:
Oranges at the Liz Christy Garden
I can't resist a cat sculpture.
El Sol Brillante
Some of the many tangles of roses...
This small sample of pictures really doesn't do justice to the beauty and calm these gardens bring to the neighborhood. For many more garden photos, please see my Urban Greenscapes collection here.
Information on NYC's Greenthumb Program can be found here.