“It is the ambition of the New Yorker to live upon the Fifth Avenue, to take his airings in the Park, and to sleep with his fathers in Green-Wood,” wrote Paul Goldberger in The New York Times in 1866. By “park,” Goldberger means Central Park, without a doubt New York’s most well-known green space. The five boroughs have several parks and public green spaces that rival Central Park in beauty and urban-escape appeal, including the Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn Goldberger wrote about. Learn more about Green-Wood and four other awe-inspiring Brooklyn green spaces below.
Brooklyn Bridge Park
Brooklyn’s waterfront used to be dominated by industry. Today, it’s home to some of the most desirable neighborhoods and expensive real estate in all NYC. Just over a mile of Brooklyn’s former industrial waterfront has been revitalized, in phases, over the past several years. The result is Brooklyn Bridge Park, a well-designed space boasting dazzling views of lower Manhattan, Governor’s Island, Ellis Island, and the Statue of Liberty. Brooklyn Bridge Park is a 20-minute walk from NU Hotel Brooklyn.
Established in 1838, Green-Wood Cemetery is a magnificent green space that inspired the design and construction of Manhattan’s Central Park and Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. Walk through the park to appreciate the ornate headstones, impressive sculptures, a diverse collection of thriving foliage, and stunning views. Green-Wood Cemetery is hillier than most of Brooklyn, and contains the borough’s highest point, Battle Hill.
On the border of Williamsburg and Greenpoint sits McCarren Park, a 35-acre green space, where weekend warriors play and picnickers soak up sunny rays. The park is generally packed when the weather is nice, which makes for great people watching. Amenity highlights include several playing fields and the McCarren Park Play and Pool Center, which reopened on 2012 after a 30-year closure and major, decade-long renovation.
A few blocks north of McCarren Park, Monsignor McGolrick Park is a Greenpoint gem. The nine-acre space grew in popularity when the classical brick-and-limestone Shelter Pavilion was completed in 1910. To this day, its arches inspire Greenpoint residents who frequent the green space. Another McGolrick Park selling point is a sculpture commemorating the Battle of the Monitor and the Merrimack. The USS Monitor was constructed in Greenpoint and outfitted nearby at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Brooklyn’s largest and most celebrated public park, Prospect Park is a place New Yorkers go to feel like they’ve escaped the city without even nearing its limits. If you’re feeling claustrophobic during your stay or just want to see what all the fuss is about, Prospect Park is a ten-minute cab ride from NU Hotel. The park is home to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Prospect Park Zoo, an old Boathouse, and Brooklyn’s only lake.
Brooklyn’s most impressive green spaces are spectacular in the summertime and refreshingly tranquil during winter. Experience the views from Brooklyn Bridge Park, search for Leonard Bernstein and Horace Greeley’s tombstones in Green-Wood Cemetery, or explore the urban forest that is Prospect Park. No matter what time of year you visit, these impressive Brooklyn green spaces have the capacity to impress.