Bryant Park: An Oasis in Midtown- Sami Kaufman

New York City is sprinkled with dozens of parks and yet no two parks are alike.  It seems as though each park has a personality of its own and attracts a specific New York crowd.  A park’s character is predominantly determined by its location and function.  While some parks have a welcoming neighborhood vibe, others are forbidding and exclusive. 

 Bryant Park, however, is an anomaly.  It has no specific function and does not attract any particular crowd.  But despite its apparent ambiguity, it does not lack character.  Bryant Park is a true chameleon that assumes whatever role its visitors desire.  It is both peaceful and vibrant: a private sanctuary and a local hotspot.

Located in the heart of Midtown, in close proximity to Times Square, Grand Central Station and the 5th avenue shopping district, Bryant Park represents a crossroads both geographically and demographically.   It caters to everyone and to no one, transforming from a popular relaxation point during the day to a lively bar scene at night, and connecting people from all walks of life in the process. 

 I visited Bryant Park on a Friday afternoon and was immediately mesmerized by its aura and charm.  Although the Park was filled with people taking advantage of its diverse amenities, the crowd was not unpleasant or overwhelming.  I sat down at a small green table, next to the fountains and found myself enjoying the simple act of people-watching.  I found it fascinating that the Park had something to offer just about everyone, and in doing so made it impossible for anyone to feel like an outsider.  Whatever your mood, whatever your desires, whatever your purpose is for being in New York, I would recommend that you take the time to sit and relax in Bryant Park.


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