Yes, You Can Find Meditative Spaces in Midtown
Here’s where to slow things down a notch in the famously frenzied neighborhood.
Everyone thinks of Midtown Manhattan as a zoo, epitomized by the 24/7 circus that is Times Square. And while it’s true that you can find crowds here at all times of day (and night), it’s equally true that there are pockets of town where peace and quiet reign supreme.
We took a walk through the neighborhood to discover the secret hangouts we flock to when we need an escape from the bustle, from an indoor, tree-filled oasis to a hidden waterfall.
MoMA, 11 W 53rd Street
This iconic museum, which has just reopened following a massive expansion, is home to legendary works of art you’ll instantly recognize (hello, Matisse, Monet, Manet…the list goes on). And while the textbook-famous pieces (“Starry Night” by Van Gogh, for example) draw an audience, you can also find moments of solitude. Stand long enough or hunker down on a bench, and you’re guaranteed to find yourself alone surrounded by some of the world’s most inspiring works of art.
Paley Park, 3 E 53rd Street
A waterfall in Manhattan? Yes indeed. A quiet space to sit down after a day of shopping? You know it. This small parklet has plenty of seating, with the sound of rushing water drowning out the city.
Bank of America Tower’s Urban Garden Room, 43d Street & 6th Avenue
Duck into this leafy haven across the street from Bryant Park for a restful moment. It’s perfect in winter months or rainy days.
Bryant Park, 42nd Street & 6th Avenue
Just around the corner from Refinery, Bryant Park is the biggest stretch of grass in Midtown. Rest at one of the tables, or sprawl in the lawn during summer months.