Living on the Upper East Side for many years, the park I knew and enjoyed was Central Park. I loved the paths, the reservoir, the green grass, and people-watching. But when I moved to an area of the UES closer to the East River, I discovered Carl Schurz Park for the first time ever. I never knew it existed prior to that.
People sitting on the bench at Carl Schurz Park, New York City
Carl Schurz Park
Carl Schurz Park became my backyard for 11 years while I lived on York Ave. It was my young son’s endless playground and, later, his home basketball court. He taught me how to throw a football and shoot hoops. I walked or biked the path more times than I can count - early morning before starting my day, mid-day on the weekends, and during sunset.
Carl Schurz Park Conservancy
I happily hung out in Carl Schurz Park during the summer days. I would go to the park armed with a water bottle, iced coffee, sunscreen, the New York Times, a book, a towel, a beach chair, and earbuds. I grew familiar with the dogs in the park and their owners, the runners, bikers, moms, and babies, the older couples strolling, and groups of teens hanging out. I learned about the grass patches that I named “bikini beach.” Of course, bikini beach was great for people-watching too! For those of us stuck in Manhattan on a hot day, the river breeze made us feel like we were at a real beach.
When going out on a date, Carl Schurz Park became the place to go for romantic walks. Before dinner, after drinks, really anytime during the date. I have many fond memories of showing off the riverwalk to my dates. It created its own magic for us, and that was always special. I met a guy (who lived in Maine) for the first time at Carl Schurz Park. I have been in touch with him online for over a year.
On snowy winter days, Carl Schurz Park was often the park my son and I headed to for sledding adventures. Just below Gracie Mansion, the small hill provided great fun for young kids. I felt young again when I rode with him when his friends couldn’t join.
A blanket of snow covers Carl Schurz Park, New York City
During The Winter
Raising a child in NYC has its challenges. One of those challenges is making sure children don’t feel confined in a given space. When my son was in high school, I felt positive knowing he might be at the park, safe with his buddies if he was running late getting home. Knowing he loved Carl Schurz Park as much as I did was satisfying.
About four years ago, I moved from the area and now live near the beach. The sand and the sea provide my new amazing backyard, but I often recall the joy this New York City park gave me.