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Carl Schurz Park

The Magic of Carl Schurz Park

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 the people watching. But when I moved to an area of the UES closer to the East River, for the first time ever, I discovered Carl Schurz Park. I never even knew it existed prior to that.

Carl Schurz Park

Carl Schurz became my back (or literally my front) yard for 11 years while I lived on York Ave. It was my young son’s constant playground; and then later, his home court basketball court. He taught me how to throw a football there and how to shoot hoops, best I could. I walked or biked the path more times than I can count - early morning before starting my day, mid day on weekends and then my favorite time at sunset.

I grew familiar with the dogs in the two dog parks and their owners; the runners; the bikers; the moms and babies; the older couples strolling and groups of teens hanging out. I learned about the grass patches that I named “bikini beach” - the best tanning beds anywhere in NYC to me. I happily hung out there on many summer days - armed with a water bottle, iced coffee, sunscreen, the New York Times, a book, a towel, a beach chair, and earbuds - and found my comfortable sunny spots. Of course, bikini beach was great fun for people watching, too! For those of us stuck in the City on a hot day, the river breeze made us feel as if we were at the beach for real.

On dates it became the place to go for a romantic walk. Before dinner, after drinks, really anytime - I have many good memories of showing off the riverwalk to a number of dates. It created its own magic for us and that was so special as well. I even met a guy who lived in Maine, for the very first time there who I had been in touch with online for over a year. He finally visited me and our initial meeting spot was a bench that I chose and he google mapped it and found me just there.

Carl Schurz on snowy winter days was often the park that 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 to ride often with him if his friends couldn’t join.


Carl Schurz Park Snow

When my son was in high school, if he was running late getting home, I felt good knowing that on those days he might be at the park with his buddies. Raising a child in NYC has its challenges to making sure they don’t feel confined and knowing he loved this spot as much as I did was wonderful.

I moved from the area about four years ago and now live at the beach. The sand and the sea provide my new amazing backyard but I recall often the joy this New York City park gave me.


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