A few months back I went to Bryant Park in New York's Midtown to meet some friends.
Bryant Park is located behind the New York Public Library just off of Fifth Avenue. I sat in one spot and just photographed. This is my visit to the restored Bryant Park and its surrounding areas.
The Stephen A Schwarzman Public Library or the Main Branch as we so often call it, is a grand building on Fifth Avenue. But we are not here to talk about that, just to look at its backside.
We can see the Bryant Park Grill, a restaurant that also seats outside below.
The large arched windows let light into the reading room, with a 52 foot high ceiling.
The narrow windows allow light into the stacks of the library. In front is the Bryant Park Cafe.
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The 9.6 acre park is a privately managed public park situated between Fifth and Sixth (Avenue of the Americas) and between 40th and 42nd Street. In other words, between Times Square and Grand Central Terminal - in the heart of mid-town Manhattan.
A statue of the poet and journalist, William Cullen Bryant sits at the center of the back overlooking the park which has his name.
Along the perimeters of the great lawn are areas for the public to sit and eat. There are also seasonal displays.
Back when I lived in New York (and we are talking in the eighties here), I remember being terrified to walk near this park, it was a location of "ill repute" to put it mildly. But now, having come back, I am amazed at the transformation.
After a bit of sleuthing on my part I was surprised to learn that stacks were built in 1988, underneath the great lawn. That was the starting point for a major overhaul.
During the period of "ill repute" the park was not safe and felt cut off from the rest of the city. The renovations lowered the park by a few feet and opened it up to the outside with new entrances which made the area safe for all visitors.
There is also a carousel in keeping with the French styling of the park.
Looking up at the tall buildings upon buildings surrounding the area.
On the Sixth Avenue side we see lots of modern skyscrapers such as this tall glass building and the one to its right which is the Bank of America Financial Center.
I love photographing reflective surfaces like this especially when you have so much to see.
The Fountain Terrace has plentiful seating that is movable, adding to the feeling of the public being in control. There is also a reading room where visitors can borrow books to read in their spare time and where events are hosted.
In the winter, the lawn is covered into a free skating rink for the public and the surrounding area is lived up with a Winter Village full of little shops that have eats and hand crafted goods. This has really transformed the park into a year round destination for visitors.
Summertime, the lawn hosts a weekly movie night event, and Broadway concerts.
The Josephine Shaw Lowell Memorial Fountain is made of Stony Creek granite and bronze. It is the first major monument in the city, to honor a female who was a social worker. It was installed in 1912 and relocated to its present site in 1936.
The State University NY College of Optometry is located in the tall building.
It is also known as the W.R. Grace Building and is famous for its curved vertical facade on both sides. Yes, it looks as if it is going to topple over.
On the southwest corner of the park we can see the Bank of China which recently built this skyscraper.
When these buildings light up at night it is a whole different look! Lots of colors and sites to see all around.
One last note before I close this post, I went to the public restrooms in the park and I felt as if I had walked into Versailles. Classical Music had been piped in and the whole atmosphere was rich and opulent.
I hope you've enjoyed my visit to the restored Bryant Park and its surrounding areas. It is a must see next time you visit New York. It truly is an oasis in the heart of Manhattan!
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I'm Mary and I recently moved to New York from beautiful Greece. I like to re-purpose and up-cycle anything that is old or looks like junk. Join me as we use our creativity to spark some life into old things. And do it frugally! You will also see lots of photography of my Greece and New York.
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