7 Secret Havens to Get Some Peace and Quiet in NYC
We all need a little koi pond sometimes
As a New Yorker, you’ve undoubtedly become accustomed to the dull roar assaulting your eardrums at all times: construction, screeching subways, overly loud talkers at the table next to you. But if you’re starting to feel like you can’t hear your own thoughts, these peaceful spots offer a much-needed respite from the clamor.
We know what you’re thinking: Central Park? But this beautifully landscaped garden somehow manages to stay relatively uncrowded, particularly in the early morning. We can’t think of a better spot to enjoy our pre-work bagel than next to a lily pond.
Fifth Ave. (at E. 105th St.)
Louis Valentino Jr. Park and Pier
This waterfront Red Hook park feels about a million miles from the city. It’s an excellent place to catch a stunning sunset.
Ferris St. (between Coffey St. and Van Dyke St.), Brooklyn; nycgovparks.org
The Noguchi Museum
"Tourist-free museum” sounds like an oxymoron, but this Long Island City center is blissfully devoid of hordes (though you may encounter art fans and fellow serenity-seekers). Make sure to spend some time in the garden among the solemn stone sculptures.
9-01 33rd Rd (at Vernon Blvd), Queens; 718-204-7088 or noguchi.org
The Gardens at St. Luke in the Fields
The overgrown lushness of this West Village hideaway feels like it’s been transported from somewhere far more remote—perfect for a little midday escapism.
485 Hudson St. (at Barrow St.); 212-633-7817 or stlukeinthefields.org
Radiance Tea House and Books
The heart of Midtown might be the last place you’d expect to find a sanctuary of calm, but that’s just what this is. Grab a book, order a pot of oolong—maybe some dumplings, too—and meet your happy place.
158 W. 55th St. (at Seventh Ave.); 212-217-0442 or radiancetea.com
Chinese Scholar’s Garden
Tucked in the Snug Harbor Cultural Center is this zen oasis, styled after traditional Ming Dynasty gardens. Between the charming pavilions, winding walkways and mesmerizing koi pond, your rush-hour commute is but a distant memory.
1000 Richmond Ter. (enter on Cottage Row), Staten Island; 718-425-3504 or snug-harbor.org
If you need a little more room to gather your thoughts, you’ll find 28 acres of loveliness overlooking the Hudson River. Wander through more than a dozen distinct landscapes and try to remember this feeling the next time you hear “It’s showtime!”
649 W. 249th St. (at Independence Ave.), Bronx; 718-549-3200 or wavehill.org