Bryant Park, New York City

4.5 out of 5 stars 19 Reviews

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  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Best free thing #2: Loaf in the Park

    by goodfish Updated Apr 29, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Good place to browse The Times
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    Running across this jewel of a park was a happy accident. Bryant Park is right behind the New York Public Library (5th Avenue branch) and has had quite a history. A dedicated public space since 1686, George Washington's army fled from the British across this area during the Battle of Long Island in 1776. From 1823 -184, these lawns were a burial site - a potter's field - for the poor. After the cemetery was relocated, Union armies drilled on this soil during the Civil War. Here, an enormous Crystal Palace was erected for the World's Fair of 1853/54 and burned to ground five years later.

    Rescued from a sad state of neglect in the early 1990's, it's now a favorite gathering place for New Yorkers and visitors alike. Thousands come here on summer days to escape the office over the lunch hour, play a little chess, catch a few rays, stroll the promenades or meet friends for coffee. During the winter, there's a rink for free ice skating (skate rentals available) and The Holiday Shops to browse around the Christmas season.

    A restaurant, casual cafe, 4 summer-only food kiosks, pretty carousel, free WiFi and year-round events are some of the fun things the park has to offer. It has an excellent website with a full history, schedule of events and information on amenities, services, a self-guided tour of the monuments, hours, etc. We brought our coffee and the New York Times here one morning for about as pleasant an hour as you could ask for. Great place for a picnic.

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  • clareabee's Profile Photo

    One of my favourite places in NYC

    by clareabee Written Dec 7, 2009

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    skating
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    Bryant park is what a park should be like. Great for people watching with an air of calm.
    Ok so it probably wasn't as calm as it is in Summer months but with the christmas markets and the ice skating rink it had an air of magic about it.

    There is also a cool bar which I think they erect every year around holiday times called Celcius which was great for a drink and a spot of people watching.

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    Bank of America Tower

    by MM212 Updated Oct 30, 2009

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    BoA Tower (Oct 09)
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    One of New York's newest skyscrapers, the Bank of America Tower was only completed in 2009. With its 366 metre height (including the antenna), it earned the title of the second highest building in New York City after the Empire State Building. The sleek glass design is also considered "green" and environmentally friendly. It was the work of the New York-based firm Cook+Fox Architects. The BoA Tower is located at One Bryant Park.

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  • Jenniflower's Profile Photo

    Bryant Park - little gem in the city

    by Jenniflower Written Sep 2, 2008

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    I LOVE this quote from their website! Sums up the local feeling totally.

    “This is a garden, and it is ours.” Anne Raver, NY Times, March 15, 1992

    This park has quite a history, in that it was the site where New York's first 'World Fair' was held. President Franklin Pierce spoke at the opening of this prestigious and historical event. Back then it was called Reservoir Square, and in 1884 became Bryant Park, named after local poet, newspaper editor, and civic reformer, William Cullen Bryant.

    We came upon this gorgeous park whilst walking, and absolutely loved it!

    It is overlooked on all sides by these very tall buildings, and one caught my eye particularly, it was gold and black. Not sure what it is, but we took some shots of it. The sunlight was hitting some of the gold bits and it looked surreal.

    It being the second week after Christmas, the stalls were still up, although empty. There was a huge Christmas tree up still, with shiny stars hanging from the trees, and little glittering wintery lights everywhere.

    Magical.

    In the centre of the park was a temporary ice skating rink with quite a few people ice skating. We stopped to watch them and have a hot drink. Then continued on our way.

    I loved the sculpture at the one end of the park where we exited.

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  • mindcrime's Profile Photo

    A nice park and New York Public Library

    by mindcrime Updated Jul 27, 2008

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    Bryant Park
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    After Times Square and before heading to Empire State Building I walked to Bryant Park. This public park used to be the Reservoir square in 1847 and renamed Bryant Park in 1884 to honor the New York Evening Post editor W.C. Bryant. In 1899 the construction of the Library began.

    The park had a bad reputation in the 70s with many drug dealers and homeless people going there in the night. In our days I found out the it was a nice park to relax, read a book and drink an orange juice in the middle of July. There are a lot of chairs and tables around for sitting and I noticed many people having their lunch there. There is free wifi access so if you have a laptop take it with you. There are also free concerts and film screening some days but I didn’t see any.

    We spent some time there on the green lawn watching the Empire State Building and other impressive skyscraper views. Just in front on the park you will see the impressive Bryant Park Hotel (the former American Radiator building). It was built in 1824. It has 23 floors but it looks more tall to me. I liked a lot its black and gold color.

    The New York Public Library is next to the park. You will notice the two stone lions at the entrance of it known as patience and endurance. It has one of the largest research library systems in the world but I had no time to check it out. The 100 people that work here will help you among the 7.000.000 books and more than 10.000 magazines!

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    Finding a bathroom....

    by dloga Written Jun 24, 2008

    The only negative thing about NYC is that it is difficult to find a restroom/bathroom to use:) I was roaming the streets one hot day, and I was ready to wash up and have some lunch....so I strolled into this little Italian restaurant....I was heading for the restrooms, and a little Italian lady jumped out in front of me and demanded to know just where did I think I was going??? I was a little dumbfounded, and simply said "the bathroom?" She then quite rudely states that the bathroom is 'only for customers' and I said that after I used the restroom that I intended to sit and have lunch there....and then she says, 'well, ok, but you'll have to use the mens, since the ladies is out of order'....I said never mind, I will take my business somewhere else, since there are so many choices in NYC.....so I went next door to the Burger King....and used the bathroom without incidence....lol.....BUT, I did by a diet coke on my way out and eventually stopped in a sandwich shop for lunch.

    Overall, there are FEW choices of using the bathroom in NYC, but I found that Bryant Park has a public restroom that is always available, clean, and even has an automatic paper changer on the toilet seat!!! so, BP is always my 'homebase' whenever in NYC.

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  • wforw2008's Profile Photo

    Free Author events at Bryant Park

    by wforw2008 Updated Jun 15, 2008
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    "Word for Word" Free Author Events

    The website link for the entire series including poetry, kids and writers is here:
    http://www.bryantpark.org/calendar/wordforword.php

    Wednesday, June 18, 2008
    12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
    Liz Tuccillo, How to Be Single
    With special guests: Amy B Harris, Elisa Zuritsky and Julie Rottenberg (all Sex and the City Writers)

    Tuesday, June 24, 2008
    6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
    Word for Word Poetry: Distinguished Poet Series
    Gerald Stern, Save the Last Dance: Poems
    Jean Valentine, Little Boat

    Wednesday, June 25, 2008
    12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
    Josh Kilmer-Purcell, Candy Everybody Wants
    Hosted by: Scott Nevins, Award Winning Host, TV/Radio Personality, Comedian, and Celebrity Interviewer

    Thursday, June 26, 2008
    6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
    Word for Word Writers: The Secrets of Book Publishing.
    Moderated by Media Bistro writing instructor Susan Shapiro, Only as Good as Your Word: Writing Lessons from My Favorite Literary Gurus

    Wednesday, July 2, 2008
    12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
    Special Author Edition of the Liar Show
    Hosted by: Andy Christie

    Wednesday, July 9, 2008
    12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
    Debut Author Panel Discussion
    Hosted by: David Ebershoff, Editor-at-Large at Random House and author of Pasadena: A Novel
    With debut novelists

    Wednesday, July 16, 2008
    12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
    Michael Ian Black, My Custom Van (And 46 Other Mind-Blowing Essays That Will Blow Your Mind All Over Your Face)
    Hosted by: Amelie Gillette, Staff Writer at The Onion

    Wednesday, July 23, 2008
    12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
    Joyce Carol Oates, My Sister, My Love: The Intimate Story of Skyler Rampike
    Hosted by: Otto Penzler, publisher and editor of mystery fiction and proprietor of The Mysterious Bookshop

    Wednesday, July 30, 2008
    12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
    Jonathan Miles, Dear American Airlines: A Novel
    Hosted by: Andy Battaglia, The Onion A.V. Club New York City Editor

    Wednesday, August 6, 2008
    12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
    “Go Green” Panel
    Moderated by: Andrew H. Darrell, Environmental Defense Fund Vice President of Living Cities Program

    Wednesday, August 13, 2008
    12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
    Tommy Chong, Cheech & Chong: The Unauthorized Autobiography
    Hosted by: Josh Gilbert, Director of the Documentary, AKA Tommy Chong

    Wednesday, August 20, 2008
    12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
    Samantha Hunt, The Invention of Everything Else

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  • Holiday market

    by willtryanythingonce Written Nov 30, 2007

    The Bryant Park Holiday Market is a great opportunity to do some shopping for exclusive gifts made by artisans that are much more unique than the things you get from the stores. Nestled around the skating rink, behind the Public Library, Bryant Park in winter is a wonderful place to people watch. During the Thanksgiving weekend and through December, the Holiday Market is home to many outdoor shops that sell holiday ornaments, cold weather gear, handmade glass decorations and many, many gift ideas. Enjoy free skating (skate rental costs a few dollars) and hot chocolate and snacks are available from various vendors. The tree at the end of the rink is lit by a local television station the weekend after thanksgiving.

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  • klj&a's Profile Photo

    Bryant Park in Winter

    by klj&a Written Nov 23, 2007

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    This park is known for hosting Fashion Week, but during the winter they had an ice skating rink. At night there is also a great view of the Empire State Building. It looked like they were also in the process of setting up little retail booths all around the ice skating rink. Not quite like Rockefellers ice skating rink, but very charming nonetheless.

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  • Mikebb's Profile Photo

    Oasis In The Heart Of City - Bryant Park

    by Mikebb Updated Jul 29, 2007

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    Bryant Park on An Early Summer's Day
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    We were on the observatory tower of the Empire State Building and I saw Bryant Park, it looked like an oasis amongst the skyscrapers. As it was well after lunch I said we would walk there for a late lunch. Such a pretty park, green lawn with plenty of shade trees and there were many people there appreciating this facility. Unfortunately we could not get a table at the cafe and had to move on, not before walking through the park, enjoying the gardens and sun.

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  • martin_nl's Profile Photo

    Bryant Park

    by martin_nl Written Apr 15, 2007

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    Bryant Park
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    Bryant Park is the backyard of The New York Public Library. It's a nice park with some great views of the high rises in the city. In the winter you can skate here on the ice rink. They already start building up the rink in October. Certainly a nice environment for some ice cold excercise. During the day many midtown workers come here for a picnic lunch, and others come here to enjoy a good read. Bryant Park is also the place where the famous Fashion Week tent goes up.

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  • cjg1's Profile Photo

    Bryant Park

    by cjg1 Updated Sep 13, 2006

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    Behind the Library on 42nd and 5th is Bryant Park. Bryant Park is a special place. In the heart of midtown it is a relaxing oasis to spend some time in the afternoon and break up the workday. Or you can come and see one of the free movies on Monday nights in the summer. On some occasions you can come see the Yankees in the Park where they set up a large screen and show the Yankee game that evening. Anything like this is nice because it brings people out and together.This is a Free WiFi area

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  • joits's Profile Photo

    Skating at The Pond at Bryant Park

    by joits Written Mar 22, 2006
    My friends and I enjoying the night at Bryant Park

    Probably the two most popular and famous places to ice skate in the city are at Rockefeller plaza and at Central Park. If you choose to skate there however, you will have to deal with the crowds and the very expensive fee.

    A good place to skate for cheap is The Pond at Bryant Park. We paid $7 and we skated for at least three hours. When we went, there were no lines and we got in very quickly.

    I can understand the appeal of skating at those two famous places... but if you get tired of waiting and all you do is just skate, head over here.

    Of course, check the site to see if the Pond is open.

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    Bryant Park at Christmas

    by sugarpuff Written Feb 5, 2006

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    I had recently met a guy who was called Bryant and I found it an unusual name, having never heard of Bryant Park in NY.I thought it must just be a strange American thing where the youth of today are given bizarre names....this is the case in Gibraltar and England you see. But then when we arrived in NY and I looked at the map, well, it all became perfectly clear!

    I had seen this park the day before when we had been passing by and thought it looked really pretty as there was a Christmas Fete being held inside it. We hadnt had enought ime that night, so the following evening decided to go have a little wander. Of course, all the stalls were selling glorious little handmade crafts and they all came with gloriously expensive price tags, but it was still fun to look. They set up an ice rink there too and people were having fun sliding and slipping! It just feels like a really romantic thing to do...go for a walk on a snowy evening and go ice skating! I however am petrified of falling over, so i NEVER go skating, but the whole concept sounds nice at least!

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  • madamx's Profile Photo

    Bryant Park

    by madamx Updated Oct 24, 2005

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    Bryant Park Grill
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    Now famously known for the New York Spring and Fall Fashion shows, Bryant Park was at one time a hang out for drug dealers and other undesireables. Located right beside the New York Public Library, it was totally overhauled in 1989 to reopen as a place where the public can relax in. You are walking on hallowed ground here, as nearly 7 million books from the public library are stored underneath the park.

    Visiting on a crisp fall day, I was overwhelmed with the charming Bryant Park Grill, and the shady, peaceful atmosphere provided by the many large trees and quaint folding chairs and tables provided for relaxation. A total delight to walk through; I felt I was somewhere in Europe.

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