Manhattan is one of my favorite places on Planet Earth. But it can get stifling in the summertime with the heat, humidity and crowds of tourists swarming around Midtown. Thankfully, a new urban oasis opened up in 2012 that offers a quick solution to escape the hustle and bustle.
I just hop on the Roosevelt Island Tram (you can use a MetroCard) and within minutes, I find myself on a peaceful island in the middle of the East River. Once I get off the tram, I just head to the southern tip of the past a giant construction site and an old, abandoned hospital that is about a 10-minute walk. I arrive at Four Freedoms Park and enter a calm space that offers mind blowing views of the UN and the famous skyline. The park is dedicated to Franklin D. Roosevelt and his goals that he proclaimed in 1941: Freedom of speech, of worship, from want and from fear.
The monument is moving, but it’s the fresh air, serene atmosphere and views that I come for. I feel like I can reach out and touch the city right across the river. There’s never more than a few people exploring this park and very few tour groups make it out here. I’m not about to give up my love of the Conservatory Garden or NY Botanical Garden, but expect to see a lot more of me on that red tram in the sky.