An escape from the cramped tenements in the nineteenth century, a gathering place for poets, musicians and activists in the sixties, and the location of the 1988 riot, Tompkins Square Park has played a leading role in the life of the East Village throughout the decades. Its protective umbrella of trees and winding walkways lined with benches keep people flocking here to this day.
With its playgrounds, chess tables, basketball courts, and dog runs, the park comes to life on the weekends. The sound of kids playing and musicians performing, the rustling of the leaves, and the fresh smell of nature, make this a great place to stop and take a breather. The benches are dotted with sunbathers, nappers and bookworms, soaking up the sunshine.
I come to Tompkins whenever I need a spot to sit and catch up with a friend. I also live a block away from the park so you can often find me simply passing through and admiring the greenery.
If you happen to be in the neighborhood on a Sunday, stop by the Greenmarket (farmers market selling local and in-season goods) which runs along the Avenue A side of the park.