I have a few favorite secret gardens in the city, and the below photos were taken in the one that is of least value to anyone reading this, as it is my best friends’ private backyard (lucky bitch, am I right?).
To offset the deep envy you are now feeling as you think about New Yorkers privy to personal outdoor space, I will share two of my most beloved, very public, secret gardens.
First, my favorite place to be sad: The Cloisters, up in Fort Tryon Park in the West 200’s (Manhattan goes up to the 200’s? Who knew?) A fun thing to do when you are on the verge of a nervous breakdown is hop on your bike, ride the West Side Highway up 190 or so blocks, chain it in an extremely well-lit and public place, and take yourself on a tour of The Cloisters. Although it’s actually the Met’s sculpture garden and an excellent destination for admirers of medieval art, my personal theory is that 80% of visitors to The Cloisters are New Yorkers who are either a) going through a breakup, or b) working on their novel (also making it one of my favorite places to meet emotionally well-adjusted men). If you are not in a particularly horrible or introspective mood, I do still recommend The Cloisters for really pretty statues and the best river views in the city.
Second, my favorite place to be happy: St. Luke’s on the West side, or The Creative Little Garden on the East side. No one needs to bike 200 blocks when they’re in a good mood–just bop on over to one of these oases with a great book, an iced latte and baked good from your local coffee shop (here on the West side and here on the East), and enjoy that sunshine, you beautiful thing, you.
- Sunnies: Street Vendor (RIP mirrored Ray-Bans, buy similar here)
- Leather Cardigan: Barney’s COOP (Buy identical here, or similar here from Club Monaco on saleeee. Also, heed the following bold statement: this leather-paneled cardigan was my best purchase of the spring: lighter & less structured than a leather jacket, it’s the perfect topper for a mildly chilly day)
- Leotard: American Apparel (last seen here, buy it here)
- Belt: J.Crew (last seen here, buy similar here)
- Purse: Reed Krakoff (last seen here, buy it here)
- Scarf: Alexander McQueen (buy it here)
- Jeans: Forever 21 (last seen here, buy similar here)
- Shoes: Sam Edelman (borrowed from a bestie, buy em here)