226 W 150th st.
45 W 139th St
40 Pinehurst Ave.
Photo By: Mathew Henry
I moved to New York City almost seven years ago from a small town in north-central Massachusetts. I often joke that where I’m from has more cows than people (probably not factual, but it sometimes feels that way).
The biggest shock of my relocation was the sheer number of people I encounter all the time. I like to think I’m acclimated to it, that I’ve adapted to this new city life, but I still find myself overwhelmed. Several times a year, I crave an escape from the city; that’s not always practical though, for job/life/financial/insert-reason-here reasons.
To that end, I’ve taken to exploring the parks and green spaces that NYC has to offer. Walking through Central Park – the less touristy parts – visiting the Cloisters, or even just sitting on a bench near trees and water, brings me a sense of peace and calm that I can’t usually find walking around the city. I’ve always thought that I’m missing home and that’s why it helps. But back in October of 2016, this article popped up on my Facebook newsfeed: “The Depressing Science of What Living in a City Does to Your Brain,” and being the inquisitive nerd I am, I read it.
Apparently, city life does some fascinating things to our brains! Brain scans show that city dwellers react more strongly to little stresses. They’re also more prone to mood disorders like anxiety and depression. It turns out that a lot of these things can be mitigated by, yes, you guessed it, PROXIMITY TO NATURE!
However, living near a park in New York City isn’t always feasible. That’s what makes Uptown Manhattan such a secret gem- there are a plethora of parks and green spaces to choose from, allowing you to experience city life with a dose of natural calm. Morningside Park, St. Nicholas Park, Jackie Robinson Park, Riverbank State Park, Harlem River Park, Fort Tryon Park, and Inwood Hill Park are just a few of the Uptown Manhattan parks, known as some of the best parks in New York City. Even some of the Upper Manhattan streets are beautiful oases of calm (Fort Washington Avenue in the 180s anyone?!). And it’s still an affordable area to live.
I’ve lived 2 blocks from Riverside Drive for five years now. It’s a beautiful stretch of road with plenty of trees and benches on which to sit and enjoy the sunshine, read a book or people-watch. (I dog-watch; they’re cuter.)
While there are moments when I find the city stifling, I really do love living here! If any of this has resonated with you, maybe factor parks and nature into your next apartment search- and I’d be happy to help you with that!
Amy's love affair with Hamilton Heights began 4 years ago after she ditched Bushwick -- the dodgy part -- as fast as she could. She fell in love with the apartment, but stayed for the relaxed...