Rediscovering Madison Square Park
Not quite Midtown and not quite Downtown, Madison Square Park is an urban oasis located in the lively Flatiron District. Wedged between Fifth and Madison Avenues and 23rd and 26th Streets, the seven-acre green space overflows with lush gardens and outdoor vignettes waiting to be photographed.
Named after President James Madison, the parcel became a public park in 1847. Fast forward and it might be 170 years from its beginning, but the park is more alluring than ever. Not only is the plot irresistible on its own, but the blocks surrounding it feature some of the most iconic buildings in the city. You can’t miss the Flatiron Building, the Met Life Clock Tower, and the New York Life Insurance Company Building looming overhead.
I don’t get to this area of Manhattan as often as I’d like, but every time I do make the trip, I ask myself why I waited so long to rediscover this gem. This slice of outdoor heaven is as enchanting as I remember it.
Am I still in Manhattan?
Entering the park brings on an almost sedative-like effect for me; I feel the stress leave my body just steps in. With a pair of tightly plugged ear buds filling my head with music–– blocking out any horns, sirens, and the steady hum of traffic on Fifth Avenue––I have to gently remind myself that I am, indeed, in the heart of New York City.
A picture-perfect spring day is the ideal time to roam inside and around the park with no particular purpose. That’s the best way to roam, isn’t it?
There’s tons to do in the park.
Besides plenty of space for sunning and socializing, Madison Square Park offers a dog park, Shake Shack, a beautiful fountain, and a playground next to Bridget’s Garden. Plus, the park features public art projects, concerts, and annual foodie events. There’s a lot of great stuff happening year-round in this neighborhood park that continues to bring happiness to countless New Yorkers and visitors every year.
The next time you’re anywhere near 23rd and Fifth, do yourself a favor and skip over to Madison Square Park, a treasure and welcomed respite in what’s almost Midtown and almost Downtown, but not quite either.
Madison Square Park
11 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010
Have you walked through Madison Square Park? For more about the park, visit madisonsquarepark.org.