Taxis honking, jackhammers drilling, people yelling: this is the soundtrack of life in NYC. As one of the busiest and most crowded cities in the world, it can be hard to imagine there are places void of noise. But just like there is a plethora of restaurants and boutiques to choose from, so too are there spots escape from the daily hustle and bustle.
In fact, NYC & Company, the city's destination marketing organization, highlights these low-key locales. "New York City is not a place directly associated with peace and quiet, but are working to turn that notion on its head,” says Chris Heywood Senior Vice President of Global Communications, NYC & Company. “With a variety of wellness and cultural destinations across the five boroughs, we hope to encourage both residents and visitors to discover a unique escape from the bustling city.”
Here are some of the quietest spots to get zen at in every borough.
While there are many quiet corners in the West Village, this hidden garden takes the cake. Located in a church yard, New Yorkers are encouraged to sit and reflect among the well-tended shrubs and flowers. No dogs or cell phones are allowed inside so that you can chill out on one of the many wooden benches situated throughout. You’ll quickly forget you’re even in a city.
It’s hard to imagine there are 52 acres of a green oasis anywhere in the city, but that’s precisely what the century-old botanic garden provides. Situated smack in the heart of some of Brooklyn’s busiest neighborhoods, you have the convenience of transportation to get there for the benefit of choosing from any one of the many calming gardens. Cherry blossoms, rose gardens, and Japanese-inspired hideaways await your carefree contemplations.
With a combo of historical buildings, peaceful gardens, wooded paths, and cactus-strewn greenhouses, Wave Hill is truly a hidden gem in the Bronx. After all, there’s a reason author Mark Twain rented the mansion on the 28-acre public garden. It’s easy to find inspiration as you’re surrounded by views of both the Hudson River and Palisades. Not to mention, the number of green landscapes made for lounging on sunny afternoons.
This Queens museum was founded by artist Isamu Noguchi who’s mission it was to provide an “intimate and reflective” space. There might not be as much green here, but the minimalist galleries are perfect for slowing down and finding some peace. Of course, there is a sculpture garden if you do want to enjoy some art and sunshine simultaneously. Can you think of a better way to get zen in the city that never sleeps?
Some might argue the ferry ride to the island is a relaxing space of its own, but once there you should check out The New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden. Not only is it one of two authentic scholar’s gardens in the country, but guests can find some peace in one of the eight pavilions that feature things like a bamboo forest path, a koi-filled pond, and waterfalls. You can meditate, contemplate, or not think at all at this surprising oasis.