NYC is called the urban jungle for a reason: it’s an intense, concentrated place with all sorts of wildness and dangers and mysterious things lurking wherever you go. Our city is certainly comparable to a den of wild animals sometimes, and the population density has the same combustible elements of any diverse ecosystem or interdependent habitat.
And like the jungle, you experience nonstop sensory overload in NYC. You can’t go anywhere without having people, traffic, noise … stuff! … coming at you ad nauseam, ad infinitum.
Sometimes you just want to get away from it all but you don’t have the time or cash for a trip outta town. What do you do? Where do you go?
Best idea: find Zen. Inner peace. Locate an internal mental/emotional oasis of relaxation. Take a vacation within yourself. Get calm. Chill out.
How can such a thing be done within the confines of the urban jungle? How do you get all Zenny in this city? When you’re paying a fortune to live in a pillbox with crazy neighbors and loud traffic outside your door, how in God’s name can you just escape into your mind and spirit?
Oh sure, you can go get a massage or take a Yoga class, and those things are great but they can be expensive. The question is, where can you literally go in NYC to travel into yourself … and get out of all the craziness for a moment?
Mr NYC took a small non-scientific Facebook survey of some of his fellow New Yorkers and got some ideas. These are places in our fair city, thusly dubbed Zen Spots, where you can go and find mental and emotional calm. These are places that are not only relaxing but that give you additional elements of … ahhhhhhh … mmmmmm … hmmmmm … ummmmmm … ommmmmm … zzzzzzzzzzennnn.
Based on my survey, I’ve just given what I hope are but a few of the best Zen Spots in town. If you, my dear readers, have any other good ideas of places to find Zen in NYC, please please please do share them. You will be doing your fellow New Yorkers a great public service.
So here it is, ZeNYC (so far):
“Used to love Carl Schurz park when I lived on the UES. Now I wander through the woods in Prospect Park. The lake at sunrise can't be beat and, oddly enough, I find inner peace right smack in the middle of Union Square. Consistently. No clue why.”
“The church yard of Trinity Church or the Japanese tea house at the Met.”
“Cloisters in Dyckman. A train to 190th. Walk up Fort Tryon park. Good, unique view of the George at sunset. OK medieval museum too...”
“Walking through the streets (usually the ones that are lined with townhouses and glorious trees rate higher on the peace than lets say Time Square) of New York City... isn't there a song like this?”
Mr NYC’s own: the Brooklyn Promenade at night as well as the park just beneath the Brooklyn Bridge. The lake at the lower edge of Central Park. The Temple of Dendaur at the Met. The Astoria Park pool.