3. Parque de Tranquilidad, 4th Street, between Avenues C and D
The East Village is home to the greatest concentration of community gardens in the United States, all of which were hard-won by activists. It’s impossible to fully take in the vibe of the East Village without visiting a few of them. Many have innovative art by local artists; some of the cuter ones have kitschy gnomes or Buddhas hidden among vegetable patches. Our favorite garden, though, is devoid of these. Parque de Tranquilidad is exactly what its name suggests, a place of total tranquility that seems removed even from the East Village in the totality of nature’s dominance. If not for the buildings surrounding it, it would be easy to place the small park in the Catskills, and however tiny it might be, it’s easy to lose yourself in.