13. West End Towers (75 West End Ave.)

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The park at West End Towers is looks like a big park, and it is, but it is also on the City’s list of POPS (privately owned public space). It takes up an entire block between 63rd and 64th Streets on the west side of West End Avenue and boasts a sculpture of a rhinoceros balancing on his nose on top of a boulder. Get close to read the story sculptor Nobi Shioya inscribed. Located across the street from West End Towers, this public space not only contains ample stationary seating, but a beautiful playground on one half and a path that begs for strolling on one of those beautiful spring New York City days.

It is of interest to note that many of the spaces on the city’s POPS list are either gated or not used as they were intended due to lack of enforcement on the City’s part. Rather than a public space with comfortable seating and other amenities, the space is turned into restaurant seating or a widened sidewalk.

Next, check out the top 10 indoor public spaces for an urban escape. Get the book Best Pocket Parks of NYC by Rosemary O’Brien.