9. Carl Schurz Park, Between 84th and 90th Streets

Carl Schurz Park FDR Drive East RiverA staircase leading to a statue of Peter Pan. Courtesy of New York City Department of Parks and Recreation

With its beautiful views of both Roosevelt and Randall’s Islands, Carl Schurz Park is a lesser-known gem among New York City parks. This 14.9-acre park contains a small bridge, a peaceful lower level with a 1928 statue of Peter Pan, a lively upper promenade, two dog parks, large fields perfect for picnicking and ball-playing, and a playground.

More significantly, it is also the site of the bright yellow Gracie Mansion, the official home of the Mayor.

Once again, Robert Moses reconstructed this area in 1935, and though it entered into a decrepit state by the 1970s, a community group called the Carl Schurz Park Association revamped it. Carl Schurz was a German-American Secretary of the Interior in 1910, and became the first German-American to be elected to the U.S. Senate.