5. Robert Moses Playground, Between 41st and 42nd streets

FDR Drive parks-Robert Moses Playground-East River-NYC-Untapped Cities-Stephanie GeierThe outside of basketball courts at Robert Moses Playground

Fittingly named after the man responsible for its creation, the simple, 1.3-acre Robert Moses Playground sits on First Avenue right next to the United Nations building. Its amenities include basketball, hockey and handball courts.

The land for this park was a portion of the area set aside for the Queens Midtown Tunnel, and was received in exchange for losing St. Gabriel’s Park for a roadway in 1937. Construction of the park ended in 1941 and named after Moses forty years later. Since around the time of its renaming, three different groups have tried to reclaim this land for building projects, including the United Nations.