10. Sutton Place Park on FDR Drive
Just a few streets up from Peter Detmold Park lies another waterfront green space, Sutton Place Park. It is probably best-known for its appearance in Woody Allen’s 1979 film Manhattan, and it’s not difficult to imagine why–the park’s views of the Queenborough Bridge and East River are positively cinematic. With its riverside park benches, manicured grass, and tall trees, it’s a wonderful spot to relax.
The park also has a storied history. It’s named after Effingham B. Sutton, an entrepreneur who got his fortune during the California Gold Rush and set up brownstones in the area to form a residential community in 1875. However, poverty and violence struck the neighborhood, so by 1900, the waterfront area had become known for its gang violence.
As wealthy families like the Vanderbilts and Morgans moved into the area in 1920, the neighborhood transformed to become wealthy and residential. After the construction of FDR Drive in the 1930’s, Sutton Place Park was built.
While you’re there, make sure to check out the bronze boar statue in the middle of the park–it’s a replica of Renaissance sculptor Pietro Tacca’s “Porcellino”, in Florence, Italy.
Want to check out more green spaces around NYC? Take a look at 10 of the smallest parks in NYC and the Secret Garden on the Roof of the Starrett-Lehigh Building in NYC.