10. Tucked away in Little Italy is the Elizabeth Street Garden, at least for now

Some of the many statues found in the Elizabeth Street Garden.

Housing an eclectic array of sculptures and pieces of architectural salvage, the Elizabeth Street Garden is a beautiful urban oasis tucked in Little Italy. The Elizabeth Street Garden was created by gallery owner Allan Reiver in 1991 in an abandoned city-owned lot, becoming a beloved neighborhood staple over the years. Highlights of the garden include a replica of Boy With Thorn (Spinario), a marble sculpture located in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy, and a multi-colored red, purple, and blue bench with its own “Color Hotline” that can be called to learn more about what each color means to the New York City and Little Italy community. In addition, Elizabeth Street Garden holds remnants of an installation by world-renowned artist JR. Visitors also have the opportunity to pick figs from a tree planted by the garden’s Executive Director Joseph Reiver and his mother.

However, the garden’s future currently remains uncertain. As of September 22, 2021, the Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) has sent out a notice to terminate the lease for the garden. Over the grounds of the garden the city plans to build Haven Green, a development project that will provide 123 affordable housing units for some of New York City’s more than 200,000 low-income senior citizens sitting on New York’s housing waitlist.

Next, check out the Top 10 Secrets Of The Elizabeth Street Garden, located in Little Italy!