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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Rockefeller Park

When you come across a beautifully landscaped green space in New York City, it's a pretty safe bet you've found a park that's beyond the purview of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.

Such is the case with the parks of the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy, and one jewel in that chain is Nelson A. Rockefeller Park, named for the man who served as Gerald Ford's Vice President after a long stint of Governor of New York. You young-uns might hear the term "Rockefeller Republican" bandied about these days, as in "There are no more Rockefeller Republicans." Well, this is the guy.

Now, that's not meant as a dig at the Parks Department, which does a darned good job given limited resources and a huge number and variety of properties to maintain. But we can and should appreciate the extra mile gone by the various conservancies and tax-exempt organizations devoted to particular parks. Some neighborhoods are just richer than others, with residents who can afford to pitch in some of their riches and time to make things look extra pretty. And we can all enjoy the rich fruits of their rich-people labor.

Rockefeller Park hugs the Hudson River at the north end of the Battery Park area. Tom Otterness sculptures, collectively titled The Real World, sprawl and huddle fancifully about.

Look to the west, out over the Hudson on an early evening in late spring, and you might catch a cheery sailboat crossing in front of the Statue of Liberty.

The silhouettes of the Jersey City skyline peer across the river at the people kicking around balls (or ideas) on the green lawn:

And as the sun drops lower, the silvery-blue sky looks gorgeous.

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