It should come as no surprise that “the city that never sleeps” is home to a number of rooftop parks and gardens. As residents of one of the most urbanized and densely populated locations on the planet, more than 8 million New Yorkers are faced with the challenge of finding green spaces in which they can escape the chaos of everyday urban life. In such a cramped metropolis, the only way to go for many is up. And while any viable space in NYC tends to be highly expensive and contested by both locals and developers, the city’s vast number of high rises and other tall structures actually makes it one of the most ideal locations for creating and maintaining rooftop gardens. Actually, Yoreevo reveals that there are over 13,500 buildings in the Big Apple that are higher than six stories. And the vast amount of opportunities haven’t gone unnoticed. So without further ado, here are five of the most gorgeous, green rooftop spaces you can find in NYC.
With approximately 50,000 lbs. worth of produce per year, planted on 65,000 square feet of soil atop a massive warehouse, the Brooklyn Grange is easily the city’s largest rooftop farm. Apart from that, this farm also produces its own honey. As a result, Brooklyn Grange is able to provide locally grown organic fruits, vegetables, and spices for many of NYC’s groceries and restaurants. The farmers have also partnered with several educational groups to organize tours that can teach people how to grow their own produce, as well as explain the positive impacts of growing fruits and veggies locally. It is one of the most successful and sustainable gardens launched in NYC.
Where else are you going to find a lone grassy hill that’s completely surrounded by a busy urban center? The Lincoln Center in 2010 opened their rooftop to be developed into what’s known as the Hypar Pavilion, a green and grassy hill that gives busy city dwellers a chance to rest and lounge around on real grass as they’re passing through the middle of NYC. Occupying an impressive 7,200 square feet, the gently sloping green hill is a must-see.
The High Line
Running from the Hudson Yards to the north end of Chelsea, the High Line was once a 1.45-mile NYC railroad track that went into disuse in 1980. In 2009, it was revived into one of the most unique raised “rooftop” gardens in all of NYC. Apart from wildflowers and curated greenery, Timeout notes that the High Line also regularly features outdoor art installations by some of the city’s most prolific and up-and-coming artists – all set to unique views of the surrounding Manhattan buildings. This garden brought so much new personality to the neighborhood that its presence reportedly caused real estate prices to rise in the area.
The Kimoto Rooftop Restaurant and Garden Lounge is a unique green rooftop space in which you can sample craft beers as well as dine on contemporary American-Asian cuisine. The Japanese name Kimoto itself means “one that lives beneath the trees,” which is the ideal setting for dining on fusion cuisine like Kimoto’s Grilled Shisoto Peppers, Harajuku Rolls, and Truffle Parmesan Fries.
It is a one-of-a-kind rooftop dining experience surrounded by greenery and distant views of the Manhattan skyline. It’s best to go at night when the garden is beautifully illuminated by warm lights.
The Met Rooftop
The Metropolitan Museum offers its own green rooftop destination. Visitors to this popular location can enjoy not just a stunning rooftop garden, but also a fantastic view of the nearby Central Park – a must-see view for nature lovers. Annual single-artist installations are also displayed on the terrace. Meanwhile, the Met itself below the garden offers an unrivaled international collection of contemporary art and historic artifacts.
These are just some of the greenest rooftops you can find in the city. Garden Destinations is definitely no stranger to the fact that New York is a veritable jungle of secret green spaces, and it’s up to you to find where the rest are hidden.