I think part of the reason I never really appreciated parks was that I grew up in Florida. On the water. There were palm trees in my backyard, so I really never had to go far to feel close to nature (yes, I consider palm trees nature). Although I laughed at my silly park-seeking mother a few months ago, I now completely understand her park obsession. Not that there have been many park-friendly days since it's been monsooning pretty steadily since I moved here, but on the rare days that the sun comes out I go straight to a park.
Last summer, I lived 6 blocks from Central Park so that was my go-to park. I actually may not have even realized there were other parks in the city. While Central Park is still my favorite, I've been trying to branch out now that I live in Gramercy, a good hour walk or 20 minute subway ride from my beloved Central Park. Here are a few of my new favorites...
Stuyvesant Square (on either side of 2nd Ave, between 15th & 17th Streets)
Madison Square Park (between 23rd & 26th, 5th & Madison).
Okay, so maybe Gramercy Park shouldn't be on my list since I don't have a key to actually get inside, but I do enjoy walking past it almost every time I leave my apartment since its just a block down. Goal while living in Gramercy = to get inside the park.
According to Wikipedia, there are 1700 public parks in NYC so it looks like I have much more exploring to do. What is your favorite NYC park?