Two ice rinks in Central Park that are operated by the Trump Organization will now remain open for the rest of the season instead of shuttering early as originally planned. The Trump Organization announced it would close Wollman Rink and Lasker Rink on Sunday after city officials requested the company cease operations on February 26, ahead of the contract’s April expiration. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the termination of the agreements with former President Donald Trump’s company for the ice rinks and two other city concessions following the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. In a reversal, the city on Sunday said the rinks can stay open for the remainder of the season.
Photo of Owl’s Head Park in Bay Ridge courtesy of NYC Parks/ Daniel Avila
Sledding has long been a New York City pastime during the long winter months, thanks to the many hills and slopes found in parks across the five boroughs. With an already impressive season of snow upon us, it’s the perfect chance to escape your apartment and get some fresh air and winter fun. Ahead, find the best places to go sledding in every borough, from scenic Sunset Park in Brooklyn to the natural rolling hills of Manhattan’s Inwood Hill Park.
New York City on Friday issued two requests for proposals to operate an ice rink and carousel in Central Park formerly run by the Trump Organization. Following the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the city would terminate agreements with former President Donald Trump’s company for the operation of the Wollman and Lasker Rinks, the Central Park Carousel, and the Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point. The city’s Parks Department this week announced it is looking for new companies to operate and manage the Wollman Rink and the Carousel.
Photo by Emily Dombroff
The “bronze ceiling” has officially been broken in New York City’s most famous park. A new statue depicting women’s rights activists Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton was unveiled in Central Park on Wednesday, becoming the park’s first monument of real-life women. The new statue comes on the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment, which granted some women the right to vote.
Belvedere Castle; Courtesy of the Central Park Conservancy
Exploring the 840+ acres of Central Park and all of its historic sites just got easier, thanks to a free new digital guide. The Central Park Conservancy this week launched a new guide to the park on the Bloomberg Connects app. Although official tours and programs are on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic, green space lovers can still learn about the park’s natural habitats, historic statues, and landmarked structures through photos, audio clips, and video, easily accessed from their smartphones.
A farmer based in Brooklyn has come up with an idea that not only honors a historic black community but also gives back to present ones. Amber Tamm, a horticulturist and urban farmer who works at the Brooklyn Grange rooftop farm, told Fast Company about her proposal to convert 14 acres of Central Park into a farm that would feed Manhattanites in need.
Thankfully, with correct social distancing measures, picnics are considered a safe way to have fun this summer, and the city is filled with possibilities in the form of parks and gardens. New York City is also known for its accessible secrets, and our shortlist of urban escapes–whether hidden in plain sight or tucked away–are great to visit any time, but as off-the-beaten-path picnic spots, they shine.
Photo of Sheep Meadow on May 4, 2020 © 6sqft
Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday said police will limit access to parts of some parks, as well as deploy additional Parks Department officials to patrol city beaches this weekend, with temperatures expected to be in the 70s. The NYPD will restrict the number of people allowed to enter the Sheep Meadow lawn in Central Park to avoid overcrowding and curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. And police will again limit access to Piers 45 and 46 at Hudson River Park in the West Village and monitor crowds at Domino Park in Williamsburg for the second weekend in a row.
Although it’s one of the most visited city parks in the world, Central Park is chock-full of hidden spots and historic treasures that even native New Yorkers don’t know about. Designed by Fredrick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the 840-acre park has served as an oasis for city dwellers for over 150 years. Ahead, learn about some of Central Park’s lesser-known sites, from its waterfalls and whisper bench to a Revolutionary War-era cannon. And if you’re unable to visit the park due to the current health crisis, the Central Park Conservancy has launched #MyCentralPark at home for fun park-related activities for both kids and adults.
Rendering courtesy of Susan T. Rodriguez Architecture | Design and the Central Park Conservancy
The $150 million plan to build a new pool and ice rink at the northern end of Central Park is facing backlash from local swimmers and skaters. Last September, the Central Park Conservancy revealed a project to replace the aging Lasker Rink and Pool and create space for year-round recreation. But a group of hockey players and swimmers is asking the conservancy to revise its plan, which they claim would reduce the space they can use, eliminating some of the programs offered.