Bryant Park in Midtown Manhattan
Located between Fifth and Sixth Avenues and between 40th and 42nd Streets in Midtown Manhattan.
There’s so much going on in Bryant Park this Summer. So why not take a look at the New Yorkled Current Month Events Page to see for yourself!
Located between 40th and 42nd St. & off of 6th Avenue, right behind the New York Public Library is Bryant Park. After some wonderful restoration recently during the past 5 years, this park is just fantastic!
It’s really the weirdest thing though. The park is surrounded by tall buildings on all sides, constant traffic of vehicles and pedestrians elbowing their way to work, home or where ever. Once you step one foot into this park, it’s as if none of it exists! With dozens of benches and movable chairs, you could really get away from it all in this park!
Now for a little history: Much like Washington Square Park and parts where Central Park was built, Bryant Park was also once a potter’s field. It was also home to New York City’s first World’s Fair in 1853 at the Crystal Palace.
Beginning in the early 1840’s, water was brought into the city through pipes from the Croton River in Westchester County (that’s way north of the city for you out-of-towners). It was bought into Central Park, then into this large reservoir which was at the very location where today stands the library. The entire system was called the Croton Aqueduct. Behind this was the park area which originally was called Reservoir Park and later renamed Bryant Park after William Cullen Bryant. William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878) was a Lawyer, Poet and later in life, one of the nation’s leading advocates for abolition of slavery. In his memory stands a sitting statue in his likeness on the eastern end of the park just behind the library. Nearby this statue is another of Gertrude Stein.
For quite some time the park has been host to activities such as: Concerts, Theater, Movies (during the summer days), and has also been host to the “Seventh on Sixth” Fashion Show. Recently in 1999, the first-ever outdoor professional bowling championship took place in Bryant Park. Since 1993, the Council of Fashion Designers of America has produced “7th On Sixth” which is comprised of four annual fashion shows of men’s and women’s clothing, showcasing the following season’s trends. Other individual celebrations at the park have been the “Annual Picnic for Parity”, “JVC Jazz Festival”, “Jewish Heritage-NY 2000”, “New York Cares Day” celebrations, and just recently, we got to enjoy some public poetry readings.
In the year of 2002 even more festivities had been added to the long list of events to take place in Bryant Park. From concerts to special events such as David Blaine’s vertigo, this park continues to make it’s mark! Fast forward to the year of this page’s update in 2013 and one can see and appreciate the many performing arts offerings which take place here throughout the year.