Skip to main content

At Petrosino Square

SoHo and Nolita make great neighborhoods for strolling, shopping and dining, but it's often hard to find a good place to sit down. Examining the map of the streets south of Houston and north of Canal, only one little area seems convenient - a small park called Petrosino Square at the meeting of Kenmare, Lafayette, and Cleveland Place. Formally opened on October 13, 2009 and now in its final stage of expansion and restoration, a plan that included rebuilding of the original brick columns, the addition of bike racks, plantings, and most conveniently, the placement of several new benches, the square has become the perfect place to stop after exploring the nearby bustling streets. According to the NY Parks announcement last October, the $2 million reconstruction was funded entirely by New York City Council Member Alan Gerson.


View At Petrosino Square in a larger map

The location of Petrosino Square at the crossroads of an older but newly fashionable area of the city optimizes its potential as a gathering place. Surrounded by many popular restaurants, including La Esquina, Ed's Lobster Bar, and Spring Street Natural, and proximate to several French cafes - Balthazar, for example, the park actually sits at the confluence of several historic neighborhoods - Little Italy, the Bowery and an expanding Chinatown. La Esquina contributes reliable Mexican food to the ethnic mix, and its walk-up window (a wonderful feature for anyone out strolling with a dog) allows the pleasure of informal take-out dining in the park. Many coffee carts are nearby, too, especially on the weekdays. It's like a pint-size Times Square, but with far less tourists.




The Italian heritage is recognized in the name of the park, named for the crime-fighting Italian-American policeman, Lieutenant Joseph Petrosino (1860-1909), who died in the line of duty while on assignment to Palermo, Sicily. The square sits a block north of the former police headquarters, an impressive ornate Renaissance Revival building from 1905-1909, at 240 Centre Street. Petrosino Square, in addition to being a nice place to stop, also serves as an excellent starting point for urban explorations north south, east, and west.

Images of Petrosino Square (looking south - see the old Police Headquarters in the distance on the left) and La Esquina by Walking Off the Big Apple.

Related Posts:
A Walk In NoLita, Sometimes Speaking French
Winston Churchill Square

Comments

Agnes said…
Your blog is like a breath of fresh air -- absolutely love it!
Unknown said…
Good stuff.
aaronb said…
what a great historical information you have there. In all the 20 years of living here in the city of New York, I never actually had the time to explore the fine dining, warm parks, and beautiful scenery in the Lower East Side, Manhattan. The meaning of the restaurant's name is very interesting, for the fact that it is named after a former police officer and his dedication to serve the city. Its very amazing how the parks and restaurants are nearby each other; which makes it a unique and valuable part about this location.
The villager: said…
Nice blog.....a stroll is so much better than a car or subway.
travelling through your blog. In my mind, but travelling
Miguel said…
Love your blog, very usefull information if you travel New York, I love the photos too.
Unknown said…
Obviously I haven't walked down every street in our fair city, but I do so love it when I walk down a seemingly random street and find a cozy nook or just really cool spot that seems so hidden from the universe. I went to a restaurant a couple weeks ago that was at the end of a t-street and I was just so enamored with it. So crazy cool! I will keep my eye for this square!
Asian Guy said…
I never noticed Petrosino Sq in all those years I spent in NYC up to 2002. From your pic and the map I can see that area really get gentrified! Strangely I deconstructed the title into "Petro Sino". Hmmmm it must be my reflex of being in China and reading sustainability stuff. Nice to see the bikes and rack.
Teri Tynes said…
Thanks so much for these great comments. Also, welcome to new visitors. I hope you come back and continue to contribute comments.

Petrosino Square may seem unfamiliar, because just a few months ago, it didn't look at all like a real place. Sometimes, the square was used for pop-up art installations. There are still plans to use the space for art. Nevertheless, the expansion of the square, along with the bike racks, plantings, brick columns, etc. has turned it into a nice pedestrian island.

Just little things can make a difference in a big city.
Alina said…
Have you seen the artwork on view in Petrosino Square now?

Popular posts from this blog

Museums in New York Open on Mondays

Please see this post for current announcements of reopenings . Please consult the museum websites for changes in days and hours. UPDATED September 23, 2020 Advance tickets required for many museum reopenings. Please check museum websites for details. • The  Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)  reopened to the public on  August 27 , with new hours for the first month, through September 27: from 10:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday to the public; and from 10:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.  on Mondays for MoMA members on ly. Admission will be free to all visitors Tuesday through Sunday, through September 27, made possible by UNIQLO. See this  new post on WOTBA for a sense of the experience attending the museum . •  New-York Historical Society  reopened on  August 14  with an outdoor exhibition, "Hope Wanted: New York City Under Quarantine,” in the rear courtyard. The exhibit by activist Kevin Powell and photographer Kay Hickman will highlight how New Yorkers weathered the quarantine

25 Things To Do Near the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

(updated 2016) The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) at 11 W. 53rd Street is near many other New York City attractions, so before or after a trip to the museum, a short walk in any direction could easily take in additional experiences. Drawing a square on a map with the museum at the center, a shape bounded by 58th Street to the north and 48th Street to the south, with 7th Avenue to the west and Park Avenue to the east, proves the point of the area's cultural richness. (A map follows the list below.) While well-known sightseeing stops fall with these boundaries, most notably Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and the great swath of famous Fifth Avenue stores, cultural visitors may also want to check out places such as the Austrian Cultural Forum, the 57th Street galleries, the Onassis Cultural Center, and the Municipal Art Society. The image above shows an intriguing glimpse of the tops of two Beaux-Arts buildings through an opening of the wall inside MoMA's scu

25 Things to Do Near the Metropolitan Museum of Art

(updated) Sitting on the steps in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of those iconic things to do in New York City. On a sunny day, the wide steps can become crowded with the young and old, the tourist and the resident. It's tempting to stay awhile and soak in the sun and the sights. Everyone has reasons for lingering there, with one being the shared pleasure of people watching along this expansive stretch of Fifth Avenue, a painting come to life. Certainly, just getting off one's feet for a moment is welcome, especially if the previous hours involved walking through the entirety of art history from prehistoric to the contemporary. The entrance to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fifth Avenue The Metropolitan Museum of Art should be a singular pilgrimage, uninterrupted by feeble attempts to take in more exhibitions along Museum Mile. Pity the poor visitor who tries "to do" multiple museum exhibitions in one day, albeit ambitious, noble, and uplift

A Walk From Lincoln Center to Zabar's

If you happen to be attending a noon or matinee performance in Lincoln Center or otherwise happen to be hanging around there for whatever reason and find you've got some time, I recommend a stroll up Broadway to Zabar's, the famous Upper West Side food emporium. This stretch of Broadway takes in the sights of several new housing sky-rises, several theaters, and some flamboyant former apartment hotels of the early 20th century. Flâneurs will love the Belle Epoque ambiance of these overly-ornamented buildings, and the distance from W. 66th or so to W. 80th is not so taxing, especially if you're dressed in shoes for the opera. View Larger Map Several noteworthy structures along the way - The Dorilton, 171 W 71st St., from 1900-02, at the northeast corner of Broadway, is considered a Beaux Arts masterpiece. The 72nd St subway station dates from 1904 and is a funny little thing. Verdi Square, at the convergence of Broadway, Amsterdam, an W. 73rd, is a nice small park fea

Museums in New York Open on Tuesdays

American Folk Art Museum , 45 W. 53rd St. Asia Society and Museum , 725 Park Avenue (at 70th Street) Guggenheim Museum , 1071 Fifth Avenue (at 89th St.) Pictured left International Center of Photography , 1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street The Metropolitan Museum of Art , 1000 Fifth Avenue NEW: Beginning May 1, 2013 MoMA will be open seven days a week. 11 W. 53rd St. The Morgan Library & Museum , 225 Madison Avenue at 36th Street Museum of the City of New York , 1220 Fifth Avenue New York University, Grey Art Gallery , 100 Washington Square East Mondays and Tuesdays are the hardest days to remember which museums are open. See the list for NY museums open on Mondays here .

The Marx Brothers in New York: Interlude - On Groucho Walking

This special new series about the Marx Brothers in New York continues this week, following the brothers into a career in Broadway and into the movies, but first I would like to take a little time to discuss Groucho's peculiar way of walking. Sometimes described as a "lope" or "stoop," Groucho's silly and often lecherous walk became just as an important part of his persona as his glasses, eyebrows, cigar and greasepaint moustache. He didn't walk this walk all the time, but as you recall from the films, Groucho would often bend his knees and lean forward as he proceeded from point A to point B. To imitate Groucho properly at a costume party, it's important to get this part down. • Groucho explained that it was simply a bit of inspired improvisation. From the book Hello, I Must Be Going by Charlotte Chandler, he says, "I was just kidding around one day, and I started to walk funny. The audience liked it, so I kept it in."(pps. 153-154) Chand

25 Things to Do Near the American Museum of Natural History

After visiting the American Museum of Natural History, explore attractions on the Upper West Side or in Central Park. Visitors to New York often run around from one major tourist site to the next, sometimes from one side of the city to the other, and in the process, exhaust themselves thoroughly. Ambitious itineraries often include something like coffee in the Village in the morning, lunch near MoMA, a couple of hours in the museum, a ride on the Staten Island Ferry in the afternoon, cocktails at the midtown hotel, a quick dinner, and then a Broadway show. It's a wonder people don't pass out at the theater. While sitting on the steps of the American Museum of History, consider exploring the Upper West Side and nearby sites of interest in Central Park. There's a better way to plan a New York trip. Consider grouping attractions together geographically. Several posts on this site address this recommended approach. The Wild West of the Tecumseh Playground Groupin

25 Radical Things to Do in Greenwich Village

A list of 25 things to Do in Greenwich Village with history of protest, old cafes, and signs of change. Hipstamatic iPhone images of contemporary Greenwich Village by Walking Off the Big Apple (Revised and updated.) Flipping through  Greenwich Village: A Photographic Guide by Edmund T. Delaney and Charles Lockwood with photographs by George Roos, a second, revised edition published in 1976, it’s easy to compare the black and white images with the look of today’s neighborhood and see how much the Village has changed. A long shot photograph of Washington Square taken up high from an apartment north of the park, and with the looming two towers of the World Trade Center off to the distant south in the background, reveals a different landscape than what we would encounter today.    On the north side of the park, an empty lot and two small buildings have since given way to NYU’s Kimmel Center and a new NYU Center for Academic and Spiritual Center Life. The Judson Memorial Church

Circling the Met: A Springtime Visit to Central Park and the Metropolitan Museum of Art

For a double feature of art and nature, the Metropolitan Museum of Art happens to be conveniently situated in Central Park. The front of the museum faces Fifth Avenue, its monumental wings stretching the blocks between E. 80th and E. 84th. The sides and the back of the museum are within easy walking distance of several prominent landmarks within the park.  Cedar Hill in Central Park Before a visit to the Met, consider taking a walk around the museum beginning on the southern side. A walk in the park can serve as a good preparation for a museum visit, because looking at or noticing the shapes and colors of the built and natural environment can enhance the art experience. Cedar Hill in Central Park The path south of the 79 Street Transverse leads to a scene at Cedar Hill very much like a panorama, with a vast wide-angle expanse of green grass and hill. Take the first path that leads back over 79th Street to the southern side of the museum. This path brilliantly disguises the motor traffi

A Weekend Walk on the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail

Imagine strolling from town to town near the eastern shores of the Hudson River, walking a well-trodden path lined with trees and stately architecture and with easy access to cafes, local shops, and train stations for an easy ride home. Imagine a weekend when the sun is bright and the sun is warm, and many other people - but not too many - are out enjoying the same weather and the same stroll. Such were the pleasures on a recent Sunday, in the latter part of this unseasonal winter, along the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail not too far north from New York City. View of the Hudson River from the Keeper's House The Old Croton Aqueduct, the system that once delivered fresh water from the Croton River to New York City, was a huge and complex marvel of engineering. The trail sits on top of the aqueduct system. This post describes a walk along just a section of the trail, the one that begins at the Keeper’s House in Dobbs Ferry and ends in Irvington. Recommended purchase - a map det