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A Spring Walk from Union Square to Madison Square

This-half mile walk between two historic New York parks is appropriate for any time of year. Springtime is particularly wonderful, even in the rain. The last week in April usually brings abundant daffodils and redbuds along with greening lawns. Even a cloudy day with light rain enhances the colors and smells of the flowering bulbs and trees.

General George Washington says hello to springtime in Union Square.

Union Square Park is known for the role it played in the labor movement and still serves as a flash point for social activism. An equestrian statue of George Washington overlooks the action. Nearby are statues of Gandhi and Abraham Lincoln.

New York pigeons enjoying the greening of New York. 

The Union Square Greenmarket is open Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays throughout the year, and a visit should be timed to include shopping at the market, one of the best in the city.

Don't forget to pick up some apples and beer.

The walk north on Broadway from Union Square Park to Madison Square Park includes a variety of well-known shops in addition to many cafes. A major street of Ladies’ Mile, the historic shopping district of New York’s Gilded Age, this section of Broadway has come into its own again.

A walk on Broadway between the two parks is one of the nicest in the city.

In addition to the famed buildings adjacent to Madison Square Park, with the Flatiron Building being first among the structures, the park now enjoys status as an arboretum, or tree museum.

Blooms in Madison Square Park, now a certified arboretum.

The park includes 322 trees, with two historic English elms dating back to pre-park days as well as American elms and redbuds. A statue of William Seward lords over a lovely flowerbed.

William Seward, United States Secretary of State from 1861 to 1869, with his flowerbed.

Madison Square Park also hosts an ambitious art program. An installation of sculpture by artist Diana Al-Hadid will be on view from May 14, 2018 through September 3, 2018. The new work shown here is titled Citadel, 2017-2018.

Diana Al-Hadid, Citadel, 2017-2018

This walk may be easily extended by adding Washington Square Park to the south and Bryant Park to the north. And then again, Bryant Park is not that far from Central Park. A long walk linking the parks in the center of Manhattan is not a bad way to spend the day.


Images from April 28, 2018 by Walking Off the Big Apple. Arbor Day.

The Flatiron Building in the springtime rain.

Related:

A Spring Walk in Lower Manhattan from the Battery to the Courthouses

A Spring Walk to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade and Brooklyn Bridge Park

10 Short Walks in the Flatiron District

Edward Steichen and the Flatiron Building

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