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[Brief Notes from New York #1]

The new Brooklyn Bridge Park is one of the many reasons why New York should truly be considered a city committed on improving the living qualities of its inhabitants. The park is being constructed on a former industrial port area, and now gradually opening. Piers 1 and 6 of the public park have been opened this year and are already being visited by thousands of visitors.

When finished, the whole park area will consist of 34 hectares (85 acres) and will strech for circa 2 kilometers from north of the Manhattan Bridge to Atlantic Avenue. It has been designed by landscape architects’ firm Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates. The beautifully arranged surroundings, the park benches with amazing views of the East River and the Manhattan Skyline, the delicious food vendours, the playgrounds and the events organized in the park – like these crowded and super-romantic movie nights – have already conquered my heart. Every Thursday in July and August the Park changed into a huge open air movie theater as people gathered on the lawn to enjoy the views of Manhattan, the company of their friends and family and a good selection of movies provided by “Movies With A View”. The photo above is taken from the last show, Some Like It Hot from 1959, with the eternally adorable Marilyn Monroe. The movie evenings start with DJs from Brooklyn Radio opening the evening and are supported by various partners.

New York is seriously committing time and money on the development of its watefronts and park areas. Besides the stunning Brooklyn Bridge Park, the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway biking path is planned to run all the way from Greenpoint to Sunset Park. On Manhattan, both the High Line and the Hudson River Park have been major successes albeit both are still partly in conctruction. Some say Brooklyn Bridge Park is the most significant park development in Brooklyn since Prospect Park was built 135 years ago and from what I´ve seen until now I totally agree!

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Brief Notes from New York

This new series for Urban Dream Management presents moments and observations from the city of all cities: New York. The author, Kati Laakso, originally from Helsinki, Finland, has been living in New York for two years and is constantly surprised how fast everything changes.

New York as a city and a cultural landscape is in constant change. The evolving nature of its structure and inhabitants transforms it from day to day, year to year. The change does not only occur in the city structure but also in the social forms taking place in different places every minute. Not only the city itself but also its inhabitants are constantly developing new forms of life, new forms of doing things, and making the city what it has been and will be tomorrow.

Text and photography: Kati Laakso