New York City’s parks are world-renowned for providing an elegant respite from the bustle of the city, but Madison Square Park, just steps from 212 Fifth Avenue in NoMad, is that rare outdoor space combining the beauty of a garden with the finest of New York City’s culture. Thanks to innovative programming from the Madison Square Park Conservancy, the park has become a center where the best in music, fine art, and even horticultural education can be experienced in the sunlight under a canopy of trees and almost at your doorstep at the 212 Fifth Avenue lofts in Manhattan.
This past spring, the park installed a forty-foot-high sculpture by internationally acclaimed artist Martin Puryear, whose art has been featured in a thirty-year retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art. Big Bling is a perfect example of how the park not only showcases the vision of exceptional artists but actually enables them to create new work, interacting with the public in projects that would not have been possible otherwise. Big Bling is Puryear’s largest sculpture ever created, and is made of what The New York Times calls the “rough-hewed versions of his signature materials that nod to urban life.”
As 2016 moves into fall, there will still be many opportunities for residents of the NoMad and Flatiron Districts to get a taste of that connection between culture and the park’s urban-green oasis. For example, the Mad Square Studio Series will feature live folk, blues, and Americana concerts on Saturday afternoons from 3 to 5 in the late summer and early fall. And Madison Park Conservancy’s project with the Municipal Art Society, “Celebrating the City: Jane Jacobs at 100,” will host another Jane’s Walk in the Park in honor of the beloved urban activist on September 18th, when Trees New York’s Arborist and Education Director Sam Bishop will guide participants through the park’s lush foliage during one of the most beautiful times of the year.
Other not-to-be-missed programs include “Art Talks” and the Around the Park@Night events, which feature dancers and artists, some of whom have built interactive programs that are in conversation with Big Bling, with the city, with the park, and with the audience. Choreographer David Thomson’s “Around the Park” performance of The Voyeurs will take place on September 15th, 16th, and 18th. Thompson has created a completely immersive choreography tackling questions of identity and turns the park into an interactive stage, with the golden loop at the top of Big Bling looming all the while in the background.
The 212 Fifth Avenue homes are the perfect starting point for everything Madison Square Park has to offer as summer cools into fall.
IMAGE COURTESY OF ©ISTOCK.COM/LUKE ABRAHAMS