For the past twelve years I've been traveling to New York City from Ohio volunteering for a children's organization. My major responsibility is transporting the children and I now know NYC better than most livery drivers! During each of my visits I tried to visit places new to me as a tourist emphasizing offbeat and relatively serene, away-from-the-urchins places, especially those reinforcing the hiker and amateur horticulturist in me. I could have used Evelyn Cantor's useful and delightful book from year one. Peaceful Places New York City is a compilation of 129 'tranquil' sites in the boroughs of NYC with a few beyond added for 'peaceful' day trips. The sites are thoughtfully arranged by area and category, each described succinctly with 'peacefulness ratings', web site, hours, and public transportation information included. Area maps are supplied. The book itself is travel-size-friendly 5 by 7 inches. For the record I've been to about a third of the sites listed and can confirm the accuracy of those listings (even down to visiting J&R across from City Hall Park!) lending credibility to the rest. Of course when you put together a book like this you open yourself up to criticisms of both what was included as well as what was not included. I can ask why the NY Botanical Garden's Ornamental Conifer Garden, the Metropolitan's Japanese Room with the Mizubachi Fountain, the pedestrian path on the Brooklyn Bridge, and so on were omitted. Every reader will voice examples. But I bet that every reader into this kind of book, whether local or visitor, will also find here many new intriguing places to visit. I did and I've marked them for my next visit to NYC this summer! ( )
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