Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Walk Around Gramercy Park


My husband and I went to dinner with friends a couple weeks ago at a restaurant located next to Gramercy Park in Manhattan, and I thought you'd enjoy seeing a few photos of this beautiful and unusual park, and the opulent neighborhood that surrounds it.  The statue in the middle of the park is of Edwin Thomas Booth, a famous actor of the time, and considered by some theatrical historians as the greatest in the role of Shakespeare's Hamlet. However, he is usually remembered today only as the brother of John Wilkes Booth, the man who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln.


The park is lush, verdant, and peacefully quiet. It would be a perfect place to bring a book and sit on one of the benches and read.



The grounds are beautiful and well maintained.


At only two acres large, it is the anchoring oasis of this exclusive neighborhood.



The park is entirely encircled by this tall wrought iron fence with locked gates!  Yes, this is a private park!  All of my photos were taken by my shooting through the fence posts. Since 1831 only residents of surrounding buildings are able to buy keys that allow them admission to the park.



This sign on the fence tells the entire story of the park and surrounding area.



Many of the buildings surrounding the park are remarkable in style. 


The Players Club is on the left, and The National Arts club is on the right. The Players Club is a social club founded by the noted 19th-century Shakespearean actor Edwin Booth, who purchased in 1847 a mansion located at 16 Gramercy Park. During his lifetime, he reserved an upper floor for his home, turning the rest of the building over to the private membership clubhouse. Its interior and part of its exterior was designed by architect Stanford White



The Players still maintains its entryway gaslights, among the few remaining examples in New York City.


The National Arts Club next door was founded in 1898 by Charles Dekay, an art and literary critic of The New York Times to "stimulate, foster, and promote public interest in the arts and to educate the American people in the fine arts."


The architectural details of the building are so interesting to see. The history of the building can be read in the photo collage above.


This building located at 34 Gramercy Park East was built in 1881 as one of the earliest luxury apartment buildings


It was the home to many famous people as you can see by the plaque on it's exterior wall..  I peeked into the luxurious foyer, and the beautiful tile floor is the background of my photo collage above.



The very elaborately Gothic decorated 36 Gramercy Park East is another luxurious apartment building built in 1905.  It was once the home to John Ringling of circus fame and the actor John Barrymore and his first wife,



One of these elegant 18th century townhouses was the residence of James Harper, publisher and former mayor of New York City.


4 Gramercy Park West was his residency from 1847 until his death in 1849.


The intricate cast iron verandas date back to 1848.



We ended our walk around Gramercy Park by entering The Gramercy Hotel where we dined at Maialino. Maialino New York is a new Roman-style trattoria from award winning Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group. It serves lovingly prepared Roman-style cooking from Executive Chef Nick Anderer. You can see the menus on this link.


Our meal was fantastic! The portions were generous and we had sample portions of different pastas as our appetizers as the selection was so enticing. We could see why Maialino is such a popular restaurant and I highly recommend it!


I'm linking this post to the following blog events:
Alphabe Thursday the letter this week is "O" and I htink the oplulence of Gramercy Park qualifies


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73 comments:

Melissa said...

Simply breathtaking photos! Makes me want to get on a plane today!!

Jo May said...

Pat I had to google a map of Manhatten to refresh my memory of location of Gramercy area,thanks I enjoyed re-visit to NYC,and the meal was absolutely beautiful,I know it was incredible good.

Barbara F. said...

That is a favorite area of mine. I would love to eat at this restaurant. Never knew we had "private parks" where residents have to buy there own key! Only in New York. :) xo

From the Kitchen said...

After reading "Marjorie Morningstar", I dreamed of living in NYC. After visiting Gramercy Park, I had found my place. Now to find the money! Great photos!

Best,
Bonnie

Riet said...

What a beautiful park and that restaurant sounds perfect. Lovely photo's of the food. Yummy

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Pat, You find the most beautiful area's of Manhattan. The clubs and homes are architectural gems!

Vee said...

Thank you for the inner peek of Gramercy Park. I wonder how many people have a key. Then I wonder how many use the key.

I think a biography of the other Booth boy would be fascinating (and it's probably been done). How does one cope with a relative who becomes notorious in that way?

Thank you for the tour of this beautiful area. I also enjoyed the tour of your plates of food! Hmmmm...looks so good.

Old Kitty said...

Gramercy park and the surrounding area sounds like a definite place to visit! How lovely!!!! I like that all these wonderful artists lived there too - and it does give off this most creative artistic vibe!! Beautiful photos as always - I think you got the park at its most vibrant best!! Take care
x

Snap said...

So many beautiful places in NY. You've brought them all to life for us. The food .... OH MY!!! I gained 5 lbs just looking! :D :D

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Such a gorgeous neighborhood! Never would have dreamed there'd be a park that you need a key to get into! Just looking at the photos made me feel about 10 degrees cooler though:@)

eileeninmd said...

It is a lovely neighborhood, very nice that they have their very own park. The food and restaurant looks like a great choice. The photos are beautiful.

Jeannelle said...

What an interesting place! Thank you for the tour.

Michelle said...

Thanks for this tour. I knew a small bit about Gramercy Park, but I didn't realize just how exclusive it really is. Beautiful buildings!

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

Your beautiful photos made your wonderful virtual fieldtrip to NYC a joy! How beautiful New York looks! You shared the best of this great city!

Amanda Jones said...

I love this post. I think we might have to add Gramercy Park to our agenda for our upcoming trip. What a beautiful area.

ellen b. said...

I love walking around New York with you! Thanks for sharing your city...

Rajesh said...

Beautiful park, so much greenery, architecture.

Pondside said...

It was so interesting to read this post and look at the photos of places that feature in so many books that are set in NYC. It's all so beautiful. Your meal looks a treat!

Kris said...

Ahhh, fabulous! The meal too!!!
Wow!
XO Kris

Catherine said...

Beautiful park and buildings!Thank you for the history info. I enjoyed it.

Ola said...

a baeatiful district and the selection of dishes makes me hungry!

Blog about life and travelling
Blog about cooking

diane b said...

That all looks a bit upmarket to where we ate on my latest post. It is a beautiful area and I bet the homes are a tad expensive. I have never heard of a private park. an interesting historical idea. I'm not sure that I'm in favour of it. Just like I don't like private beaches either.

podso said...

I get your title now, a walk AROUND the park not IN or THROUGH it! You would never know those wonderful photos were through a fence! I loved the photos of the surrounding buildings--beautiful, as is your mosaic! You certainly enjoy your city and make the most of it. I'm sure you're savoring these months before you move.

Gardening in a Sandbox said...

Beautiful photos. The park is gorgeous. Too bad it is closed to the public. I always enjoy your photos of New York. Valerie

Mary Lee said...

What a lovely park! They should give you a key just for taking such lovely photos of it.

Another place to add to my "If I ever get to NYC again" file.

Cheryl @ TFD said...

Such beautiful photos!! Love the park and the lush greenery...lucky residents who get to go inside! The buildings are fabulous. The food looks divine, too.
Have a wonderful week!

bettyl said...

Thanks for the tour. Most of us never know the stories behind parts of the city.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Oh how I'd love to have a place on the park- and a key to the garden. That dinner at Maioliino looks pretty darn delicious too.

Valerie said...

A wonderful series of shots - thanks for sharing your part of the world with us. The part looks to be a lovely haven away from the hustle & bustle of city life; and love the look of that food !!!

annie said...

Wonderful tour Pat!
I just love your photos.

Annmarie Pipa said...

how fun!! good for you! your photos are wonderful...NYC should give you a commission.

Sylvia K said...

Fantastic captures of such a beautiful place, Pat! Annmarie is right, NYC should give you a commission! They brought back lovely memories of my last visit to NYC years ago! Delightful! Hope you have a great week!

Pearl Maple said...

A fabulous tour of NYC, thanks for sharing

Carol said...

Fabulous neighborhood, I really enjoyed the tour. Such stunning shots!

Gary said...

Great tour!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Lisa@GrandmasBriefs said...

Definitely opulent. Love the grace and grandeur of Gramercy—yet another place I hope to visit some day.

Each time I read your posts now I think of how awesome it will be when you're devoting your outstanding photography and research to places within just a short drive from me, maybe even in my own hometown. :D

Houseelf said...

What a fascinating area. The Gothic buildings particularly appealed to me. The rotunda in the centre of Park Town, Oxford is residents only like Gramercy Park.

What a mouth watering meal.

Chatty Crone said...

I would love to see this in person - looks so wonderful. sandie

Lovella ♥ said...

Oh such a beautiful park. I so enjoyed reading the history and am again so amazed at the rich historical buildings in Manhattan! Thank you Pat!

GailO said...

To be honest, it is this kind of post that I will miss when you move to Colorado:) There is always a possiblity that I will get to see NY places and try these foods...Colorado not so likely!

Jeanne said...

Hi Pat, I have been to Gramercy Park and this is a lovely post about it. I will miss your NYC posts Pat. When do you expect to move? Are you leaving your awesome stove? HA!

It is late so I will say goodnight. It will be fun to see posts of Colorado as well. Where will you move in colorado?
xo, Jeanne

Saimi said...

What a perfect post for someone who has never been to NYC. I really enjoyed the pictures!

My son just finished the book, "Killing Lincoln" he learned all about John Wilkes Booth and found it fascinating.

RNSANE said...

What a wonderful tour you gave us, Pat. Gramercy Park is quite a showplace. The buildings are so elegant and, to think, a gated private park. Well, that doesn't suprise me with an enclave of the rich and famous such as this. I am sure they require such security.

Your meal at Maialino New York has me green with envy. I do enjoy Indian food but I am starving for a big juicy rare steak and that is one thing not available in Jaipur. I am sure there are some Italian restaurants somewhere but the wine selection is slim and I, of course, am on the stingiest of budgets.

Sandy said...

As a child we lived in NY and remember
this park well..your photos bring
me back and you did it justice.
Lovely photos
Sandy

ArtMuseDog and Carol said...

Wonderful photo tour ~ thanks ~ (A Creative Harbor)

Theanne said...

enjoyed my tour through Gramercy Park...it is beautiful!

VBR said...

Oy! O is for OY! What a wonderful post for letter O. Gramercy Park is so beautiful. It's an oasis in the middle of a bustling city. Many of the buildings in NYC are prime examples of the differing styles that blend together to create the uniqueness that is NY.
And, the food. What can I say, food in NYC is beyond compare.
(Gee, do you think I come from NY orginally?)

Mary said...

What a wonderful tour Pat! I love the architecture and old ornate ironwork! Your meal looks mouthwatering :)

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

How beautiful and elegant...

I looks like a great place to spend a little time people watching...

w said...

love the pics. i enjoyed looking at them… twice! and thanks for the history lesson on the booth brothers!

w said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sue said...

Thanks for the private tour. Makes me want to visit!

=)

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

You've really given us a lot of history associated with this park. A lot of famous people have passed through this area. You dinner looks amazing...I looked at the menu, too and was surprised that it wasn't more expensive. The food is exquisite!

Karen S. said...

Thank you so much for such a cool mini vacation right from my own office!

Cindy said...

Wonderful post!!! I love seeing the beautiful old buildings, they are so ornate. How fun to look through the bars of a private park and take photos, that's exactly what I would have done. :) Very interesting post.
Hugs, Cindy

Amy Harrison said...

Wow :) It looks so beautiful... I wanna go! :D
Amy
http://dontfeedthebirdsplease.blogspot.co.uk/

Jamie said...

Wonderful photos. Now I want to visit NYC even more.

anitamombanita said...

So many great places in NY and this is definitely one of them! Thanks for the tour!!

Annesphamily said...

Always a joy to look around your hometown and see all the beautiful photos you share with us. The food looks wonderful too! Thanks Pat!

Paula's Postings said...

Another fascinating post Pat, I was fortunate enough to visit the area on a previous trip the area seemed so peaceful a little oasis on a busy city. Thanks for sharing.

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

Wow Pat, what a great area to visit. The dinner looked delicious as well. Too bad about the park though. It's a shames it can't be enjoyed by everyone.

Yvette said...

I love this area of New York, Pat. It has a rarified air to it that few other neighborhoods in the city have.

Such a gorgeous few blocks. I used to wonder who lived in those beautiful buildings, more importantly, how they could afford it. :)

A very special place. Thanks for featuring it. I will miss these New York tours once you go west. But I'm sure you'll find tons of places in the Denver area to talk about.

Claudia Willison said...

I have been to the City a few times so far, but not to The Gramercy yet. Judging by your photos I should do so quickly - it looks gorgeous!

My contribution today for Alphabe - Thursday: Oakridge NJ @ ImagesByCW

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

I haven't been to Gramercy Park in years. My FIL had an apartment near the Gramercy Park Hotel and we stayed at the hotel one Thanksgiving. A really lovel part of the city. Thanks for the great memories.
Sam

The Gathering Place said...

I haven't moved in years so I don't have much experience in packing tips. I know my daughter tried to box up all the things that she didn't need in the near future, labeling them for the new room they would go in. She has also learned to get rid of things that aren't too important. I have a hard time there because I am a bit of a keeper. Good luck. It must be exciting to plan for a new chapter in your life.

Pamela Gordon said...

I love this post. What a beautiful park and surrounding buildings. I noticed the name Samuel Ruggles on the sign on the gate. Ruggles is an old family name in my dad's family that came from New England. I wish I knew more of their history. Very interesting! Pamela

Sarah said...

This is such a pretty area of NY. Thanks for sharing the details.

Judie said...

Pat, you are such an excellent photographer. What a wonderful trip you have given us to Gramercy Park!

Andy David said...

Well, all the pictures are food are beautiful. Great job with this!!

FABBY'S LIVING said...

Oh, I have a small lump on my throat from your beautiful photos of gorgeous Gramercy Park. I used to love to go there with friends and spend a spring afternoon strolling by that beautiful park. I am originally from Astoria-Queens. The food looks yummy too! Hugs,
FABBY

2aaeeac4-7fe7-11e1-8f88-000bcdca4d7a said...

I've only been to NY once ,and, wanting a special Sunday brunch, the hotel concierge recommended a place at Gramercy Park rather than in Central Park where we originally planned. I can't for the life of me remember the name, but gorgeous food and peach mimosas- we don't drink those here in Scotland!! I didn't know the history of the area as we walked around the park.
The locked park with resident's keys was the norm in the 19th century posh residential areas in the UK, and you can still see examples today. Lots were called ..... squares, with the square being the park or garden area.

2aaeeac4-7fe7-11e1-8f88-000bcdca4d7a said...

I've only been to NY once ,and, wanting a special Sunday brunch, the hotel concierge recommended a place at Gramercy Park rather than in Central Park where we originally planned. I can't for the life of me remember the name, but gorgeous food and peach mimosas- we don't drink those here in Scotland!! I didn't know the history of the area as we walked around the park.
The locked park with resident's keys was the norm in the 19th century posh residential areas in the UK, and you can still see examples today. Lots were called ..... squares, with the square being the park or garden area.

Roz said...

Such a gorgeous tour of lovely old architecture! One of my favorite things to do on a trip! I've never been to Gramercy Park, but I do have a cookbook from The Gramery Tavern, not sure if it is located anywhere nearby, but it certainly is a wonderful cookbook! Thanks for the tour!