Aerial view from the Solaire greenroof, at 20 River Terrace
In six years I have not really been near Ground Zero and didn't want to, and this little park nearby is perhaps the best experience one could have of it. It is planted with indigenous trees, shrubs, and perennials, with something wild and uncontrived about it, despite its slightly cliche-ic name and the broad paths around the edges. It is very carefully thought-out and executed. We found lot of native Amelanchier (shad) in full berry, and stood there snacking away, eating the fat red, sweet fruit that make blueberries taste insipid.No one was there, except some children and their minders playing in the sand at the bottom of a spectular slide, which Natalie tested (watch this space for the movie!). Above them is a water feature set off by stepping on a pad in a deck, creating one of the nicest, most natural and inviting water play-areas I've seen. There is a swamp garden hidden away, too, complete with logs for balancing on, and mysterious thickets; a rock wall of stacked stone with water trickling down; and the feeling of being somewhere else entirely.
So yes. I'm a fan. Thank you Marijke, the foreigner, for leading us here!
It's between Warren and Murray, and River Terrace and North End Avenue, on the western side of the West Side Highway.