Manhattan is full surprisingly peaceful spaces, which are becoming increasingly important as the city gets more crowded. One such hidden gem is East River Park, a thin strip which lies in between the FDR drive and the water on the southeast tip of the island of Manhattan. The 45-acre East River Park houses a dog run, a boardwalk, built-in lounge chairs, an amphitheater, waterside seating and lovely views of the East River and ship-filled harbor areas.
The park was the brainchild of Robert Moses, who designed the FDR Drive (along with many other projects in NY state). Moses knew that the road would pass through the Lower East Side, a neighborhood in dire need of recreational space. The existence of East River Park was due to Moses' championing of the concept of parkland through "energetic legal wrangling," as the Parks Department website puts it. You can read more about the history of East River Park here.