Teardrop Park is a unique public park nestled in Battery Park City in Lower Manhattan. At only 1.8 acres, it offers an incredible variety of terrain for its small size. Though surrounded on all sides by apartment buildings, Teardrop Park offers quiet and contemplative paths worthy of your exploration.
Retreat into Nature in Lower Manhattan
As you enter from River Terrace, you will walk a path lined with native trees and plantings. The first vantage point to explore is Shadbush Hill, a small tree grove of shadbush trees (also known as serviceberry trees). These trees bloom in early spring and their snowy white flowers are often one of the first blooms in NYC. The shadbush blooms at the same time the shad fish run up the Hudson River to spawn.
Continue on to The Marsh, a small fenced wetland that is a popular water source for birds. This is a good spot in spring and fall to look for migrating songbirds. Even if you don’t know much about birds, this small oasis is a perfect place to begin your own bird observations. Linger here to listen for a non-human voice.
Climb higher to the Hilltop Reading Circle, a great vantage point to look out over the lawn and to see the Beech Grove and Witch-hazel Dell in the distance. If you work nearby, the hill is a great destination for a lunch-time wander.
Contemplate Geological Time
On my first visit to Teardrop Park, I was surprised and delighted by the rock formations.
The rock slabs are an art installation by the artists Ann Hamilton and Michael Mercil. Here is how the artist described the work:
Three bluestone sections evoke a sense of geologic flux and transition between present time (now) and past time (then). While recalling a natural history of the Hudson River Valley, these sections might also recall the processes of quarrying, or of masonry. But this stonework neither comes from nor quite belongs to any of those things. And because it was never any other built thing, the stonework is not a ruin. – Ann Hamilton
Take your time walking along the rock slabs. Notice the lichen or wet blossoms on the rocks. Imagine the history of the rock compared to the your own history.
Nearby the enormous Ice Wall. Water trickles down its surface, and in winter, is often covered in icicles.
You can duck through a small tunnel through the wall and enter the shady southern portion of the park. This is an active play area for children and features a slide, sand lots, and an amphitheater.
Teardrop Park is dog-free, just in case you were hoping to bring a canine companion. It’s a hidden location for most tourists and locals, so you have a good chance of catching a quiet moment during your visit.
For directions or more information, check out the Teardrop Park site. Have you visited Teardrop Park? What did you think?