Because NY is not just a forest of buildings placed on concrete, aufeminin takes you to discover the city from an unusual angle: welcome to a green and eco-responsible New York, to visit on foot, by subway or by bike. sure ! From now on, farms, vines and nature will no longer just evoke a stay in the countryside.
From Manhattan to Brooklyn, via East Village and Governors Island, on foot, by bike or by subway, here are some green and unusual activities to see absolutely in New York.
A vineyard on the roof
In New York, it is possible to have a drink in a hammock among the vines. It’s happening in Brooklyn. On the rooftop (the terrace) of an old military building, a young entrepreneur had this crazy idea of getting into viticulture 6 years ago. Its 168 seps grow in large containers, covered with nets to prevent looting by birds and gourmets, and produce 350 kg of grapes per year. The wine from this vineyard will be marketed for the modest sum of $ 1000 a bottle, but since our winemaker also has crops in upstate New York, we will be content to taste his organic wine at $ 6 a glass, certainly the cheapest in town. Which is already very nice, especially with the view of Manhattan.
More information on the website Rooftop reds
An urban farm in Brooklyn
You just have to walk a few hundred meters to reach, a little further, still on the rooftop of an old military building, the largest urban farm in New York: Brooklyn barn farm. On this roof, a 30 cm deep soil has been reconstituted, of earth with the addition of crushed oyster shells. It is an impressive sight to see this 0.6 hectare high altitude field multiplying crops – vegetable plants and flowers – while in a corner, a greenhouse keeps future plantings in a nursery! A chicken coop and a beehive complete the almost rural landscape, if we exclude the view of the buildings in the distance.
Up there, in addition to the guided tour, it is possible to have lunch, to get married or to privatize the place for the occasion of your choice …
More info on the guided tour of Brooklyn Navy Yard with Turnstile tours
East village community gardens
Let’s leave the rooftops to stroll through community gardens in East Village. Vegetable gardens, beehives, Zen gardens, ecological installations, tree sculptures, huts and street art: since the 1980s, the local population has appropriated a dozen old abandoned urban wastelands to transform them into green areas. The result is startling. Maintained by local volunteers, these small islands of greenery are a feast for the eyes. Go to the “recycled urban space” museum, get a map and walk the streets to discover the largest gardens. Check their opening hours to the public to be sure you don’t find the door closed.
If you wish, Elise Goujon and her company New York Off Road will take you with enthusiasm to discover these gardens with French-speaking guides.
More info on the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space
Virtually discover some community gardens: The Cultural Plaza, 6BC, 6B
A compost course on Governors Island
On Governors Island, a small island south-east of Manhattan deserted by the army which occupied it, a handful of die-hard gardeners have installed their ecological flower beds since 2009. Their vegetables are sold to restaurants on the island or the donates to associations. The urban farm, which also houses chickens, goats and fish, offers introductions to gardening, especially for children. For the largest, even more committed to recycling, the compost learning center provides courses in compost, using organic waste received from markets (more than 10,000 pounds per year).
How many more years will this farm survive, threatened with eviction by various projects to re-urbanize the island? Hurry, visit her before it’s too late. If you have time, rent a bike to go around Governors Island: a little further on, the farm has also planted a lavender field …
More info on the activities offered by Governors Island teaching garden
A vegetable garden in the heart of Manhattan
Eat locally grown vegetables … What could be more chic than to dine locally in Manhattan. So local that you just have to reach out to pick vegetables and aromatic herbs from 3,200 vegetable plots on the ground 10 meters from the River Park restaurant. Here the gardener grows more than 100 varieties of vegetables or aromatic plants. In order to develop his own sugar, he also planted a particular variety of sorghum. Better still: in front of indigo plants, he explains to us that he wants to dye the restaurant’s tablecloths, napkins and aprons using his crops. And of course everything is organic. Visit the garden with him and he will make you taste some vegetables or fruits, the flavors of herbs, flowers or buds of his crops.
Complete this walk with a dinner at restaurant River Park.
Central Park version yoga
Recently, Central Park, the famous New York park is closed to cars. With its 25,000 trees, the city’s lungs offer a true bath of greenery and culture if you sign up for a Yoga class. We discover Stawberry Fields, in homage to John Lennon, a fountain adorned with a female angel, and we end with a few stretches on the enormous shale rock, the only original element of the park. In short, visiting Central Park and discovering its secrets while doing good to your body is something to be happy about.
More info about Sunrise Yoga Class with Cindy and Mike from Fit Tours.
The high line, New York’s green belt
New York also has its green belt: in the southwest of Manhattan, this old railway line, abandoned for 20 years, gave way, in 2009, to an urban walk in the heart of the buildings. The watchwords are: calm, simple, wild and slow. Well, for the peace, it’s a failure: victim of its success, the highline receives more than 8 million visitors per year, which means that we follow each other more than we wander, but the visit is worth the detour. . More than 500 plant species, allowing the arrival of 22 species of bees and many birds, are cultivated there in a reasoned way: no fertilizer, watering via a system of rainwater collection through the grooves in the ground, little of pruning, no pulling weeds or faded flowers. An almost pure nature that contrasts with the shine of the buildings around. This high line will end, in spring 2019, with a large wooded square under a green tunnel. The objective: to finish his walk in the forest.
More info on the high line new yorkaise
Practical information to see New York from a green angle
For more information and to find out all about what to see and do in NYC, visit the official website of the New York Tourist Board: NYC & Company
Where to sleep in New York?
The 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, an eco-responsible hotel. Here, no mini shampoo bottles but a dispenser directly in the shower, where an hourglass also lets you know where you are with the water. In the hall, there is no candy dispenser but apples at will, behind a green wall.
More information on the hotel website
The hotel also has a restaurant, The Osprey, to test !
How do I get to New York?
Via the French airline XL Airways for example. It offers 7 direct flights per week between Paris and New York, from € 345 round trip. All prices include one piece of 20 kg checked baggage and one hot meal.
Information and reservations on the websiteXL Airways