Quiet New York: Where to Go to Escape the Noise and Crowds

Balancing work and family may leave you exhausted and emotionally drained by the end of the week, but setting aside just an hour here and there to discover the quiet side of New York City is guaranteed to work wonders for your well being.  Whether you love nature, art or just a good coffee, your private oasis awaits you in one of these hidden havens of New York City:

Arthur Ross Pinetum in Central Park

Immerse yourself in nature at the Arthur Ross Pinetum in Central Park. Located between 84th and 86th St., this area of Central Park is comprised of 400 pine trees of 15 various species worldwide. Clear your mind at the Contemplation Circle and do some bird watching while gazing at the buds on the trees. Long-eared and northern saw-whet owls are known to sleep in the surrounding pines during the day, making the Pinetum a prime location for bird watchers.

(212) 310-6600, centralparknyc.org

Jacques-Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art

To truly take a step away from New York City, hop on the Staten Island Ferry for free and get a breath of fresh air as you sail away to the serenity of the Jacques-Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art. Admire the largest collection of Tibetan art in the West, located inside of the only Himalayan-temple-style building in the United States. Afterwards, take some time to wander around the beautiful meditation gardens outside. If you fall in love with the Tibetan culture by the end of your visit, then make sure to venture back to the museum in October for the annual Tibetan festival.  If you’re lucky, you’ll get to hear the monks ring the bells to break your silent reverie.

The museum is open every Thursday through Sunday from 1pm-5pm.


Adults- $5

Seniors/Students- $3

338 Lighthouse Ave., Staten Island, (718) 987-3500, http://www.tibetanmuseum.org/index.htm

Brooklyn Public Library

The saying “the best things in life are free” certainly holds true at the Brooklyn Public Library. Pack some snacks and attend a free film screening at one of the various library branches. Screenings are once a month on Fridays at 2pm, so pencil in a longer lunch break to relax and watch a new movie. Stick around after the movie and peruse the Brooklyn Collection, which includes exhibitions and newspaper clippings that reveal Brooklyn’s dynamic cultural history.

(718) 230-2100, brooklynpubliclibrary.org

International Center of Photography

Explore the "City of Light" through over 150 photographs and films at the International Center of Photography. The exhibit, “Twilight Visions: Surrealism, Photography, and Paris,” is a collection of various Parisian artists’ avant-garde portrayals of modern urban life in the 1920s and ‘30s. “Twilight Visions” will be showcased until May 9, 2010, so take the opportunity to step back in time as you browse through this exhibit, as well as the thousands of photographic files and photography magazine issues at ICP.

1133 6th Ave. at 43rd St., (212) 857-9700, http://www.icp.org/


For the ultimate power nap, visit YeloSpain Manhattan and try out a YeloCabTM. After a nap in one of these cocoon-like cabins, you will feel rejuvenated and ready to get back to work in no time. Choose from a traditional massage while napping or a reclining YeloChair TMto sleep in for a weightless feeling. Customize the lighting and music in the YeloCab to your liking, and fill the cabin with your favorite aromatherapy scent. Snuggle up with a soft cashmere blanket and sleep that stress away at YeloSpa.

315 West 57th St., http://www.yelonyc.com/spa/

Zen Buddhist Temple

Awaken your heart and mind with a public meditation service at the Zen Buddhist Temple in Chelsea. Join other people looking to find their Zen and learn techniques that will help you let go of the stresses of living in New York City. These public meditation services are a great way to prepare for the work week ahead, as they are offered on Sundays at 10am and 4pm. The sessions last one and a half hours, and they are completely donation-based. The suggested contribution is $10 per visit.

360 W. 28th St. (at 9th Ave.), Apt. 1C, http://zenbuddhisttemple.org/

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