On a cloudy Labor Day weekend we decided to check out Little Island, a newly developed park on Pier 55 in New York City. It’s open from 6am every day and is free to the public. It can be reached by either 13th or 14th street on the West Side. The vision of philanthropist families Diller and Von Furstenberg was to create a playful and interactive space that pulled visitors into its seasonal gardens and vistas. In that sense, visiting here felt to me like an extension of the nearby Highline, which similarly interweaves the city with a natural habitat.
What is unique to Little island is that there are also free performances, talks, meditation sessions and the like scheduled throughout the year, mostly held in its cozy outdoor amphitheater with views of the river and Jersey City. Schedules and tickets can be found on their website: https://littleisland.org/events-in-the-amph
We spent a pleasant afternoon meandering along the winding paths of the park and taking pictures at one of the elevated corner overlooks. Before visiting, we had brunch first in the West Village, but if you get hungry here there are food trucks called “Bites and Sips” which will quell any hunger until you can decide where to go eat in the city.
For an upscale lunch or dinner, you may want to check out the nearby City Winery, which includes a restaurant with Hudson River views.
If you’re looking to make a day of it, along with a walk on the Highline, you can also plan a visit to the nearby Whitney Museum of American Art. If visiting during the COVID-19 pandemic era, please make sure to check these websites for any safety precautions you may need to take.
Any way you decide to visit, whether for a quick stroll, a music event, or part of a day in the city, Little Island is a welcome addition to the Hudson River waterfront.
Date of trip: September 5, 2021