Secret Garden

I can't believe it's been two years already since I visited that lovely secret garden on East 34th. I knew it was going to be destroyed and yet I never went back. 

I just found this neat picture of it on a site urging people to visit.

What an amazing magical place in the middle of New York City. There was a little koi pond, a hill to roll down, even a bunny. The kind of place you can't imagine would ever exist anywhere near here. I should have written a follow up to that original post. Wally looks so little in the pictures.

“One of the strange things about living in the world is that it is only now and then one is quite sure one is going to live forever and ever and ever. One knows it sometimes when one gets up at the tender solemn dawn-time and goes out and stands out and throws one's head far back and looks up and up and watches the pale sky slowly changing and flushing and marvelous unknown things happening until the East almost makes one cry out and one's heart stands still at the strange unchanging majesty of the rising of the sun--which has been happening every morning for thousands and thousands and thousands of years. One knows it then for a moment or so. And one knows it sometimes when one stands by oneself in a wood at sunset and the mysterious deep gold stillness slanting through and under the branches seems to be saying slowly again and again something one cannot quite hear, however much one tries. Then sometimes the immense quiet of the dark blue at night with the millions of stars waiting and watching makes one sure; and sometimes a sound of far-off music makes it true; and sometimes a look in someone's eyes.” 
—Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden


  1. I can't believe I never heard of this garden in the 12+ yrs I lived in NYC. Now I'm obsessed with it, and have read tons about it since seeing your post. Reminds me of the time I became obsessed with Hedy Lamarr after reading her obituary in the LA Times- I immediately bought an exorbitantly priced ($168 I think?) Copy of "Ecstasy and me" unfortunate to find out about something after it is gone! And why-oh-why would they demolish such a place?

  2. Holly - I wish you'd known about it - I wish more people did. It was the most lovely place. They had the indoor "glass garden" with turtles, fish, birds chirping away and then the outside place for children. A few other gardens on the grounds, too. It was really an innovative place, designed I think before much of the research on therapeutic benefits of nature. That postmortem Hedy Lamarr fascination is intriguing, too. Seems like the makings for a story or poem...getting really into something after it's gone.

    Bearette - is it still there? I saw a few places it was listed as closed and it was supposed to be demolished in 2012, but maybe something changed?

  3. I'm sure it's closed then...I was just wondering if it was still open. Sad that it was demolished, would have liked to see it.

  4. Bearette I'm so sad you didn't see it- no one much seemed interested when I was really trying to hype it but that was back before I knew you


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