NYC celebrates our great green city all 365 days a year, not just on St. Patrick’s Day.
Even though the great green St. Patrick’s Day Parade has been cancelled this year due to Coronavirus, you can still enjoy what’s green in in NYC.
Despite what Kermit the Frog says, it’s easy to be green in NYC, because green is everywhere, in NYC parks and gardens, neighborhood and street names, on the subway, on our iconic statues and monuments, with our favorite hometown sports teams, and what we eat.
Here are the NYCOTC top choices for where and how to find and celebrate the green any day of the year.
Central Park in Manhattan, Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, Pelham Bay Park in Queens, Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx and the Staten Island Greenbelt are the biggest and best known in each borough.
They are green and gorgeous three seasons of the year, and each one offers hiking paths, romantic vistas, lakes and more. And each one is easy to get to by public transportation.
But they are not alone.
Each NYC borough offers smaller treasures with lots to offer, such as Riverside Park in Manhattan, Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn and Astoria Park in Queens, plus many community gardens.
Each spring, around St. Patrick’s Day, NYC Parks turn green, and also pink with cherry blossoms and azaleas, yellow with daffodils and red with tulips.
The Statue of Liberty didn’t start out green.
The skin of the world-famous statue is made of copper. She was a golden copper brown in 1886, when she was dedicated, as a gift from the people of France.
As we learned in grade school, copper oxidizes when exposed to the air, and so Lady Liberty has turned a pale shade of green over the years.
But the statue – and its image as the symbol of freedom and liberty around the world – would be beautiful and iconic in any color.
Have you visited the new Statue of Liberty Museum, which opened in Summer 2019?
There are farmer’s markets throughout the five boroughs year round, offering fresh produce, organic and smoked meats, artisinal cheeses, jams and jellies, maple syrup and more from family-owned farms within 150-miles of NYC, including the Hudson Valley, Long Island and New Jersey.
The first, and still the largest, is the one in Union Square, three days a week, 52 weeks a year.
Click here for the list of all 50+ NYC Greenmarkets, including their days and hours and a seasonal guide to whats on sale when.
Be green yourself, and bring a re-usable shopping bag to carry home your Greenmarket goodies.
Every April 22nd the world celebrates Earth Day, a day of awareness for keeping our planet green and healthy.
2020 is the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, and a long list of events and exhibits were planned in New York City and in cities around the world.
Those plans may have been upended by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Click here for the latest news about Earth Day events around the world and in NYC.
The New York Jets football team, also known as Gang Green, play in green and white uniforms. Go Jets!
Also green are the seats in Citi Field, where the New York Mets play baseball.
Their team colors are blue and orange, which also were the color of the seats in their previous ballpark, Shea Stadium.
But when the Mets moved to their new home in 2009, they switched to an all green color scheme for their seats.
It’s a tribute to the green seats at the Polo Grounds, where the beloved New York Giants baseball team played.
That’s where the Mets spent their first two seasons, before Shea was built, and before the Mets batted their way from little more than a joke to the World Series-winning Miracle Mets.
Kermit the Frog, and all his friends from Sesame Street, are ready to charm visitors of all ages at this permanent exhibition at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens.
Among the nearly 300 objects on view are 47 puppets, including Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Rowlf, The Swedish Chef, Statler, Waldorf, Big Bird, Elmo, Cantus Fraggle, a Skeksis, and other popular favorites, character sketches, storyboards, scripts, photographs, and costumes from the ground-breaking and award-winning PBS Show.
Film and TV clips and behind-the-scenes footage are presented on monitors and projections throughout the exhibit, and interactive experiences allow visitors to try their hand at puppeteering on screen and designing a puppet character.
Jim Henson, of course, is the genius behind a team of builders, performers, and writers brought to life the enduringly popular worlds of The Muppet Show, the Muppet movies, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal, and Labyrinth.
The exhibit also includes material from Henson’s experimental film projects and his early work, presenting him as a restlessly creative performer, filmmaker, and technical innovator.
There’s also a daily schedule of events, including FREE guided tours, included with admission.
Be sure to bring your own headphones, as they are required for some monitors. Or, you can purchase them for $2.
The Museum of the Moving Image is at 36-01 35 Avenue (at 37 Street) in Astoria, Queens.
Grand Central Terminal
Officially, the color used for the soaring celestial ceiling of the Main Concourse is cerulean blue, a deep blue meant to resemble the night sky.
But it looks green, or turquoise.
It could be that the mix of blue sky and yellow stars reflects as green. After all, we all know that blue and yellow make green.
Or, it could be that the product used to clean the ceiling during its recent restoration – Simple Green – changed the cerulean blue to blue-green.
Whatever. The ceiling is spectacular. And green.
Several MTA lines are identified by green signs, including the 4, 5 and 6 lines of the IRT.
There also are green globes at the entrances of many stations. When they are lighted, it means the entrance is open.
And NYC buses are going green.
There are eco-friendly, green hybrid and electric buses on several routes, including the 42nd St. crosstown.
Hardly anybody calls them by their official name, Boro Taxis. We all call them the “green taxis” to differentiate them from the yellow ones. What are green taxis?
They were created by the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission in 2013, long before Uber or Lyft drove into NYC, to improve transportation alternatives and choices in areas where public transportation choices are limited, including outside of Manhattan, and also offer better service for passengers with disabilities.
Green Boro Taxis can pick up passengers in Manhattan only north of West 110th Street and East 96th Street, plus anywhere in Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.
They can drop of passengers anywhere, which means you’ll see a green taxi in Soho, but it can’t pick you up there.
Green taxis cost the same as yellow taxis.
For some unaccountable and short-sighted reason, the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) does not allow green taxis to pick up passengers at JFK or LaGuardia.
New York City offers lots of varieties of green food, and we’re not just talking about kale salads.
Probably the best known are the pickles served at traditional Jewish deli’s like Katz’s, on the Lower East Side. A welcoming plate of pickles, including barely-pickled “new” pickles and sours with real pucker-power, are served up before you order.
Here are a few other places to find green food, from pickles to ice cream:
- All kinds of pickles veggies at the Pickle Guys
- Green tea ice cream at the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
- Asparagus (or arugula or lettuce or green beans and mint) gelato at L’Albero dei Gelati
- Pistachio pizza at Dar 525. Other than green basil leaves or flakes, NYC pizzas are typically red and white. But this Syrian restaurant Dar 525 serves a really green pie. It’s made with parmesan and mozzarella cheese, onion and rosemary, and topped with pistachios, which give it a golden green color after baking.
Green is an integral part of NYC history and culture.
Many of NYC street signs are green, including the sign for Greene Street in Soho, which adjoins Greenwich Village.
Fort Greene in Brooklyn, is both a neighborhood and a park. Greenpoint is another green NYC neighborhood
Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, home of famous New Yorkers including Charles Ebbets, who owned the beloved Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team, which played in Ebbets Field.
Tavern on the Green, the famous restaurant in Central Park.
Okay, this is a stretch, because greenhouses are generally white and with see-through glass so the green things inside them can grow and flourish.
NYC has several impressive greenhouses.
The largest, most famous and most beautiful NYC greenhouse is the Enid A. Haupt Observatory at the New York Botanical Garden.
There also are impressive greenhouses worth visiting at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and at Wave Hill in Riverdale.
On March 17 each year, everybody is Irish. And the wearing of the green is traditional for marchers and onlookers in the world famous St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Fifth Avenue.
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This article was posted originally for Earth Day 2018 and is updated and republished annually for St. Patrick’s Day and Earth Day.
Evelyn Kanter also is the author of several NYC and Hudson Valley guidebooks, including my latest, 100 Things to Do in NYC Before You Die.
Purchase autographed copies by emailing [email protected]