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fitness & wellness · outdoor activities ·

Published December 21, 2023

A New Waterfront Park and Greenway Are Now Open on Manhattan’s East Side

The new East Midtown Waterfront will include an expansive greenway, waterfront plaza, added park space, and more. 🌳🚴‍♀️

by New York Bucket List


If you’ve spent time along Manhattan's west side, you’ve probably enjoyed the benefits of the Hudson River Greenway. Spanning from Battery Park all the way up to Washington Heights, the greenway has transformed the west side and allowed New Yorkers access to waterfront views, picnics in its parks, and walks, jogs, or bike rides along the 13-mile path.

Now, the East side of the island will receive its own revamped greenway with the completion of the East Midtown Waterfront, which will run from 38th Street to 61st Street and include a waterfront pier, an esplanade along the UN campus, and a continuous connection to the East River Greenway through the construction of a new pedestrian bridge.

The first phase of the project has officially been completed as of December. The East Midtown Greenway and Andrew Haswell Green Park are now open, filling a key gap in the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway. The two new spaces extend the route for safe cycling and walking, while also providing space for relaxing and enjoying the waterfront.

The development is situated east of the FDR Drive and includes a new park entrance at East 60th Street, a pedestrian bridge, and the revitalization of Andrew Haswell Green Park and the Alice Aycock Pavilion. There will also be a 2,000-foot-long plaza stretching from East 53rd to 61st Streets. The East Midtown Waterfront Esplanade will eventually extend down to East 38th Street and be equipped with basketball courts, a bocce/petanque area, a dog run, and an open, elevated exercise area with publicly accessible equipment, along with a two-way bike lane with 24-hour lighting.

The East Midtown Greenway will fill a significant gap in the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway between East 38th and East 61st Streets along the East River, offering desired waterfront access and open space for the community and the general public. The project's objectives include improving access to the East River, creating connected spaces for pedestrians and bicyclists, and providing waterfront amenities.

If you visit the area now, you’ll see the elevated pathway adorned with seating, shrubbery, drinking fountains, lamp posts, and metal railings. Supported by piers rising from the East River, the reinforced concrete platform offers visitors panoramic views of various landmarks, including the Queensboro Bridge to the north, Roosevelt Island and Long Island City to the east, and the evolving developments of Hunters Point and Greenpoint to the southeast. To the south, you’ll catch great views of the Williamsburg Bridge and the Downtown Brooklyn skyline.

The ambitious project is actually part of a larger vision for the city to connect all of Manhattan’s greenways in a 32.5-mile loop. The network of green spaces will total more than 1,000 acres—a space larger than Central Park—running continuously around the entire island. Joggers, walkers, cyclists, and people of varying ages and abilities from every neighborhood should have access to the Greenway that is designed within the context of each unique neighborhood.

Find more information on Manhattan’s Waterfront Greenway here.


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