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Magic Gardens in the City

Claire Landsbaum writes for Atlas Obscura about the gardens at St. Luke in the Fields in New York City:

Walking through the narrow gate into the gardens at St. Luke in the Fields is like diving underwater. The din of the West Village on a weekday morning — jackhammers, cell phone conversations, car horns, and the construction crew’s boom-chicka boom-chicka radio — fades to nothing. Trees, bushes, and vines absorb the surrounding noise, leaving the gardens pristine with just the sounds of breeze and birds. The gardens are a place to sit with oneself — a place surrounded by high brick walls designed to shut out distraction.

… Although the garden is scattered with benches, few are regularly occupied. The occasional West Village resident ducks in to read or snack or sit, but no one within the garden’s confines generally speaks louder than a whisper. As Frances Hodgson Burnett wrote in The Secret Garden, “Sometimes since I’ve been in the garden I’ve looked up through the trees at the sky and I have had a strange feeling of being happy as if something was pushing and drawing in my chest and making me breathe fast.” Just as it does in that garden, magic abounds in the gardens at St. Luke.

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