Since I came to New York almost a year ago I’ve been looking for an oasis. My special place. A place feels like it’s mine. In my mind I had visions of finding a place like the National Cathedral gardens in DC. A maze of trees, archways, and hideouts. Obviously this is unrealistic in New York. There are plenty of gardens and parks, but the limited amount of space and the number of people make that reality almost impossible. So, I think I’ve found the next best thing.
From a distance Jefferson Market Library looks like a castle, one friend told me she thought it was a church. But, it is a library, with a cute gated garden nestled neck to it. It’s not very big and though there’s about it that feels and looks hidden it’s often hard to find a seat. What it is, is pretty and quiet and calm.
It’s quiet and calm despite the conflicted history of the garden and the library, which once held a courthouse–now the library–and the Women’s House Detention Prison–now the location of the Jefferson Market Garden. For such a beautiful garden that looks like it’s been there for years, it’s surprising to learn that it only first bloomed in 1975.
No matter when it was built or what the history of the land may be, I’m happy I’ve found a place that has a comforting quality. A place I think I can go to read or think. A place I can escape to and get away from the hectic city. At least while it’s open during the summer months.