Located on the Upper East Side next to Gracie Mansion–the official residence of the Mayor of the City of New York–Carl Schurz Park offers a quiet respite from Manhattan life. I was disappointed that while the park surrounds Gracie Mansion, the combination of construction and security make it impossible to catch of glimpse of the building. But, it’s still worthwhile. Time in the park offers not only flowers and quiet alcoves, but hills, beautiful staircases, and views of the East River. At nearly 15 acres it’s impressive that the park is primarily planted and cared for by the community-based volunteer park association the Carl Schurz Park Conservancy–New York City’s oldest conservancy organization.