Party Earth Review With its famous chess tables dotting 14th Street and its alternative artistic vibe, Union Square has been one of Manhattan’s defining cultural landmarks since the 1800s when it was the site for union rallies. Now a favorite... ... read full review
14th to 17th Street between Union Square West (University) and Union Square East (Fourth Avenue)
New York, NY 10003
4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, R: 14th Street-Union Square
Perimeter 24/7, park daily 6am–midnight
Gramercy / Union Square, New York –
With its famous chess tables dotting 14th Street and its alternative artistic vibe, Union Square has been one of Manhattan’s defining cultural landmarks since the 1800s when it was the site for union rallies.
Now a favorite with NYU students and local lunching workers, the park offers plenty of conversation pieces and people-watching in the form of rotating art exhibits, historical statues, and a motley crowd that includes everyone from elderly chess players to punkish skateboarders.
Concrete steps around the perimeter lead up to the park’s elevated center and its patches of green and weaving paths, while at plaza level, tourists and strollers stop to watch street performers and drummers, peruse the wares of street vendors, or contemplate the enigmatic public artwork “Metronome,” a building-size art installation at the south end of the park.
Four times a week, the popular Greenmarket draws a bustling crowd of young professionals and residents eager to snatch up fresh produce and baked goods from local suppliers.
From the neighborhood dog run and morning yoga classes to live music and book signings, Union Square offers visitors a wide array of sights and activities to keep them occupied for a few hours – not to mention plenty of area bars and restaurants, such as Lillie's, to duck into for a little refreshment.
Local hipsters, skateboarders, young professionals, NYU students, alternative types, artists, musicians, jugglers, and older chess players, all ages.
Chess tables on the 14th Street side. Local art vendors, historical statues, art exhibits, jugglers, and street performers.
Greenmarket featuring local produce, foods, and baked goods Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays 8am–6pm.
Activities in collaboration with local businesses include Sunshine Yoga, LIVE music events, and literary events. Many restaurants, bars, and retail stores bordering the park. Several theaters in the area featuring Off-Broadway shows. Free Wi-Fi.
Bars and restaurants include eateries like Au Bon Pain (10 Union Square East) and Chipotle (864 Broadway), restaurants like Havana Central (22 East 17th Street) and Basta Pasta (3 West 17th Street), upscale dining like Tocqueville (1 East 15th Street) and Union Square Café (21 East 16th Street), and casual bars like Heartland Brewery (35 Union Square West).
Street vendors and food carts.
Vary by venue/activity.
Weekend afternoons for a bustling, energetic crowd, or Greenmarket days.
The W Hotel (201 Park Avenue South) just above the park is a great place to relax with a breezy cocktail at their Living Room Lounge or to splurge on a fancy dinner at Olives.