By Seth Fera-Schanes
You look up and your eye follows the length of the train bridge overhead. Above you, passing on those tracks are Metro-North trains taking passengers up to White Plains, along the Hudson and over to Connecticut.
Your lower your gaze and it front of you is a long path of greenery, found at the Urban Garden Center. It is a garden of eden on 116th street and Park Avenue. Surrounded by the city, you are standing amongst trees, flowers, succulents, vegetable and herb sprouts.
This semi-hidden place is actually a long running business which has been in operation for almost 60 years (albeit in different locations around the city.) In the middle of their 20,000 square foot space, is a hut like structure with additional plants, seeds, honey and some really cool old bottles. The indoor area also includes a little seating area and during the summer there are some really great food options on the weekend.
If plants and food weren’t enough, there is a chicken coop at the back of the property. You can get your own little farm experience right in East Harlem!
Insider Tip: After visiting the garden center, head south to La Marqueta. There are a few shops worth visiting but especially be sure to pick up some bread from Hot Bread Kitchen which also has their baking facility in the market. The small bread sales counter also offers a few meal options and it is highly recommended to get a grilled cheese sandwich (trust me on this one.)