New York City is known for Central Park. The other parks get considerably less attention – and have considerably less public access.

Fort Totten, Queens

There are areas of the park that are accessible; namely, the athletic fields. The rest is crumbling abandoned buildings and a playground for the NYPD and FDNY. If you’ve ever wondered if it’s true that the NYPD is the 7th largest army, this might convince you that it’s true. Regardless, not a park.

Keep out signs at Fort Totten

Image by Cori Carl

Tottenville Shore Park, Staten Island

The locals were a little concerned about us, since we were clearly lost and in need of help. This is 100% vacant lot.

A vacant, overgrown lot.

This is the entire park. There isn’t even a sign. Image by Google Maps

Riverside Park, Manhattan

If you’re south of the George Washington Bridge, this is a lovely place to jog or bike. North of the GWB and it’s a gay cruising zone in the Amtrak right-of-way. The water’s edge is still lovely, so if you’re interested in some nude sunbathing, this is worth checking out. Farther north the naked men are replaced by families out fishing near Dyckman Street.

george washington bridge

the George Washington Bridge

There was a really embarrassed man hiding in the bushes a few feet away from me while I took this photo. He was horrified that I’d stumbled upon his nude sunbathing spot. Sorry, dude. Image by Cori Carl

Blissenbach Marina, Staten Island

I’ll give the Parks Department the benefit of the doubt and assume this was derailed by Sandy.

Blissenbach Marina park, Staten Island

Google Streetview confirms there is no park here.

Google Streetview confirms there is no park here. Image from Google Streetview.

Garrison Park, Bronx

The New York City Parks Department doesn’t think this is a park, but Google Maps does. It’s a great place to play on some at-grade train tracks and create some art in the tunnel. It’s also conveniently located to Concrete Plant Park, which isn’t nearly as fun as it sounds. Update: Google rejected my map update, but they finally took someone else’s word for it.

google maps screenshot showing a park that doesn't exist

A Google Maps screenshot of where they were claiming the park was.

A Google Maps screenshot of where they were claiming the park was.

Bonus: Liberty State Park, Jersey City, NJ

What do you do when a big chunk of land is full of toxic waste and owned by bankrupt companies? Turn it into a park and fence it off.

No trespassing sign at Liberty State Park, NJ

Current contamination zone, future park. Image by Cori Carl