The Hudson Square BID has opened a little slice of paradise beside the Holland Tunnel.
Freeman Plaza East, located at Varick and Watts Streets, has officially reopened following a six-month renovation. The greenspace sits nestled beside the entrance to the Holland Tunnel, a 5,000 square-foot chunk serving as a slice of sanctuary sandwiched between an otherwise bustling portion of the city.
The BID spent the afternoon of May 17 celebrating the grand opening by inviting locals to enjoy the park area while also offering food and other refreshments.
Freeman Plaza East houses art, seating arrangements, and even a piano allowing for live performances.
Samara Karasyk, the Hudson Square Business Improvement District told amNewYork Metro that she hopes the space becomes a place where people can come to work and play.
“We have more tables so people can collaborate around work or whatever else they might want to do. We also have lounge chairs now so it’s just kind of a respite from the craziness of life in Manhattan. And also, we’re right by the entrance of the Holland Tunnel, so it’s just such an amazing and beautiful example of what you can accomplish in an unexpected urban space,” Karasyk said.
Additionally, Karasyk believes greenspaces like these are more important now than ever. Living amidst the constant threat of COVID-19, the Bid president says it is vital to incorporate safe, outdoor space.
“It’s incredibly important. It was always important, and I think that the pandemic just really emphasized how important public space is to people, especially in a city. Our business improvement district has been working for over a decade now to make our neighborhood for people rather than all the cars that are lining up to enter into the Holland Tunnel and this is a great reflection of that,” Karasyk said.
Throughout the afternoon visitors filed into the new recreational area, enjoyed the sun, chomped down on Pizza, and listened to live music.