Thursday, September 4, 2014

camminando | NYC, Roosevelt Island, Four Freedom Park

Four Freedom Park is located in the southermost tip of Roosevelt Island. The four-acre park was  designed in 1973 by Louis Kahn as memorial to Franklin Roosevelt but opened to the public only in 2012. The name is from the 1941 State of the Union address:
"In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.
The first is freedom of speech and expression—everywhere in the world.
The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way—everywhere in the world.
The third is freedom from want—which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants—everywhere in the world.
The fourth is freedom from fear—which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor—anywhere in the world.
That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called new order of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb."
Franklin D. Roosevelt,  State of the Union Address to the Congress, January 6, 1941

I have been there twice in less than a week, experiencing the visual excitement of this very special trip. A four-minute tram ride takes from the congestion of midtown to the peacefulness of Roosevelt Island, paralleling the intricate and massive steelwork of the Queensboro Bridge. Than a eight-minute walk facing the majestic midtown skyline stretching to 46 Street, takes to the Four Freedom Park. Here you can spend some time to walk, meditate, think, recompose.

The Four Freedom Park is a special place, which perhaps could be even considered conducive to a spiritual journey: The expanded vistas are framed by Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn skyline, whose hectic life is separated by the Eastern River. Geometry inspired walks meanders between the vertical triangular granite walls and ramps and the horizontal  triangular planes framed by 120 Littleleaf
I practiced yoga here today in the late afternoon and felt re-energized and calmer.

Natural and manmade triangles
Skyline views from the Four Freedom Park
Manhattan skyline from the Southpoint Park
The Smallpox Hospital ruins

Total walk length from the tram: 1km