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Unboxed Lunch: Finding Your Noontime Oasis

Emily Sackett  Follow

How often do you leave your desk for a lunch break? Upon descending from our perch on the 39th floor of the Empire State Building, it takes elbowing through herds of tourists and navigating an uncreative selection of fast-ish food franchises, to get a brief respite from the office. Not to mention that on a typical day most of us have calls scheduled from morning right through the late afternoon. Sometimes, “lunch” even ends up being those organic animal crackers from the cupboard.

So, on the days we can find 30 minutes to escape from our desks and get some fresh air, we might as well find a place that’s worth it! And as the weather gets nicer, there are plenty of these spots for the midtown office-goer to explore. Below are a few of our favorites. End of Story

The Church of the Transfiguration (a.k.a. “The Little Church”) – 29th between 5th Avenue and Madison. There are a few park benches in the front courtyard to bring your bagged lunch and relax in the shade.  Bryant Park – 42nd between 5th and 6th Avenues. Bring a picnic blanket or snag one of the umbrella shaded tables on a sunny and crowded summer day.
Corner of 51st and 6th Avenue. For the midtown lunch crowd, there are a couple larger office buildings in the area that offer a respite just outside their front lobbies. The Highline Park – 33rd to Gansevoort Street, along 10th avenue. Those with river views might consider relocating from their high rise offices to the nearby Highline Park with plenty of areas to sit or lounge in the sun. 
Outskirts of Madison Square Park – Where 5th meets Broadway (near 23rd Street). Since any NYC park is an obvious recommendation, we might suggest an alternative in the slim shadows of one of NYC’s most famous landmarks, the Flatiron Building. The Elevated Acre – 55 Water Street. For the Wall Street folk, an elevated park with a couple of tables and bleacher-like seating options offers an escape from the daily grind.

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