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The Hunt for Peace and Quiet in a Big City

Connecting with nature in your local green spaces 

By Angelica Vivas

Photo By Oscar Fang

With the cherry blossoms budding and blooming in the early spring breeze, I feel the radiant rays of sun on my cheeks. In the distance, there’s a driver honking and an ambulance sounding, yet it’s muffled in my senses. 

I grew up in New York City, where my family’s apartment is in close proximity to a highway, the subway, and an airport. I’ve gotten used to the many sounds of a city, whether that be traffic or a man shouting in the distance. That being said, sometimes I need to lay in the grass to find peace and quiet amongst the chaos. 

In the middle of Manhattan, you’ll find the most famous green space in New York — Central Park. As a Queens native, I’m more than willing to take the 40-minute train ride to Midtown just to explore the greenery. It’s a great park to sit and people-watch — observing everyone enjoying a nice day outside just like I am. You get lost in the surrounding trees, and the city hassle no longer seems important.  

I also take time to appreciate my local park, which is just a few blocks away from my apartment in Queens. I lay on the ground, do some doodles, or indulge in my current read. Killing time and feeling the warm sun on my face is all I need to protect my peace while living in a fast-paced environment. 

While I came to Boston for the familiar city feel, one of the first things I did upon my arrival was find places to keep me sane during college. The Boston equivalent of Central Park is the Boston Common, home to wondrous willow trees and hills. I like to spend afternoons here having a picnic with my friends, eating delectable treats, and enjoying each other’s company. 

In closer proximity to BU, Amory Playground in Brookline is a nice getaway from campus. While it’s relatively small, it’s a quiet park in a residential neighborhood that slows down time. As it starts getting nice out, I’m excited to journal on the grass and watch how others spend their radiant days in Boston. 

Finding green spaces has always been important to me, especially in college. There never seems to be enough time in the day, but getting away from the Comm Ave rush has allowed me to make time for myself and decompress. Blasting music and tuning out the world can only do so much, but exposing yourself to the few green spaces in a city is all worthwhile. 


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