The Wild, Secret Life of New York City

Get back to nature, right in your own neighborhood

By Brandon Keim

Early this summer I met a friend for breakfast at a restaurant in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. While waiting for him to arrive I spent some time staring at a lot next door — a vacant lot, as the spaces are called, but also the block’s one concentrated patch of greenery. It was scraggly and unremarkable, but a welcome respite from the neighborhood’s densely packed brownstones and sunbaked pavement.