Battery Park City is a pedestrian's dream

Kathy Tin of Brooklyn plays Frisbee in the Kathy Tin of Brooklyn plays Frisbee in the Esplanade. (Aug. 23, 2013) Photo Credit: Jennifer S. Altman

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With its flower-lined walkways, waterside paths and lush lawns, Battery Park City is a pedestrian's dream. Thirteen parks and public spaces give BPC a suburbia-in-the-city feel.

Yet this bustling downtown neighborhood was nothing more than an idea 50 years ago. The first residential building wasn't even completed until 1983.

Pack a picnic for the great lawns of Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park or simply stroll down the Esplanade and take in the views of the Hudson.

Several of the neighborhood's 20 public art pieces are located in Teardrop Park and Rockefeller Park, and the Rector Gate arches, in all their steel, bronze and granite glory, deck one entrance to The Esplanade. A segment of the Berlin Wall is on display in Kowsky Plaza, while the Irish Hunger Memorial on Vesey Street pays homage to the Great Famine with a 19th century rebuilt cottage.

And if you head down to Brookfield Place Waterfront Park Friday at noon, there's a free "Broadway on the Hudson" concert.

FIND IT

Battery Park City is on the southern tip of Manhattan bounded by West Street to the east and surrounded by the Hudson River to the north, west and south. The northernmost street is Chambers Street, while the southernmost street is Battery Place.

TO DO

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Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place. This powerful museum strives to educate visitors on Jewish life in the 20th and 21st centuries, with a special focus on Holocaust remembrance. Now running is a special exhibit on the history of the Hava Nagila. Admission $12, 646-437-4202, mjhnyc.org.

Skyscraper Museum, 39 Battery Place. What would New York be without its high-rise buildings? This museum surveys the history of their construction. "Sky High," a new exhibit on luxury residential towers, opens Oct. 2. The gift shop has a notable offering of architecture books. Admission $5, 212-945-6324, skyscraper.org.

Nelson A. Rockefeller Park. Located at the northernmost point of the nabe near River Terrace and Warren Street, Rockefeller Park is a great place to relax or play, thanks to its playground, public art and spacious green lawns.

TO EAT

Inatteso Pizzabar Casano, 28 West St. Try the Neapolitan pizzas fresh from the brick oven or the well-priced house-made pasta dishes. 212-267-8000, inattesopizzabar.com.

Blue Smoke, 255 Vesey St. Danny Meyer's classic barbecue joint opened a branch here last year, with all the old standbys: hush puppies, sausage with pimento cheese and crackers, fried chicken and ribs galore. 212-889-2005, bluesmoke.com.

TO DRINK

Black Hound Bar and Lounge, 301 South End Ave. This neighborhood bar has a warm atmosphere and specialty literary-themed cocktails. Try the Mark Twain-inspired Widow Douglas -- with Dewar's, ginger, honey, peach, lemon and peach bitters -- for a swift kick. 212-945-0562, blackhoundbar.com.

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