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Best Public Art In New York City

Irish Hunger Memorial
(credit: Garrett Ziegler)

Art can be found all around us -- especially in a place like New York City. However, with five boroughs and over 8 million people, it can be hard to know where to go to experience the best public art that the Big Apple has to offer. Read on for five of the best places to go to see public art in New York City.

Related: Best Art Walks In New York City

Alice In Wonderland Central Park       
E. 75th St.
New York, NY 10022                                                                                                                                                           

The Alice in Wonderland statue in Central Park has been a must-see for New York City's children since 1959. Creator Jose de Creeft was born in Spain and was well known for his sculpture work. He taught at various New York City locations, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum. De Creeft died at nearly 100 years old in New York. His sculpture in Central Park has the famous protagonist, Alice, sitting on a mushroom surrounded by the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit, and other characters from Lewis Carroll's tale. De Creeft also has a quote from Carroll's poem "The Jabberwocky" on the sculpture. It is a fun place to be for children and adults alike.

Brooklyn Bridge Park
334 Furman St.
Brooklyn, NY 11201

While the Brooklyn Bridge is a beautiful, must-see spot on its own, Tom Fruin's stained-plexiglas house is certainly worth a visit as well. It's located in Brooklyn Bridge Park. "Kolonihavehus" is available until September and was made completely from salvaged materials. Fruin got the idea from kolonihavehus spots in Copenhagen, which are gardens for state workers in Denmark.

Crack Is Wack
E. 127th St.
New York, NY 10035

Keith Haring took a risk when he painted his "Crack is Wack" mural back in 1986. He didn't have permission to paint it from the park's department, but wanted to create something to remind others about the crack epidemic facing several New York City neighborhoods in the 80s. His type of art, "tagging," is now well known throughout the world. Haring died in 1990 of AIDS-related complications and his struggle with the disease can be see through much of his work. Since then the mural has been protected and has become a familiar site in New York City.

Related:  Art Lover's Walking Tour of New York City

Irish Hunger Memorial
Battery Park
North End Ave. & Vesey St.
New York, NY 10280

The Irish Hunger Memorial may not be a popular spot to visit for public art as some others, but it is certainly beautiful. Created by Brian Tolle, the Irish Hunger Memorial reconstructs the Irish landscape in a 96' x 170' space. There is also stone from all of Ireland's counties and a written history of the Great Famine throughout the memorial. The Great Famine (or Great Hunger) occurred in Ireland between 1845 and 1852. Many Irish people immigrated to the United States during this time to escape it.

Staten Island 9/11 Memorial, Postcards
North Shore Esplanade
Richmond Terrace
Staten Island, NY 10301

For those who want to honor the victims of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, but wish to avoid the more crowded National September 11 Memorial and Museum in Manhattan, give Staten Island a try. Staten Island's memorial is both a tribute to those lost and a work of art. It was designed by Masayuki Sono and opened on the three year anniversary of the attacks. It consists of two 30-foot wings made to look like a postcard. A photo of each victim and information about them is also featured.

Tracy lives in the downstate area of New York. Some might call her an avid graduation affectionate (MA, Fordham University & MLS, SUNY Buffalo). She'd say she's just waiting for the right degree to come along with a promise and a ring someday. Her work can be found on

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