One of the newest parks in New York City is located right on the East River. Domino Park which is in Williamsburg, Brooklyn was created in the former area of the Domino Sugar Refinery. If you’ve ever taken a boat tour along the East River, you will probably have noticed a large empty factory building in the distance shortly after passing the Manhattan Bridge. This is where you will find one of the most interesting parks in the city.
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UPDATE: Coronavirus restrictions at Domino Park
Domino Park can get pretty busy when the weather is super nice and a lot of people flock here to enjoy the sun. However, because of COVID-19, there are certain restrictions if you want to go visit the park. It is mandatory to wear a mask if you can’t separate yourself from people by at least 6 feet. Also, the city has also outlined “human parking spots” that look like white circles on the green. These are designated areas to help people keep 6 feet apart.
Getting to Domino Park in Williamsburg
Domino Park isn’t the most convenient park to get to, but it is completely worth it. There are numerous ways to get to Williamsburg, but you will do a little bit of walking to get to the park, which is completely fine. The NYC ferry will drop you off at the South Williamsburg or North Williamsburg spot. If you want to take the MTA, you have a few options. You can take MJZ to Marcy Avenue or you can take the L to Bedford Avenue. From there, they’re both about a 10-15 minute walk to the park.
History of the park
The Domino Sugar Refinery is almost a “landmark” in Brooklyn because of the popularity of the brand and its beginnings go back to 1856. At the time, the factory was the largest plant in the world, producing more than 4.4 million pounds of sugar a day. During the 19th and 20th centuries, the refinery largely responsible for industrialization in Brooklyn. The downturn began in the 1950s and ended when the factory closed in 2004. Long after that, the area was unused and the facilities and buildings were pretty much abandoned.
In typical New York City fashion, of course, the city had to turn the abandoned area into something new and exciting. For example, The High Line transformation has made it one of the city’s most popular attractions. This is exactly what has happened to the new Domino Park since 2018. It has been revived and is, in our opinion, one of the most exciting parks in New York.
The park was created with attention to detail
It was important for the designers of the park that history became a relevant part of the project. On more than 258,000 square feet, you will find more than 30 artifacts from the Domino Sugar Refinery.
What’s there to do at Domino Park?
Domino Park consists of several areas, each with its own purpose. First, you have the Elevated Walkway which invites you to enjoy the view of the East River and the Manhattan skyline. The view is especially impressive in the evening when you see the illuminated Empire State Building while the lights reflect on the water.
Another important component (especially for families with children) is the playground. It includes many parts of the sugar factory and it looks like a mini-factory. It’s a really nice touch. Here you can diligently explore, climb and play and is perfect for children.
If you want to relax and grab a quick bite, the food stand, Tacocina invites you with delicious tacos and other Mexican snacks. There is a refreshing lemonade for the little ones. For the adults, you can also have a cold beer or a margarita.
What else is nearby?
The Williamsburg district is one of the trendiest neighborhoods in New York City and offers plenty of bars, restaurants, and amazing shopping that’s filled with boutiques. There’s also a bunch of thrift shopping opportunities in the area.
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Being a photographer and creative in general, New York City, I think is the perfect place to be. I moved to NYC from Boston in 2013 and never looked back. Loving New York has given me the opportunity to do what I love and share those images with you all.