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Top 10 Dog Friendly Neighborhoods in NYC
Despite being somewhat challenged in the square-footage department--not to mention the scarcity of things such as back yards--New Yorkers aren't hesitant about sharing their urban homes and lives with furry friends. In fact, it's been estimated that there are more than 280,000 dogs currently living in Manhattan alone, with at least double that number in the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens.
But although every neighborhood in New York City has more than it's share of pet owners of all kinds, some communities just make having a dog easier, more comfortable, and more fun. Here then, are our Top 10 Dog-friendly Neighborhoods in NYC.
Upper West Side
Flanked on both the east and the west by large and lovely green spaces--namely, the world-famous Central Park and the wonderful Riverside Park-- residents of the Upper West Side and their dogs are never farther than a couple of blocks away from a nice, long walk in the park. Each space has early-morning "off-leash" times, as well as multiple enclosed dogs runs where your pup can get to know his or her neighbors. AND there are plenty of pet stores and services on the long commercial strips of Broadway, Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues.
The big draw for dog lovers in this Brooklyn neighborhood is, of course, the huge and beautiful Prospect Park which, in addition to off-leash times and numerous dog runs, also features New York City's only Dog Beach. And although there are more than enough pet stores and services on the main drags of 5th and 7th Avenues, the pretty, brownstone- and tree-lined side streets make even your non-park walks in Park Slope a treat.
Battery Park City
This small, contained community in Lower Manhattan has lots of communal lawns and walkways, which make even quick walks pleasant for both dog and owner. Even better, Battery Park City is located right next to the great Hudson River Park and Rockefeller Park, which both offer wide promenades and terrific views of the Hudson River and the New Jersey skyline.
Sandwiched between the rolling terrain of Cunningham Park and the wetlands, meadows and forests of Alley Pond Park, this eastern Queens neighborhood is ideal for long, energetic adventures with your dog. Plus the suburban feel of the Hollis Hills community--single-family detached houses with lawns provide much of the housing here--make for pleasant quick walks.
Walking the side streets of the West Village, one of the prettiest neighborhoods in all of Manhattan, is always a pleasure, but it's the multiple dog runs and ready access to the terrific Hudson River Park that make this community as appealing to dogs as it is to the humans.
Upper East Side
Any apartment in this Manhattan neighborhood that's within two or three blocks of the magnificent Central Park is obviously perfect for dogs (and their people). But on the upper eastern end of the Upper East Side, you'll also find the often overlooked Carl Schurz Park, with its popular dog run and pretty promenade overlooking the East River. And the commercial strips on Lexington, Third, Second and First Avenues provide all the pet stores and services you'll need.
The recently opened, beautifully-designed Brooklyn Bridge Park, filled with lawns and pathways with spectacular views of the Brooklyn Bridge and the downtown Manhattan skyline, add another reason why residents of this historic Brooklyn neighborhood like to brag about their dog-friendly neighborhood. The promenade overlooking the East River and the Empire Fulton Ferry Park in next-door DUMBO round out the Brooklyn Heights appeal.
Although dogs aren't allowed on the beach itself, walking those boardwalks and beach-town-y side streets is always a treat for both human and beast. Plus, much of the housing at Rockaway Beach consists of attached or detached homes, complete with small back yards.
The tight-knit Queens community of Kew Gardens offers dogs and their people an excellent expanse of green space with the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed Forest Park--with its pretty, private road for strolling, running or bike riding--all within easy walking distance of just about everywhere in the neighborhood.
In addition to its quiet, winding, shade-covered streets and gorgeous homes, Fieldston is a privately-owned neighborhood that happens to be right next door to New York City's fourth largest park, the 1,000-acre Van Cortlandt Park, making dog walks for all purposes and durations a pleasure.