Up near the Northern end of Central Park is an oft forgotten gem - The Conservancy Gardens. These 3 gardens are 6 acres of formality in what is often an area of the park that has been allowed to grow close to natural.
The Gardens include English, Italian and French styles, complete with flower beds and fountains. It is a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle. Shady spots to sit, read, eat or just escape.