oasis \ ō-ˈā-səs \ noun
1. a shelter serving as a place of safety or sanctuary
2. a fertile tract in a desert (where the water table approaches the surface)
The word oasis has appeared in 181 articles on NYTimes.com in the past year, including on Dec. 17 in the interactive “See What Happens When N.Y.C. Streets Are Full of People Instead of Cars” by Matthew Haag:
The focal point of the neighborhood is Tompkins Square Park, developed into a landscaped oasis more than 150 years ago on former swampland.
Many locals said the park’s best features — a place to sit or relax amid greenery — should be adopted along Avenue B. Debora Williams, who has lived in the neighborhood for 25 years, said the sidewalks should have more trees and plants.