Central Park, New York City
I must say reading clareabee's posting makes a lot of sense and I'm guilty of almost not doing my part. I went on a photo safari this summer in Central Park and it was great. The guy leading the photo class was great! I had a blast and I learned a lot, but it never occurred to me to tip! As in NEVER EVEN OCCURRED TO ME! That is until ONE of the other participants handed him some cash as he walked away. I'm glad I saw that, because I did tip the guy, but if I hadn't seen that, I would have walked away like the others!
Although i think tipping is not compulsary, I think it IS a good way to let people know that they are doing a good job and to encourage great service.
As many of you (and all of you who are Beatles fans) know, John Lennon was tragically murdered in New York City, back in December of 1980. He was ambushed upon exiting a taxi in front of the Dakota Hotel - his home in NYC. Ironically enough, he was killed by a professed fan, Mark David Chapman.
Lennon's death not only brought a huge chapter of Beatles legend to an end, it also was a sad close to two love affairs in his life. Lennon, a native of Liverpool and the UK, had moved to NYC and had happily adopted it as his home. There were some ugly items involving US intelligence services considering Lennon some sort of political threat, and some clumsy attempts to deport him, based on drug convictions, etc. In spite of all this, Lennon remained and prospered musically in the Big Apple. Some of his best post-Beatles music was composed and recorded in the city.
Additionally, NYC was the place that Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono had made home. Troubles in their marriage had led to a separation, which affected John Lennon very deeply. Eventually, a point was reached that they wanted to reconcile, and John had moved back in with Yoko and their young son Sean. John (and Yoko) had recorded and released an album called "Double Fantasy" earlier in 1980, and it had signaled an artistic and commercial rebirth for his music. One hit song from the album, Starting Over, was all about his life and marriage "starting over". Another beautiful song from the album, and one of MY personal favorites, is Woman. It's a poetic apology and redeclaration of his love for Yoko Ono following their painful separation.
After Lennon's death, his adopted hometown looked for ways to honor his memory. Working in conjunction with his widow Yoko, a section of Central Park, just across from his home at the Dakota Hotel, was rededicated as "Strawberry Fields", in homage to Lennon's Beatles masterpiece, "Strawberry Fields Forever". Ms. Ono donated a large amount of money to the re-landscaping of the area, and there is also a peace monument containing the names of some 100+ nations who have agreed to pursue Lennon's vision of a world living in peace. Sadly, it's just a plaque and the notion remains a dream. Very close by, you'll find a mosaic with the simple message "Imagine", referring to the things John imagined in his best-known solo effort.
I am a huge Beatles fan, and I greatly respected John's talent and music. Visiting Strawberry Fields just felt like something that mattered to me. It could be a generational thing - maybe Gen X visitors wouldn 't see anything more than beautiful landscaping and flowers. People from MY generation also see the tragedy of a talented and peaceful life cut tragically short.
Favorite thing: Quoted already several times, it remains one of my favourite film and surely a very nice introduction for NYC (nice spots in Central Park, Rockfeller Center, Metropolitan Museum...). Unmissable for foverever romantic woman.
Finding one's way around New York is really very easy. The city is laid out in a grid-plan, so it is difficult to 'get lost'
Distance-, = about 20 avenues (north-south) or 10 street blocks (east-west) are equal to 1 mile. This rule does not apply, however, to parts of Greenwich and all of lower Manhattan. The layout of streets in these areas is different, and could become confusing. It is however not the worst thing to get 'lost' in New York.. We did, a few times on our first visit, but did not mind at all. We walked for miles every day. There is so much to see,and so much happening.The vibrancy of the city is palpable.
Upper Manhatten is where the Dakota is situated-being the wonderful old Gothic building where John Lennon lived when he was murdered. We went there, to the spot ( another 'pilgramage') and I felt very emotional.
Fondest memory: At Strawberry fields, in Central Park, we gazed down at the Memorial Plaque that has been laid in memory of John Lennon. We sat on a bench, and watched the joggers. There were very many,and each and every one of them avoided stepping on this memorial plaque. The plaque had flowers laid upon it, and we placed a flower too. It says simply: 'IMAGINE'
Spend some time at the beautiful Central Park. The park is quite large at over over 843 acres.
There is always something going on and if you are the athletic type, bring your bike or roller blades. Enjoy the zoo with the kids, walk along the many trails, do some horseback riding, have a picnic, or just enjoy a nice warm day taking a leisurely walk.
Favorite thing: Central Park is paradise! All my life I have heard how dangerous and horrible Central park is...well, all I saw was a wonderful space to wander! I have no idea about the nights...but glorious in the daylight!
Especially in the area around Central Park, take some time to look at the top floor, or penthouses, of the apartment buildings. Many are quite ornate and there is a lot of architecture to admire up there. Of course, the trick is to do so discretely, so as not to look like a country bumpkin who just fell off the turnip truck!
The penthouse I've posted as an example is right across the street from Trump Tower, 5th Ave, South of Central Park.
By the same token, sometimes you an see amazing artistry where you least expect it. The second photo is of an apartment building on the Lower East Side. Look at all the detail that went into the building's facade. They just don't make them like that anymore!
The beautiful Bethesda Fountain and Terrace are worth seeing, located on the middle of Terrace drive overlooking the lake it is a most beautiful section of the Park.
The fountain named after the pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem was dedicated in 1873. It is a nice area to rest a while and absorb your surroundings.
Once your children or grandchildren see the carousel they will want a ride and you should join them and regain memories of your childhood. This is a colourful carousel and most likely older than you.
Located approximately halfway along the 65 St Transverse. www.centralpark.org
We had a most enjoyable time in Central Park, much walking and photo taking and then we remembered we had not seen the John Lennon Memorial. Strawberry Fields was on our map but we had trouble finding it and eventually asked for directions when we were 100 metres away.
It was worth the effort, a very nice memorial, simple and dignified and very well maintained.
Although we chose not to take one, a carriage ride through Central Park appears to be an enjoyable and peaceful way to visit this lovely park. (We chose to get some exercise, hence the decision not to procure a carriage)
The drivers are quite knowledgeable and attentive as they meander throughout and around Central Park, judging from the commentary we "overheard" as they passed by. I would think that on a cold day, riding with a blanket and a thermos of hot coffee (or perhaps some other adult liquid treat) would be a lot of fun. Or maybe......a nighttime ride with your honey, guys? Sounds like some serious snuggling opportunity.
The going rate is $34 for 1/2 hour, and $10 per 1/2 hour after that. And yes, you can feed the horses a little snack, too.
Fondest memory: Here's an update. On my latest NYC trip, we DID take a carriage ride. Our driver was a nice Irish guy, James Gildea. Great info and repartee during our 20 minutes.
Get away from the rush and noise.
Click link above for more INFO.
Fondest memory: I Loved Central Park
You see it in the movies now experience the peace from the hussle and bustle of city life.
Thanks to the poet William Cullen Byrant who persauded the city to buy the land & build the park.
It took 3,000 workers 20 years to complete - well worth the effort.
Spend time in this lovely park you will be well rewarded.
Central Park is always beautiful. Every season is special. This time we visited Central Park in May. 'Spring is in the air'. Cnetral Park is a whole other world. It's quiet, it's green (in May), it's full of people enjoying the day.
Go to Central Park when you want to escape the crowd in the city!
I would have to list Central Park, New York as one of my top 10 favourite places I have visited. It is not that everything about New York is good but for me Central Park alone makes it a city one must visit. The 843 acres of Central park stretches the length of 50 blocks of Manhattan from the Harlem Meer and North Woods in the north to The Pond and the Hallett Nature Sanctuary in the south. It encompasses 150 acres of water, the largest amount of which is the 106 acre Reservoir, officially known as the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, which is the centrepiece of the Park
Fondest memory: Central Park is so big it would be hard to imagine it ever to being crowded and the walkways and roads which cross this vast expanse were hosts to walkers, joggers, skaters and cyclists all taking in the natural beauty and savouring the opportunity to breathe the fresh air that was denied them amongst the streets and avenues of Manhattan. Women were walking baby buggies and prams. Some were even managing to combine their child-minding activity with a gentle jog. Male and female dog walkers were herding their animals of all sizes on multiple leashes whilst skaters zigzagged incessantly..
I used to love to sit on one of the many benches at the edge of a small expanse of water at the southern end of the park which is understatedly called “The Pond” and is host to the most amazing looking birds. The Pond is shielded from nearby city noise by inspired landscaping and an expanse of thick shrubbery and trees. This idyllic place is overlooked by tall apartment buildings, which look like monsters overseeing their kingdom. The Pond is dissected by the Gapstow Bridge, which curves over its northern neck. The bridge makes an ideal place to take pictures of the Pond, its itinerant wildlife and its formidable backdrop.
A visit to the park is not complete without going to the Lake and the Bethesda Fountain and Terrace which is seen in so many films. The Lake which lies north of the 72nd Street driveway and is the largest accessible body of water in the Park, Sights around the Lake include the fountain, the Bow Bridge and the Loeb Boathouse from which at weekends come a multitude of rowers. There is a certain charm to this expanse of water mainly due to the rocky forested backdrop and the overhanging trees and its multi-curved shorelines. Once again the skyscrapers and high residential towers rise above the wooded areas to both the east and west creating an amazing contrast. It is not surprising that this is one of the most visited places in the Park