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'
All around the edges of Central Park, there are skads of artists offering their services to NYC visitors. Sure, some of their products tend toward the kitschy or souvenir, and that sort of thing certainly has its place.
But, some of these folks are quite talented. We met a nice Asian man who was doing charcoal drawings from subject matter as small as a wallet photo. He really seemed to do excellent work, putting an incredible amount of detail and expression into what is still essentially "fast food art". We decided to have him do a sketch of our oldest son, Jeff, all decked out in his college marching band uniform. When we returned some 45 minutes later to pick up the completed drawing, we were astounded as to how well it had turned out. It has made a very interesting addition to the bedroom of our boy, who is now away at college.
Fondest memory: As you can see from the photo, the artist rendered his creation from a tiny wallet photo that I carry. He charged us $40, which he stated was half-price, "special deal". From what I see, "half-price, special deal" was offered to all. : ) No matter, his work was very good, he was friendly, and we are enjoying his simple and yet expressive talent back home in Tallahassee.
As I say, these artists are set up all around Central Park. This particular fellow was doing his thing on Central Park South, just east of where it intersects the Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue)
World-famous Central Park is a wonderful place to do your "roadwork", keeping in shape. (And if you've been eating at any of the recommended restaurants on my NYC page, you might want to add another couple of miles)
The park has literally miles of paths and roads throughout that are perfect for a tranquil or brisk walk. And if you're into sweat and speed, it's perfect for jogging as well.
But, one note.....I'd stay IN the park. The paths are level and safe for athletic activity. Jogging around the edge will present two big hazards.
First, there's the possibility of being smashed by traffic. Sometimes, you just are overwhelmed by the breadth and speed of NYC traffic. Getting yourself run over in the Big Apple wouldn't take a lot of trying.
And second, a lot of the park perimeter sidewalks are cobblestone and/or uneven brick. They'd be a great place to get yourself a sprained or broken ankle. Perhaps I should post some hospital suggestions for any of you who don't read or heed THIS tip.
Stay IN the park. : )
Fondest memory: A long morning walk through Central Park on a gorgeous Saturday morning last October.
I like parks anywhere. And when it comes to city parks, Central Park is perhaps America's, if not the world's, most famous. A huge slice of trees, water and grass smack dab in the middle of NYC, Central Park begins (near midtown) at Central Park South (aka 59th Street) and continues on and on to the north, between Central Park West (aka 8th Avenue) and Fifth Avenue.
There's everything to do on a lovely NY afternoon in Central Park, including radio-controlled boats, walking and jogging, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Central Park Zoo, park vendors and artists, the Museum of Natural History, as well as the famous Tavern on the Green restaurant.
And most important, to me anyway, is the opportunity to do nothing except stroll and enjoy nature and fresh air. If I lived in NYC, I can guarantee that I'd spent lots and lots of my time in Central Park, perhaps near one of the reservoirs or lakes, enjoying the waterfowl.
Fondest memory: My wife and I just enjoyed watching the people of New York, both native and visitor, enjoying themselves in the gentle and graceful arena that is Central Park, the most famous slice of greenspace in urban America.
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.
Favorite thing: One of the highlights of NYC is finding the various green spaces that are strewn throughout the city. Of course, the most famous of these is Central Park, which is one of my favorite city parks in the world. The rolling hills, well-organized paths and views of the city are amazing. It's definitely a highlight of any visit to New York and a great way to take a break from a busy day of sightseeing.
breathe the air of Central Park.
It is a green island in the middle of the city and the border between Midtown and Harlem. The purposes to be there can be numerous : walk, jogging (remember Dustin Hoffman in Marathon Man), ride a bicycle, do roller blades, eat quietly a hot Bagel sit on a bank, take a breackfast in one of the restaurants, visit the zoo, listen music, and a lot of other things.
In spite of the human intervention in the setting up of the Park, the nature is everywhere and it is a greatful site.
Fondest memory: MORE ON THE TRAVELOGUE.
This is a fun diversion, especially if you have kids. This "castle" is used as a weather station, it has a skinny stairway to the top, and it provides a lovely view of the park. There are informative displays and great photo opportunities. Also, the Ramble has an entrance close to the castle, so you can wander about in the closest thing to the wild you'll find in Manhattan proper.
It's easily accessible from the 79th street entrance, and it's right by the Shakespeare in the Park stage.
Favorite thing: Buy a popsicle or an ice cream sandwich and relax on a bench while you watch other people be funny. There is no shortage of interesting people in Central Park....nor is there a shortage of interesting animals helping people to be more amusing. While the gnats can get annoying at dusk, there is shade aplenty for afternoon bench sitting.
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
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.
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.
Favorite thing: New York City is such a hectic city so after walking around for a couple of hours it's wonderful to go to Central Park and enjoy the green trees, the ponds, looking at people relaxing and doing sports, maybe enjoy a good baseball game among friends. You should stay clear of the park after dusk though, some creepy peolple can lurk around in the bushes!
Lots of volunteers, groundskeepers and horticulturists keep CENTRAL PARK THE WAY IT IS NOW: clean and safe and a joy to go to !
apart from the oceans of flowers and colours there are 22 pristine playgrounds, 26 freshly groomed ballfields, 112 convenient drinking fountains and 250 acres of new grass!
SPRING THERE IS A THING THAT NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES YOU HAVE SEEN IT, IT'S ALWAYS NEW!!
And remember: consider how Central Park lifts your spirits the minute you enter.....
why not return a favour: when you see litter in the park, pick it up and carry it to a receptacle.
Your park will look and feel better....
Fondest memory: Walking here in Spring while people are sun bathing on the grass, young and not so young are rollerblading and many cycle around and hearing the laughter of children!
The park covers 843 acres from 59th Street up to 110th Street and from Fifth Avenue to Central Park West. the Dairy, built in 1870, now serves as the Visitors Center.
You can ride through the park in a hansom cab. You can find them in front of the Plaza Hotel at 59th and Fifth. It costs a lot.
One of the most beautiful areas of the park is the Bethesda Fountain around 72nd Street. The Angel of the Waters is the centerpiece of the terrace. the Boathouse is across the lake from the terrace. You can rent a boat there.
Fondest memory: There is a wonderful carousel located at 64th Street. There is also a zoo, albeit not a large one.
On weekends the park's roads are cleared for roller blading.
At 79th Street you can find Belvedere Castle. although it is used as a weather station, you can climb up to the top.
The Delacorte Theater presents Shakespeare in the Park in the summer.
Then there is Cleopatra's Needle which is right near the Metropolitan Museum of Art.