Central Park, New York City
Finding a quiet place in New York is a bit tough. If you'll accept people all about, but with the wind louder than the voices, then, you'll find that quiet in Central Park. No, we didn't get away from people, but we did get away from the feeling of needing to be on the move, of having a purpose. Sunny warmth on a cool day or shady breeze on a warm day. Both are available.
It's a place with open space to let the kids roam, but enough open distances to keep an eye on them.
Is this Venice? If you have the time and a special someone in the summer take them for a Venetian Gondola Ride in Central Park. The price is not bad $30 per half hour for up to six people per boat Reservations are required and remember to tip.
At 22 acres, the Lake is Central Park's largest body of water excluding the Reservoir. Because of the many twists and turns in its shoreline, however, it seems much larger. Architects Olmsted and Vaux created the Lake out of a large swamp; they intended it to provide boating in the summer and ice skating in the winter. In December 1858, while the rest of Central Park was under construction, the Lake was opened for ice-skating. The opening happened to coincide with a long string of hard winters in the City and sparked an instant craze for the sport. According to one account in the Park's Annual Report, as many as 40,000 people skated on the Lake in one day. Nature couldn't always be counted on to satisfy the demand for good ice, so Wollman Rink was opened in 1951 and the Lake closed for skating.
Location : Mid- Central Park from 71st to 78th Streets
How to get there :
Take the Central Park entrance at West 72nd St ( to get there, take the B or C train to 72nd St - or you can take take the 1/2/3 or 9 train to 72nd St at Broadway and then walk 2 blocks east) . You enter the park at Strawberry Fields. Walk a bit further into the park and you'll see the Lake on your left side.
other nearby spots in Central Park :
-Strawberry Fields (also the site of the "Imagine" monument in honour of John Lennon)
As you enter the park, also note the "Dakota" building which is on Central Park West at 72nd St - this is where John Lennon was shot.
The Reservoir, which covers a large area of Central Park from east to west and from 86th Street to 96th Street, was constructed between 1858 and 1862. It is probably best known for the 1.58 mile track surrounding it, where thousands of runners who tone up there every day. The Reservoir itself (named the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir in 1994) contributes significantly to the environmental pleasure of the "run," particularly in the summer when water evaporation from its surface cools the air.
The unsightly seven-foot chain-link fence surrounding the Reservoir, which was erected in 1926, obscured joggers' and pedestrians' views of the magnificent Manhattan skyline. In 2003, the Conservancy completed the installation of a new Reservoir fence, made of steel with cast-iron ornamentation, closely resembling the original historic fence that was in place from 1864 to 1926. The new four-foot-high fence, installed on the existing eight-inch granite coping stone, has opened up breathtaking views of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline.
How to get there :
take the subway train 4,5 or 6 to east 86th St at Lexington Avenue. Walk west toward central park (3 blocks) and then follow Fifth Avenue north toward the Park entrance at 90th St (4 blocks). Climb the stairs and enjoy the stunning view from the Reservoir and the Upper West Side, as seen in the picture here. (note : the buildings in the middle are the San Remo apartment towers)
nearby Museums along Fifth Avenue ("Museum Mile") : Cooper-Hewitt Museum at 91st St, National Academy of Design at 90th St, Solomon Guggenheim at 88th St, Neue Gallerie at East 86th St, and the vast Metropolitan Museum of Art (between 83rd and 80th St).
Sheep Meadow today is a 15-acre, lush, green meadow for relaxing and admiring one of New York City's greatest skyline views. The sheep and a shepherd were initially housed in a fanciful Victorian building - part of what is now the Tavern on the Green restaurant – on the western perimeter of the Park. Twice a day the shepherd stopped traffic on the west drive so that the flock could travel to and from their meadow. The rural idyll continued until 1934, when the flock was transferred to Prospect Park in Brooklyn and the sheepfold became a restaurant.
In the 60s/70s thousands of people were attracted to Sheep Meadow for large-scale concerts. The first landing on the moon was televised to a large crowd in the meadow on July 20, 1969. These events, and the lack of maintenance, severely eroded the lawn. Sheep Meadow was the first area in Central Park to be restored. Events moved to nearby, more suitable or resilient locations. Sheep Meadow reopened in 1981 as a swath of green dedicated to sunbathers, picnickers, and kite flyers.
On the northern edge of Sheep Meadow, just outside its fence, is Lilac Walk. Along the walk are 23 varieties of lilacs from around the world. The Center Drive, slightly further on, offers volleyball and the "skate circle" – the setting for serious roller-skating and disco skating.
How to get there :
take the 1 or 9 train to 66th St / Lincoln Center and walk 1 block east to Central Park West, walk into the park (along the Tavern On The Green) and you'll see Sheep Meadow across the West Drive.
(You could also take the B or C train if you're not near the 1/9, to either Columbus Circle at 59th St , or to 72nd St; and walk along Central Park West to the Park entrance at 66th St.)
Just behind The Metropolitan Museum in Central Park, you can find a 71 foot, 244 ton obelisk or Cleopatra's Needle. It is unclear whether it was gifted to the US by the Khedive of Egypt or was stolen by William H. Vanderbilt. It looks odd in the Park, but with a visit, you can also visit the 1865 Belvedere Castle (where official temperature readings for NYC are recorded), and the beautiful Great Lawn, the Delacourte Theater (with Shakespearean themed bronze statues), and Turtle Pond.
Cleopatra's needle is an ancient Egyptian obelisk that stands in Central Park behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Its sides are covered with inscriptions written in hieroglyphics. The heiroglyphics on three of the sides are in good shapre, while the ones on the western side have been worn down by the wind and rain over the years.
The obelisk is about 80 feet tall and was originally created around 1450 BC in the ancient Egyptian city of Heliopolis. It was later moved to Alexandria during the Roman Empire. In 1881, the obelisk was moved to its current location in Central Park, after it was given to the United States as a gift from the ruler of Egypt.
One unusual feature of the obelisk are the crabs (or maybe they are lobsters) which are located on the base at its corners. Not the sort of creatures that you would expect to see on a massive piece of Egyptian sculpture!
Central park is not just for walking... there are lots of activities that you can enjoy, such as renting a bike or a boat. Renting a boat in Saturday afternoon is one of the most romantic activities the park has to offer.
Don't forget to visit the boat house in Central Park. I know, rowing a boat around the lake sounds a lot more like work than fun, but trust me, it is worth breaking a little sweat. The view from the lake is awesome. You see tons of turtles and waterfowl. Plus, to be in such a peaceful setting in the midst of NY City is quite an experience. Definitely take the time.
Since the hawks nest is removed from the building on Fifth Avenue, they're flying around in Central Park. Last time, we saw two hawks hunting for a squirrel. First they didn't catch the squirrel, but at the second attempt they succeeded; unfortunately for the squirrel. There were many people who witnessed the hunt. The hawk took the squirrel to a tree. What happened next you can guess!
There were just so many wonderful things to discover in Central Park... but this was one of my favourite finds... a lovely little sculpture of Romeo and Juliet, a gift of George Delacorte if I can make out the engraving on the photo.
My favorite children's book : Alice in Wonderland.
Sculptor: José de Creeft 1884-1982 • Spain
Gift of publisher and philanthropist
George Delacorte (1893-1991)
in honor of his late wife, Margarita
Visitors from all over the world stop to marvel
at the larger than life size sculpture of Alice,
from Lewis Carroll's 1865 fantasy classic
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Here in
Central Park she sits high upon a giant
mushroom overlooking the Conservatory Water
and presiding over an eternal tea party to
which she has invited all the children of the
Central Park is one of the best places in New York. I don't know what New Yorkers would do without it. If you have chance to go on Sunday you can see amazing rollerbladers in the 70th street close to 72nd entrance. Also this place is so close to The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Every time when I’m in New York I go see the Sax Player in Central Park. This time in December he played Christmas songs. Although it was cold, we sit down and listen to his music. Many people walk by and ignore him, I just can’t. He has given our visit to the Park some extra charm. As a reward I gave him a few dollars. So the next time you’ll see him, take a minute to listen to his music. I think he will appreciate that.
Wollman skating rink is one of the most famous rinks in New York City. It is located in Central Park. The rink opened in 1950 following a gift from Mrs Wollman, but is now in the hands of Donald Trump. He took it over in 1986 and put serious money into renovating the rink. During the winter holiday season, tourists flock to skate on the famous ice rink. Ice skating lasts until the second week in April; afterward, Wollman becomes a roller rink. The rink looks superb, with an excellent view of the New York midtown skyline. If you don’t want to skate (there can be long waiting lines) then it is fun to watch people skate.