Central Park, New York City
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.
I once heard that there is more park area per person in New York City compared to e.g. Paris. It is hard to believe when you walk around the skyscrapers of Manhattan but easy to understand when you come to Central Park. We just took a walk in Central Park on our way from the Guggenheim museum to the Natural historic museum. You know it is a big park when it even has its own homepage *grin*. So if you want to find anything, look it up on www.centralpark.org :-) . We walked through the park at about noon and there were lots of people in and around the park. People were biking, jogging, using roller skates or just relaxing. We met dog-walkers (I’m not sure that is the political correct term), people playing softball etc. I’m sure that it would have been one of my favorite places if I had been living in New York. One thing that I find a bit amusing is of course all the signs and rules and regulation there is when it comes to the use of the parks. Like the path around the reservoir in Central Park…it seemed like it was only for jogging and it even seemed like they wanted everyone to go in the same direction. What happened to freedom of choice? :-) And do you really need a sign with a big list where one of the items is “Park rules prohibit littering”. Shouldn’t it be obvious to all that you shouldn’t litter? Central Park was lovely and it was such a contrast to be in the calm Great lawn compared to in the streets outside the park.
There ar various performers you may see in Central park. Shown below is one of the better acts I have seen. He performs under the stair in a tunnel going toward the boathouse. We just caught him in passing so the exact location escapes me.
Why pay big bucks to go and watch a baseball game, if like me you don't really understant it anyway! Why not take a stroll through central park and watch the kids playing for free. A fun filled activity to keep you entertained for a while as you walk around cntral park at the wekend. Weather permitting of course.
We met a man by the lake in central park. Alberto Arroya was the mans real name, but all the joggers passing by knew him as the Mayor and would shout out their greeting using this name.
Alberto told us he had got this name due to his connection with the park, where it is claimed he invented jogging in it's modern day form. Apparently he had been jogging in Central Park for the last 68 years.
He started jogging to improve his fitness as a young boxer and just kept doing it. I don't know why, but while talking to him I kept thinking about the film Forrest Gump! Run Forrest, run!
Whats more, over the years Arroya had been the friend of Jackie Onasis and Madonna to name but a few of the many famous people, who at one time, or another, have used the park for jogging.
Arroya was that well known for his jogging in the park, that he even had a citation from the city to acknowledge his part in the phenomenon, that is today, the most practised form of keep fit around the World.
You had to give it to the old boy, he had been running around this park for the last 68 years and was still at it, although at a somewhat slower pace these days. And there was Toby and I, who couldn't run a bath between us, never mind all the way around the lake at just under two miles!
If you're up for something fun, upbeat, and unusual, stroll on over to the skating rink in the Central Park. There on weekends you'll find the dance skaters doing their thing. It's open to everyone, not just the "pros". Bring your own skates or rent a pair if you feel you're up to not making a total fool of yourself and having some fun. Some of these guys are REALLY good, and many don't mind showing off while having a blast...
Many tourists who venture into Central Park seem to stick to the far southern section of the park. But if you venture further north (see my transportation tip for one idea how) there are many treasures to discover.
This photo was taken from the eastern part of the lake, looking toward the Upper West Side.
Another famous spot of the park is the Wollman Rink, where New Yorkers and tourists come together to ice-skate in the winter. At the time of my visit the place was closed due to the warm weather of the summer, but during the winter months I believe it will make for a nice escapade from the city. I still manage to get a kewl picture out of it :).
I'm not all sure whether or not the Diary ever served its purpose or not for the museum's doors had closed by the time I got there. Nevertheless, this house in the lower parts of Central Park makes for a nice mix between that which nature constructed and that which humans constructed. The Diary looks more like a building one will find in the country, rather than a park in the city.
The visitors of the past and the present and future all come together at this amazing highway path inside Central Park. The Mall and Literary Walk are probably the only straight pathways in the park. It's an amazing area where you can just sit and relax on one of the benches while watching the hundreds of locals and tourists that pass through this path. Have your camera ready for you never know what kind of picture you'll get :).
One of the most famous and recognize areas of Central Park is the Bethesda Fountain and Terrace located below the Lake. It's a perennial favorite on the movies so you'd probably seen it before. Crowds gather in the weekends to see impromptu shows and more. It's definitely worth a stop. This is another great place to people watch or to just relax enjoying the view of the Lake.
Who would have thought I would have spotted a Venetian gondola in New York City?!? Yeap, it's true folks. I took this picture from the Bethesda Fountain and Terrace. The Lake of Central Park offers an area where people can hire row boats, can take a ride on a Venetian Gondolas, or just a place to sit at a bench and admire the beauty of things.
The Bulverde Castle is a nice building located just below the Great Lawn. It provides some of the best views of Central Park and the distinct line that arises out of the concrete jungle of the city. It's a nice place to relax and enjoy the breeze while you contemplate the surroundings. Inside, one can see a nice museum on the flora and fauna of Central Park.
Many a local will go to the Great Lawn to get an excellent tan. This is one of the largest fields in Central Park. The Great Lawn is best appreciated from atop the Bulverde Castle, which is nearby. If you're into sports make sure you take a ball or a Frisbee to play around.
Take a breather out of your daily schedule and relax under the shade of the mighty pine trees in the Arthur Ross Pinetum. This are of Central Park is located near the Great lawn. There are nice benches in this area so bring a book or your diary :).