This is Central Park's "fifth avenue," if you like, the only formal feature in the park's "naturalistic" design, along with the Bethesda Terrace at the northern end of The Mall. It's a great place to people watch, mingle with the rest of park visitors, and during autumn, admire the colorful trees that line the sides of this pedestrian boulevard.
A smaller version of The Lake, but no less uninteresting, particularly if you're into landscape photography. Especially liked the mish mash of shrubs, trees and flowers in an informal setting - with the autumn colors spicing up the scenery. Throw in a few ducks and birds, and several kids playing in the background and you have a perfect recipe for a great photographic adventure in the heart of busy NYC.
Imagine NYC without Central Park, and imagine Central Park without The Lake? Quite unthinkable and tragic.
It is easy to put The Lake aside, but without it, the Central Park would be a boring expanse of trees and pathways (the Reservoir up north, although much larger doesn't just make the grade). It is The Lake that provides the much needed background to make the other elements in the park, such as the Bow Bridge and the Bethesda Terrace, much more dramatic and theatrical. If boating is your thing, The Lake provides the perfect venue for that quintessential New York experience - boating in Central Park.
Beyond the Central Park itself, the image of the twin-tower San Remo apartment with The Lake and the beautiful autumn trees at the foreground is distinctly as New York as the Empire State Building.
Competing with the Angel of the Waters sculpture in the "gracefulness" competition is the Bow Bridge, an 18-meter cast-iron bridge linking the Ramble with Cherry Hill. Although not as artistically of the same caliber as the Angel of the Waters sculpture, there is a strong sense of romanticism and gracefulness associated with the elegantly curved Bow Bridge. Designed along Classical Greek lines, the bridge looks perfectly in romantic harmony with its surroundings, especially during a beautiful autumn day. Throw in a few pairs of lovers in the scenery, and voila, we have a perfect picture of Central Park's romantic side.
Another favorite spot in Central Park is the the Bethesda Terrace. The spot's centerpiece is a magnificent fountain, Angel of the Waters, by Emma Stebbins. Without even visiting the spot, many of us would have recognized it from the countless movies and TV series that had featured this public space.
But a real visit to the actual spot is nothing quite like seeing it in the movies and TV series. The visit is made more interesting by the music that pervades in the air, thanks to the various musicians that play for tourists (especially loved the saxophone man near the fountain, and the cello man in the underground passage), by the scenes of tourists and New Yorkers enjoying the spot like yourself, and pigeons that flock on the fountain's angel (just watch out for those droppings).
As you do all these, don't forget to admire the Angel of the Waters fountain itself (a magnificent bronze sculpture), as well the richly-decorated lower passage beneath the Bethesda Terrace.
Developed in 1985, the 2.5-acre Strawberry Fields was a project initiated by New York City to commemorate the 45th birthday of John Lennon, who lived (and died) nearby. Various other countries contributed to the project, including Italy which donated the circular "Imagine" mosaic that became the centerpiece of Strawberry Fields.
Although from Britain, John Lennon made NYC his home (must be that awful English weather?), from where he created his music and advanced his worldwide causes, post-The Beatles era. After his assassination in 1980, his wife Yoko Ono scattered Lennon's ashes in Central Park.
Just as John Lennon's music and causes transcended cultures and countries, Strawberry Fields had become a focal point for other events, including candlelight vigils after the 9/11 attacks.
Imagine NYC without Central Park - in a way this 340-hectare park situated in central Manhattan defines the city itself. Many of city's iconic (this word is so overused!) emblems are either in the park or around it. The park itself is an integral component of the city's culture and daily life - and a great tourist destination, as well.
The real estate professional in me (I used to dabble in real estate development) can't help but wonder how much this centrally-located piece of real estate, in the self-proclaimed capital of the world, is worth?! Priceless, I suppose.
I love the foresight - and wisdom - of the city's planners to devote what could have been a very expensive piece of real estate that could have fetched loads of money in auction, to public space, as a public good. Economists talk about positive externalities, and definitely this is one classic example that a public good can create so much positive externalities to owners of properties around the park, to the public in general, and to the entire city benefiting from the dollars millions of tourists bring into the city, with the Central Park as a main tourist attraction - and a free one at that.
This is a public park in the centre of Manhattan,the park officially opened in 1857,on 843 acres of city owned land.In 1858 'Law Olmsted'and'Calvert Vaux'won a design competition to improve and expand the park with a plan they entitled the 'Greensward plan'.Construction began the same year and was completed in 1873.Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1963,the park is currently managed by the Central Park Conservancy under contract with the City Goverment.This is a non profit organization that contributes 85% of Central Park's $37 million dollar budget and employs 80% of the Park's maintenance staff.
The Park receives over thirty five million visitors annually,making it the most visited urban park in the United States.The park contains several natural looking ponds and lakes that have been artificially created as well as two ice-skating rinks used in winter,a small Zoo and many walking paths and several outdoor Theatres.The park is open every day all year round and has its own Police Force.
I only intended to go to Central Park for an hour or two. I ended up spending the majority of an afternoon. I started out just taking a walk around and watching the children sail their boats. I saw the statues and hung out to people watch. The Central Park Zoo was very cool! Loved it there.
The park is amazing. It makes you forget that there is a city going on around you. I would love to go back in the morning with a cup of coffee. Just sit and enjoy the sunrise and calm of it all.
If you're trained in the English saddle and are visiting NY, try horseback riding in Central Park. You can rent a horse for ~$50 an hour, not including gear. The horses are completely used to traversing urban landscapes, so you don't have to worry about them getting nervous in traffic. In fact, they practically know already where exactly to go, which trails, at what speed, how to react to traffic, etc. It's an exciting way to see New York, from high above on a horse, looking down on people who will most likely be looking back at you...and the horse! :-)
I highly suggest this activity if you know English saddle.
This is a must see in Central Park. Known to most as the Great Lawn, here you can catch some sun, rest, play sports, read a book or simple hang with your friends. The view of Manhattan in the round is amazing.
An excellent, romantic, way to relax in the park if you don't feel like the carriage and horse ride...pottering around in a rowing boat.
No real expertise required, just a sense of balance when entering and leaving the boat.
Good fun with, giving some great views of the park and city.
Don't forget to treat yourself to drinks at the boat house cafe after all that exercise.
April to October
Weather-permitting, opens at 10 a.m. with last boat rentals at 5-5:30 p.m. Rentals are on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Type of Boats
(up to 4 people per boat)
$10 first hour, $2.50 each additional 15 minutes. $30 cash deposit required per boat.
The Dakota stands directly opposite to the Womens' Gate entrance to Strawberry Fields on West 72nd Street and Central Park West. This is the route so familiar to John and Yoko in their frequent journeys into Central Park. Built in 1880 by the architect who designed the Plaza Hotel a building with similar features it was New York's first luxury apartment building.
Oddly enough for all its original prestige it was surrounded by slums yet its 65 luxurious apartments with its many celebrity owners were situated directly opposite the newly created Central Park some with spectacular views of the fields so cherished by John and Yoko and the Lake beyond.
Some of its inhabitants have included Judy Garland, Leonard Bernstein, Lauren Bacall and Boris Karloff. Yoko Ono still maintains a residence at the Dakota.
If you and your little one are strolling through Central Park and happen to find your way to the Conservatory Water, be sure to stop by and let your kid climb on up and listen to Hans Christen Anderson tell one of his fairy tales...
Central Park is very, very big! And let's face it, no matter how much you love walking, you will not be able to see it all unless you have a lot of days available to explore it. And believe me, it should be explored. Don't just walk for a few hours and think that you've seen it all or that it's all the same. There is a lot of beauty but also a lot of history behind it, interesting facts that a tourist should know. In order to be able to enjoy Central Park, we suggest that tourists take a bicycle tour with a guide in order to learn the story behind it and also learn about the sights and monuments that exist inside the park. Our tour lasted for 3 hours and it was lovely! We were a group of 8 people with a very friendly guide who informed us on everything. He even gave us time to take pictures and walk for a while to rest from cycling. It was a wonderful experience. We would not have learnt so many things if we had just walked around on our own.