Central Park, New York City
Central Park is New York City's largest public park, it is famous and been seen almost in any movie or TV program that is done in this city. There are many interesting sites and events in the park, you can visit the official link included here to learn more.
“I really believe I was happier when I slept on a park bench in Central Park than during all the years of the ‘perfect lover’ stuff.”
— Rudolph Valentino (1895-1926)
One of Central Park’s many architectural treasures Greywacke Arch was built in 1862. The Arch underwent restoration in the 1980s; the Central Park Conservancy, a private organization, carries out this vital conservation work.
Greywacke is the variety of sandstone that is was used to build this arch. The material is found in the Hudson River Valley.
Designed by Calvert Vaux (1824-1895), one of Central Park’s two architects, Greywacke Arch spans a roadway leading to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The decoration of the arch includes fleur-de-lys, and the Saracenic point to the arch is reminiscent of Middle Eastern and Moorish-influenced Spanish style architecture.
On the eastern side of the Arch a musician usually is busking for dollars. Here a saxophonist plays; other times I seen violinists and accordion players.
Fishing is possible at Turtle Pond in NYC, which, not surprisingly, is also host to birds and 8 species of turtles, originally the contribution of local residents who released pets overgrowing their condos. The pond was originally created in 1937 out of the original drinking water supply Croton reservoir. On the north side is a broad lawn fit for a picnic, and on the east side there's a rock outcrop where one can cast a fishing lure or simply sit. On the west side are a landscaped woodland and rise to Belevedere Castle. Despite it's natural appearance, all of this is pure landscape genius, nothing more.
Truly, an oasis of green in a concrete and steel jungle! Central Park is so beautiful - and much larger than you think! There is so much to see and do in Central Park - an ice skating rink, carousel, zoo, play chess and checkers at the aptly-named Chess and Checkers House, rent a pedal boat, fly a kite, etc. - but I loved just wandering around. The park is so peaceful, and joggers, walkers, and horse-drawn carriages seem to coexist quite well. I was disappointed that the carousel was closed for the winter, but my other "must sees" were easily accessible - the Alice in Wonderland statue and the Strawberry Fields memorial.
The last day of the meeting, we were set to have a nice dinner at Cafe Boulud, and it was suggested we walk from the Grand Hyatt there if we wanted to let some of the stress out. That meant strolling through the lower half of Central Park. This was a great suggestion, as it gave us the opportunity to see what the park has to offer. There is a ton of really cool scenery, where the foliage frames the city scapes. While there, we were able to see a number of neat statues, and also got to take in Bethesda Fountain. The park has a lot to offer - various playgrounds, sculptures, refreshment stands, and even an ice rink...and that was the half of the park we saw!
My suggestion is to have your phone with the GPS enabled or a really good map - it's easy to get turned around on some of the trails, and you might lose track of where you are. But I would highly recommend the walk in the park.
The Central Park is so huge that it's easy to overlook some of the smaller, more interesting as aspects of it. There are about 9,000 benches in the park, and the park administrators have come up with a novel way of looking after these benches - from a financial perspective - with the Adopt-a-Bench program began in 1986.
In return for their financial support, bench sponsors could have their personal inscriptions engraved on these benches. Many of these inscriptions carry personal messages, but the one that really caught my attention was this bench holding a promise - the promise - of marriage.
The picture was taken in November 2009, and a lot could have happened in two years, but if you happen to know this bench's sponsor, please do let me know if the promise had been fulfilled? A long shot, but well worth asking here.
This link takes you to the official website of Central Park's Adopt-A-Bench program.
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.