Central Park

There’s no way I can narrow down my “highlight” to just one day, or even one location! But perhaps one of the most memorable days was exploring Central Park and Times Square. Iconic NY – yes!! But so much more than a tourist hot-spot.

 It’s like the gateway to a different universe…alternate “horse-power” wait patiently to take you rolling through the park. Or you can hire a bike, roller blades – I chose to do it on foot. There is so much to see I don’t think you can do this Park justice without planning at least a day there.

On the Sunday I visited, the warm weather had bought everyone out for one last taste of “summer” weekend fun. Children chased birds, collected leaves, climbed atop the rocks for a better view or explored the water’s edge. Families picnicked on the lawns, or by the lake. Early Autumn colours popped with their city backdrop. You can seriously feel the busy vibes melt away the further in the park you get.

Some people ran. Others biked. Many more soaked in the sun, sitting by The Lake with music, a book or even a camera.

Couples paddles their way across and around, taking in the view. The almost cloud-less day gave everyone a good reason to slow down, relax and enjoy what was left of the weekend.

Other boats floated where the currents took them.

 I had only seen a small portion of this park, but was taken aback by how much creativity and vision went into this icon of Manhattan – Central park covers over 800 acres at the “centre” of the island, all of which were man-made by Frederick Olmsted and Calvert Vaux in the 1800’s. The vision was formed by William Cullen Bryant (famous editor of New York Evening Post, and poet) to transform the “waste-land” north of 59th Street and provide New Yorker’s with a quiet oasis for recreation.

Central Park, looking from Harlem south over Manhattan.

Bizarre meets vista – Belvedere Castle (1872) sits in the middle of Central Park as an imitation of medieval Scotland. It also provides amazing views across the northern, less popular part of the park.

From here, you turn the corner and find the Shakespeare Garden along side a “Swedish” playhouse. By this stage I was ready to find some food and a place to sit and soak it all up. I wandered further along the paths trying to dodge the runners, prams and bikes then stumbled upon buskers.
These guys were pretty good – simple music, melodic (Love the double bass!).

 Apparently this “eclectic” collection of folk are regulars, entertaining Central Park visitors by playing Beetles’ cover songs – smashing out the tunes damn well!!

 I couldn’t visit Central Park without a trip past Strawberry Fields and “imagine” tribute to John Lennon. A few more guitars and buskers were cashing in there too.

Wandering back along the western side of the park, I found open space and sunshine I craved – The Sheep Meadow. Framed by distant sky scrapers, this was where I would work on capturing a bit more of that lazy Sunday vibe everyone had.
Even managed to enjoy a late afternoon snack – my own taste of “sex and the city” – courtesy of Magnolia Bakery (just two blocks west of the park on Columbus Ave – it’s worth the trip!! But go early, as these delicious and interesting creations seem to sell out very quickly)……

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