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Central Park

New York City
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Central Park, New York City New York

Description

Central Park reminds me of the parks in European cities, because there are people everywhere enjoying themselves. It's like a beach without the ocean. On the expansive lawn called the Great Lawn there are hundreds of people laying out in the sun. In other parts of the park on huge slabs of black Manhattan Schist rock, individuals lay out in business attire, taking a break from work, the massive Manhattan buildings looming above. Children play on playgrounds-check out the Safari Playground near West 91st Street, or better yet, buy balloons and ride on the antique carousel. The carousel goes fast! I had to distract my niece from tears by pointing out the pretty details on her horse!
Just like in Paris, people place miniature boats on a large round pond and watch the wind push the model boats around at Conservatory Water (on the east side of the park near 74th St). Or people rent row boats at the Loeb Boathouse and paddle around the timeless-looking lake to the decorated bow bridge, while children delight in ducks that waddle by and turtles that pop their heads up for a peek of the action. There are ice cream cones to be bought and tasted beside the Bethesda Fountain, and young brides that stand for photos in this historic spot. Rows of statues of literary figures line the walkways of The Mall, where musicians gather to fill the air with melodies.
In winter, snow covers the pine forest in the Ross Pinetum, and decorates the leaves of the White and Himalayan Pines that line Winter Drive from 72nd to 102nd Street. Skaters glide by on the Wollman Memorial Ice Rink.
During the springtime, cherry trees, crabapples, and magnolias fill the East Green (a meadow between the zoo and Conservatory Water) with fragrance, as people come to enjoy this peaceful place. There is a magical area on The Lake by West Dr, in line with 75th Street, where kids can climb on wonderful rocks with a view of the ornate apartment buildings on Central Park West and the gorgeous foliage that lines the lake. Brides say their vows, while couples paddle by in rowboats. What an idyllic scene! I will never forget the hour we spent there on a sunny October day. 
Another wonderful time I spent at Central Park was a Sunday in summer when a crowd of people had gathered to watch a 1930s-style Jazz combo play at The Mall. They were so good that one man gave them a $100 donation! My nephew and I tapped our feet to the beat for two hours, drawn in by the stellar Louis Armstrong-style trumpet solos, the groovy walking bass, and the understated style of singing by the guitarist. Then there was the "drum set" that one guy had- a board on his lap with all manner of percussive soundmakers attached to it. It looked homemade, and it sounded amazing! 
An interesting sight is Thoth and Lila-Angelique, who put on a strange yet beautiful performance art underneath the bridge in the Angel Tunnel near the Bethesda fountain. They have invented a type of music that they call Tribal Baroque, involving violin, gorgeous resonant singing, and scary stomping and shouting. At first it is too strange, but after a while you start to love this music! Check their schedule here.
If you're hungry, there is a counter-service grill inside the Loeb Boathouse called Boathouse Express Cafe where you can get plain food to eat at the crowded outside tables where too many birds flutter around your food. Or inside you can eat at the crowded formal restaurant overlooking the lake. There are clean restrooms inside the Loeb Boathouse.
There is also a Le Pain Quotidien a three minute walk west of The Mall. 
Central Park offers both a happening scene to excite you and natural beauty to refresh you. What more could you want?

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Photo Gallery

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The delightful path leading into the park, opposite the American Natural History Museum.
The delightful path leading into the park, opposite the American Natural History Museum.
Strolling along a path on the west side of the park.
Strolling along a path on the west side of the park.
A historical building on Central Park West.
A historical building on Central Park West.
The Lake- this is the most idyllic, magical place!
The Lake- this is the most idyllic, magical place!
Couple paddling along in a rowboat.
Couple paddling along in a rowboat.
Picnic on the grass by The Lake.
Picnic on the grass by The Lake.
Pathway to the amazing rocks on the west side of The Lake.
Pathway to the amazing rocks on the west side of The Lake.
Friends sit on the rocks beside The Lake, with the apartment buildings of Central Park West soaring behind them.
Friends sit on the rocks beside The Lake, with the apartment buildings of Central Park West soaring behind them.
Perfect, clear day at The Lake.
Perfect, clear day at The Lake.
Happy people enjoying a dreamy day at The Lake.
Happy people enjoying a dreamy day at The Lake.
Catching the Autumn sunlight on the rocks by The Lake.
Catching the Autumn sunlight on the rocks by The Lake.
Sunbathers on the Great Lawn.
Sunbathers on the Great Lawn.
Sloped lawn in the Cherry Hill area of Central Park- perfection! View across The Lake.
Sloped lawn in the Cherry Hill area of Central Park- perfection! View across The Lake.
Bow Bridge- romantic.
Bow Bridge- romantic.
Autumn leaves in the park.
Autumn leaves in the park.
Bethesda Fountain, on a blissful October day.
Bethesda Fountain, on a blissful October day.
Bethesda Fountain, where the action is.
Bethesda Fountain, where the action is.
Angel sculpture at Bethesda Fountain. See the lovely beginnings of Autumn behind!
Angel sculpture at Bethesda Fountain. See the lovely beginnings of Autumn behind!
Loeb Boathouse.
Loeb Boathouse.
Putting his feet up outside Loeb Boathouse.
Putting his feet up outside Loeb Boathouse.
A boy sailing a model boat at Conservation Water.
A boy sailing a model boat at Conservation Water.
Conservation Water, on the east side of the park in line with 74th St.
Conservation Water, on the east side of the park in line with 74th St.
People sit on the benches lining Conservation Water, with the apartments of 5th Ave towering above.
People sit on the benches lining Conservation Water, with the apartments of 5th Ave towering above.
Autumn tree in Central Park.
Autumn tree in Central Park.
Dulcimer and harp player- this music was so beautiful!
Dulcimer and harp player- this music was so beautiful!
Sculpture on the west side of the park.
Sculpture on the west side of the park.
The Mall, where musicians gather along a long row of benches and statues of literary figures.
The Mall, where musicians gather along a long row of benches and statues of literary figures.

Directions

There are many ways to enter Central Park- it stretches from 59th St to 110th St, between 5th and 8th Avenue- you can't miss it!
Row boat rentals cost $15 an hour (cash only) plus a $20 deposit. Includes life jackets.
Model boat rentals are available at Conservation Water. Cost is $11 for a half hour. Mon-Thurs 1-5, Fri 11-7, Sat 1-7, Sun 10-6. Come early or you may end up on the waiting list.

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Last Updated: Fri, 15 Mar 2019 15:29:17 GMT