What are the Main Attractions in New York City's Central Park?
I cannot imagine New York City without Central Park. Central Park has got to be the most beautiful park in the world. And I should know because I've walked the park for almost 8 years. Inevitably someone will ask me what is so great about Central Park. This question would never come from anyone who has ever been to the park as its qualities are gloriously apparent.
So to answer the question for those who have never been...what makes Central Park so splendid is the variety and quality of the structures and landscape. It compliments the city perfectly. It is like the perfect pairing of fine wine with an excellent gourmet meal.
I used to get up at 5:00 am to go jogging with my little Pomeranian named Poppy in the park. At that time it was still dark and in most instances we were the only people (and canine) in the park. I think Poppy thought that all of Central Park was his personal back yard and at 5:00 am I kind of thought that too. It was a magical time. I did this for about 2 years and nothing bad ever happened to me in spite of hearing (for as long as I could remember) the warning to never go into the park at night. I figured at 5:00 am all the bad guys were probably asleep and like I said nothing bad ever happened to me. And when it snows! Lord, there is nothing like going for a run in Central Park in the wee hours of the morning when it snows. It's glorious!
A few facts about Central Park: The park is 6 miles long if you walk around it and 843 acres making it 6% of Manhattan's total acreage. It was built in 1857 and designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux who won a landscaping contest for the park. It was the first landscaped public park in the United States. Prior to the creation Central Park was wilderness, swamps and bluffs. In fact, when the Dakota was built on 72nd and Central Park West across from the park they named the Dakota “The Dakota” because anyone who lived there was considered living in the Dakotas, so far away. During the Great Depression, Central Park was the location of Hoovervilles, what we would call tent cities now. The park separates the upper east side from the upper west side and is between 59th Street and 110th .
The following are some of the main attractions of the park:
Bethesda Fountain: The Angel of the Bethesda Fountain watches over all of Manhattan...maybe just maybe the most beautiful spot in the park!
Neuman Hall: Free Concerts and Plays..need I say more?
Wollman's Ice Skating Rink: Just the most perfect spot to ice skate in the entire friggen country!...maybe the world but I haven't been everywhere in the world so I don't want to exaggerate.
Belvedere's Castle: With a couple of glasses of wine you can almost imagine it's a real castle, sometimes even without the wine!
Sailboat Pond: Wonderful place to sit and watch the world and toy sailboats go by.
Jackie Onassis Reservoir: Great spot for an early morning run, but make a note of it, no dogs allowed.
The Boat House: Taking a ride in a row boat in Central Park should be on everyone's bucket list!
The Bridal Trail: Every once in awhile you'll hear someone playing bagpipes on this trail. I'm not sure if it's a real person or a ghost.
Shepherds Meadow: Perfect spot to sun bath or play catch with the kids.
The Marionette House: If you have young children..this is a must see place as they have free marionette shows. OK, I don't have young children and I still like it...think Hansel and Gretal house.
The Zoo: What would any park be without a zoo? Not the most extensive zoo in the world but a nice stop as you are exploring the park.
Baseball Fields: Is there anything better than watching a baseball game on a Sunday afternoon?
The Carousel: Very romantic even if you don't have kids.
Anywhere in the park when it snows: I cannot do justice with my words when trying to describe the park when it snows. It is absolutely stunning, like a fairy tale in real life.
I consider myself most fortunate to have lived near Central Park during my stay in Manhattan. I am richer for having experienced the beauty that unfolds when man combines his talents with God's creation and that is exactly what Central Park is!
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