Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Central Park, Manhattan -- Part Two --

Part One can be read here All photos will enlarge and improve in quality when clicked on

Central Park is a large public, urban park that occupies 843 acres in over a square mile in the heart of Manhattan in New York City. The park was designed by the writer Frederick Law Olmsted and the architect Calvert Vaux. It initially opened in 1859, was completed in 1873 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1963.

I visited with my husband on a beautiful autumn day this past weekend, and we decided to walk through the park, from the east side to the west, and entered The Children's Gate on East 76 Street, which is part of the area know as The Great Lawn.

To see a map of the entire park, plus a downloadable PDF map please go to this website.

As we walked down the path we were serenaded by the lovely tunes of an accordion player. The park is full of all kinds of musicians, and, if you'd like, you can see photos of many more that we met that day in the part one blog post I did a few days ago.

The fall foliage was beginning to appear in New York City and some of Central Park's trees were ablaze with gold and russet color.

At twenty-two acres the Lake is Central Park’s largest body of water, excluding the Reservoir.
It offers a variety of activities for park, the most popular is row boating, and these vessels can be rented at the Loeb Boathouse at the northeast corner of the Lake.

A gondola ride of the lake is also available.

Bethesda Fountain and its sculpture,the "Angel of Waters," which was designed by Emma Stebbins in 1873. This is a very popular area, and one of the best people watching sections of the park.

Description of the "Angel of the Waters" dedication:
"At the dedication, the artist's brochure quoted the Biblical verse from the Gospel of St. John 5:2-4: 'Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called... Bethesda...whoever then first after the troubling of the waters stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.' The artist likened the healing powers of the angel to that of the clean and pure Croton water, delicately cascading down the fountain, that brought health to the people of New York City. The lily in her hand represents purity while the four figures below represent Peace, Health, Purity, and Temperance." source

There were many visitors in the park this day, all enjoying the beautiful weather and gorgeous autumnal scenes.

If you don't want to walk you can pay to have a pedal car ride through the park......

.....or pay to take a horse drawn carriage ride.

Just stunning!

On December 8th, 1980 John Lennon was shot dead as he arrived at his home at the Dakota Apartment Building at 72nd St. and Central Park West. A long time resident of New York City, Mr. Lennon had taken many enjoyable walks with his wife and young son through Central Park. In memoriam, on March 26, 1981, the city council adopted legislation that designated the area, stretching from 71st to 74th streets, as "Strawberry Fields." The name was taken from the title of a Beatle song called "Strawberry Fields Forever."

The Imagine mosaic was a gift from Naples, Italy, in memory of John Lennon, and is located in the middle of the 2.5 acre of Strawberry Fields. "Imagine" is the title of a popular song written by John Lennon.

Strawberry Fields opened on October 9, 1985, on John Lennon's 45th birthday. Every October 9th since then has seen an all day vigil of people of all ages from around the world near the Imagine mosaic.

We walked out the West 72 Street park entrance and saw this happy newlywed couple walking into the park to have photos taken.

This is The Dakota apartment building where John Lennon and Yoko Ono resided, located directly across the street from the 72 Street entrance to Central Park.

Returning inside the park we saw more beautiful trees.

The Sheep Meadow is a 15-acre, lush, green meadow for relaxing and admiring one of New York City's greatest skyline views. The sheep and a shepherd were housed in a fanciful Victorian building in what is now the Tavern on the Green restaurant, on the western perimeter of the Park, from 1864 until 1934, when the sheep were transferred to Prospect Park in Brooklyn. In the 1960s and the 1970s thousands of people were attracted to Sheep Meadow for large-scale concerts which unfortunately serverely eroded the lawn. This area was the first area in Central Park to be fully restored, and it reopened in 1981,now dedicated primarily to sunbathers and picnickers.

A beautiful section of the tree lined mall is called "Literary Walk," and it displays many statues, including Robert Burns , as seen in the photo above, and Shakespeare seen in the photo below.

The Dairy, built between 1869 and 1871, is one of Central Park's most picturesque structures.

19th-century children could enjoy a fresh, wholesome glass of milk at the Dairy. Today, the Dairy serves as a general visitor center with information on the history and design of Central Park, as well as current Park events and programs. It also serves as the official Central Park gift shop.

To the west of the Dairy, on a large bedrock out crop called the Kinderberg or "children's mountain," stands the brick Chess & Checkers House. Today the 24 chess tables are located under a modern-day pergola outside. You can bring your own game pieces, or borrow them inside the building until 4:00 pm.

Central Park's first carousel was built in 1870 and today's Friedsam Memorial Carousel is the fourth carousel to exist on this site.

Built by the Brooklyn firm of Stein and Goldstein in 1908, the Carousel is one of the largest in the United States, with 58 hand-carved, painted horses. Over 250,00 children and adults ride it each year!

A horse carriage traffic jam.

Wollman Rink was built in 1949 when Kate Wollman donated $600,000 for it's construction. In the early 1990's, it was purchased and is now run by, Donald Trump and is now known as the Wollman/Trump Rink. Ice Skating is available late October through March.

It is one of Central Park’s most popular attractions and more than 4,000 skaters use it daily.

Central Park's new, state-of-the-art Zoo was built when the Wildlife Conservation Society took over the management in 1984. It showcases animals from tropical, temperate, and polar zones around the world.

"Between the main Zoo and the Children's Zoo is the George Delacorte Musical Clock, which is built on a triple archway of brick. On the north side of the arches are Frederick George Richard Roth's Honey Bear and Dancing Goat bronze sculptures dating from 1935. From 8:00 am - 5:00 pm on the hour and half-hour, one of 44 tunes plays while a bear with tambourine, a hippopotamus with violin, a goat with pan pipes, a kangaroo and offspring with horns, and a penguin with drum glide around the base of the clock. In addition, on the hour two monkeys on the top of the clock appear to strike a bell " source

We were lucky enough to hear the Delacorte Musical Clock chime, and see the animals revolve to the music. It was enchanting!

The elegant enterance gate to the Tisch Children's Zoo where children can get close to goats, sheep, a cow and a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig, plus the Enchanted Forest.
"In the center of the Children's Zoo is the Enchanted Forest. Artisans mimicked the colossal remains of primeval oak trees, acorns, and a giant spider. In the central aviary — actually a complete habitat — you will see live turtles and frogs along with birds. One of the two children's theaters is in the central aviary. The other theater is in the central courtyard. A troupe of actors at the Acorn Theater in the Tisch Children's Zoo perform daily shows for children about animals. Past shows include Eat Bugs and Metamorphosis Boogie." source

There may be one more week until peak autumn tree color is achieved

The Abraham and Joseph Spector Playground, one of many children's playgrounds located in Central Park.
I'll be showing photos of the most beloved sculpture in the park, "Alice In Wonderland" in my upcoming Saturday blog post, so please come back then to see that charming sculpture!

Almost every park bench in Central Park has a dedication plaque on it in memory of someone, or to mark a special event, in part of the "Adopt A Bench" program. An example can be seen in the photo above.

As we departed Central Park the same accordion player we saw hours earlier was still serenading the visitors with his beautiful music. It was a delightful end to another magnificent walk in the park!

I am adding this post to Susan of A Southern Daydreamer blog as part of her weekly "Outdoor Wednesday" event. Please visit Susan's blog today to see links more blog participating. Thank you, Susan!

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Unknown said...

That has to be one of the best posts I have read in a long time. The photos are incredible and just enough words to keep my interest. Fascinating info too! Thank you so much for taking me with you on your incredible walk through Central Park. I can't wait till Sat. to see the Alice in Wonderland statue! I have never been to N.Y. Perhaps someday... But seeing it through your lens and your words makes it so real...
~Tis the Spooky Season~
~Really Rainey~

Anonymous said...

A GREAT blog, I am sure you are doing this on purpose to make me "nag" my hubby to go to NYC next year!!What wonderful colours. When my daughter and I were in NY and Central Park in 1996 it was middle of November and the year my first husband died so it was very therapeutic as it is such a vibrant place and your blog certainly shows that,thank you. Jackie in UK

diane b said...

I agree with the previous comment. It was great to be taken on an informational tour of Central Park. We often hear about it and see one shot, but you have made me realise how extensive it is. Your photos when enlarged are stunning. I'm wondering why they are not so sharp on your post. Do you change the HTML size to make them bigger? If so you also have to change the part in the HTML that says s400 to s1600 then they should be as clear as the original. Good luck.

My name is Riet said...

This is another incredible post with stunning pictures from Central Park and along the way you tell us what we see. Some of your pictures look as if they come from a fairytalebook and when enlarged they are breathtaking. Thank you for taking me with you on your walks. Riet

Riet's photoblog

Kat said...

What a wonderful post! I love your tours of New York, but this has to be one of my favorites. Your photos are just gorgeous. The canopy of autumn trees is truly breathtaking. I really feel a New York trip in the making here, hopefully when we get Cait graduated and settled. Thanks for the cyber vacation until then! Kathy

Hootin Anni said...

Isn't this one of the most beautiful places in America?!!! I just love it here ---your park photos that is!!!

My Outdoor Wednesday is a "Lethal Beauty". Come by and see if you will....

Click HERE

Chubskulit Rose said...

I really enjoyed this post. Lots and lots of excellent pics. I had no idea that Central Park was so beautiful.

Please take a glimpse on the nature of Chinhae, S. Korea

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I love Central Park too, and I love the way you captured it. This was a terrific post Pat. You managed to photograph so many places and give tidbits of information too. I didn't know that about the imagine piece coming from Naples. When are you going to quit your day job and become a tour guide officially?

Anonymous said...

Oh the trees look so gorgeous already! My fav pics were the ones of the lake- so beautiful. I didn't get to explore all of Central Park but now I wished I had had more time there. I think this is the best time of year with the Autumn colours.

Gracie said...

I have to say that you brought me physically there, and it was a shock to find me again at my desk on my lunch break!
Thanks for bringing me there for a walk, can't wait for the next part.
P.S. I downloaded 2/3 photos to use as my wallpaper, hope you don't mind, but they are really beautiful!

Anonymous said...

This year my husband decided not to attend his annual fall conference in NYC. Whenever we go, the first thing we do is head for Central Park. I've thought several times,"I'll miss that."
Thanks for taking me along with you and showing me some places I haven't seen before. AND, I don't even have blisters for once!

Martha said...

Thanks for sharing. I've walked in Central Park (but it was in 69) and I didn't realize the history that is there -- I didn't know all of those permanent structures -- thanks for not only the pictures but all the interesting history of the park!

Nola said...

How lovely! I didn't know about Strawberry Fields or the Imagine mosaic!
If I ever get back to NY, I will be a better informed tourist.

Anonymous said...

Your post & photography was amazing!! The New York City skyline never fails to thrill me. I think it is splendid.....

GailO said...

...I have visited Central Park many times but still have not seen it all...Beautiful place and beautiful post...

RNSANE said...

While I have visited NYC before, I never really spent time in Central Park. Today I was able to do so in really grand style, still in my nightgown, in the comfort of my armchair. What fabulous pictures and a wonderful narrative. I couldn't have had a better guided tour, I don't think, had I been there in person. Your blog is always such an incredible combination of beautiful photography and dscription. You are the perfect hostess for your wonderful city.

Carol Murdock said...

This is an absolutly wonderful post Pat!! I would love to spend a week taking daily walks in this park! The talented musicians and mime's everywhere remind me of the French Quarter in New Orleans! :)

Junie Moon said...

Pat, I don't quite know what to say as, once again, I'm astounded at all the discoveries to be made in NY and the history behind each one. You really write such wonderful posts and I thoroughly enjoy them, each and every one. Thank you for sharing all these delights with us.

happyone said...

Wow that is fantastic post. Lots of beautiful pictures of a beautiful park. Thanks for all the great photos and the explanations of it all. Well done!!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Pat, this is incredible. I adore Central Park, and that was one of the first things I wanted to do the first time I visited there... a carriage ride through the Park. And your pictures just capture the wonder of that park to perfection. Thank you for sharing these. They are a special treat!


Sheila :-)

Jenny said...

Oh my. I loved this trip! Childrens Gates, accordian players, John Lennon and a groom flashing the peace sign. That and lovely photos and words, besides. Wonderful, wonderful trip today Pat! I need to go back to bed and rest after that journey!

Grace said...

I work right near it and I never tire of walking through. There is always something magical about it. I loved reading your blog (applauding) Beautiful! Grace

storyteller at Sacred Ruminations said...

What a MARVELOUS guided virtual walk through Central Park! Your photographs are stunning and your commentary informatively entertaining. Thanks so much for sharing ;-)
Hugs and blessings,

Helen said...

I simply could not get enough of your photos! I have visited NYC and Central Park three times ~ all during the Winter. So, seeing Central Park close up (through your eyes) was like the 4th of July, Christmas and New Year's all rolled into one!

Go Yankees!!!!!!!

Unknown said...

You really know how to capture the essence of gorgeous Central Park in your photographs. I can see through your lens how much you love it here. As always visiting your blog soothes my homesickness for New York City. I plan on taking a trip soon. I need a dose of wonderful Central Park, and this time of year it is spectacular.

Mary Bergfeld said...

This really is the next best thing to being there. Your photos are wonderful and I enjoyed every minute of the tour. Have a wonderful Outdoor Wednesday.

Ms. Bake-it said...

Your photos are fabulous! I love the information and history you have included with your post. I love the carousel. The picture of the fountain made me think of the movie "Enchanted."

Thank you so much for taking us with you on your walk through Central Park.

~ Tracy

Beverly said...

Pat, these two posts are magnificent. Oh, how I would love to one day be able to walk through Central Park.

You are the best!

Kathleen said...

Hi Pat,
Another beautiful tour and lesson. I have been there, a miracle for this out east bumpkin.
I remember going on a date to Central Park, the zoo, and then Tavern on the Green. I remember putting my coat collar over my nose in the zoo ..
Thanks for the memory!

Lynn said...

Thank you for this beautiful trip through Central Park. You give me my NYC "fix" from out here on the Left Coast.
It's almost time for another physical trip to the City.

Abby and Stephanie said...

Gorgeous! I've never been to NY. Your photography is beautiful.

Lorrie said...

Ahhh--that was wonderful Pat, a real walk down memory lane for me as I spent many hours in Central Park as a child when I lived in Queens. Your photos are lovely and capture the wonder of this special park perfectly. The architecture of the gates, the fountains, the Dairy just evoke a bygone era to me. They don't make 'em like that any more! The weather shows off the changing foliage to perfection.

I don't think I will ever be able to call the skating rink the Wollman/Trump Rink however. I think The Donald already has his name on enough real estate and does not need to tamper with a piece of Manhattan history!

Juliana said...

Wow, wow and all the pictures and the nice "tour". You did a great job with the writing and the pictures. Thank you so much for taking time to put it all together :-)

sherri@lavenderfields said...

Such beautiful pictures! I really hope to get to New York one day soon. I have it on my list of things i just must do! Thanks and Happy Outdoor Wednesday : )

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...


jeanne said...

Hello pat, I really enjoyed you central Park post. When my sisters and I visited NY in Manhattan we spent quite a bit of time in Central Park. We took the carriage ride etc. We also had a chalk portrait done of the five of us. It was fun but not great. Central Park is a wonderful place to spend lots of time. Thank you for the wonderful posts dedicated to this NYC park. Wonderful photos.

Hugs, Jeanne

Ebie said...

Pat, I am having goose bumps and so jealous about the whole scenery: it is not just lovely but gorgeous to the nth degree!
A photobook for your pictures will be a good idea!
I would not finish the walk in the park for just one day!
I have enjoyed the virtual tour!

Tara said...

Hi Pat

All the studnets at FIT use the Sheep's Meadow as their beach for tanning! Central Park is truly the best buy in Manhattan for an afternoon--the carousel ride just went up to $2 from one, and a nice hamburger lunch at the Boarhouse in front of the fire cnan be under ten a person--could it get batter? Thanks for the tour, so fun to say<"oooh! I've been there!"


PS--did you get into SOHO to see the John Lennon exhibit--fantastic!

Sue said...

Fabulous pictures of the park but where is Tavern on the Green? I'm coming to the city in December..I can't wait...going to see Ragtime and SIL got us all tickets to Radio City...the Boss even sprung for a nights stay at a hotel...ofcourse he almost had heart failure paying over $400. for one nights sleep...

nanny said...

Oh the park is stunning and your pictures are just the best ever. What a great post....I will read and reread this one many time...Now I'm trying to decide which one to use for my wallpaper...Thanks so much for the tour....I learned alot!!!!

aliceinparis said...

Pat, This was just the loveliest post to read and marvel at. Central Park is glorious as seen through your eyes! I had no idea it was quite as big and absolutely beautiful. I will get there soon, my trip plans keep falling through:(
I love that the fountain was designed by a woman. Wonderful.
I REALLY enjoyed poring over your pictures and descriptions.True escapism:))Thanks.

Judy said...

Wow...what beautiful photos of Central Park in fall. Thanks for taking us along on such an in-depth tour.

A Dairy in Central Park...who would have thought?

Unknown said...

Great photos! I live upstate (we call it Central NY, up here near Syracuse)and I often visit NY on weekends. I have 100 acres of woods and farm fields, but I love Central Park. The trees, the views, the people. My daughter says we don't have the big rocks at home (true!) that she loves to climb in the park. Is it strange that I leave my farm to sit in Central Park for a few hours of peace and quiet? Maybe, but at the Park, I don't have a list of chores to do! I haven't seen all your posts yet, make sure you visit the park on a day with snow if you haven't already. CaronC

Unknown said...

Sorry! Me again, I read your profile and I guess you have seen Central Park in the winter! I happened to find your site when I was researching the benches in the park. A co-worker's daughter recently visited NY for the first time. When she was scrolling back over her pictures of the city, she had a photo that she took in Central Park that had a strange image. The image was of what looks clearly to me to be a person walking, wearing a light jacket and pants with a white shape like a dog behind the figure. The figure is all white, with grey shadows. My co-workers daughter insists that no one was in the picture and was surprised to see the image. Of course, the "ghosting" of images is quite common in photography but I couldn't help but think that there would be worse places to haunt if I were a spirit! I was thinking about the benches and the "In Memoriam" plaques and how they are often sad to read, but make you realize how much the park is loved. CaronC