Saturday, March 10, 2018

Central Park

One major attraction in New York that I wasn't able to see during my trip here in 2006 was Central Park. So we made a few visits to the Park and the area around it during our trip there last month. But it is such a huge park that we still didn't manage to see every thing there. Maybe next time!

One day we passed through Columbus Circle, which is right on the edge of the Park. The circle is home to the Time Warner Center, which has two 55 foot towers connected by an atrium with some fancy stores in it (including a book and mortar Amazon store), and it's also a great place to go if you've been walking around and need a nice clean bathroom. This is the view looking through the atrium towards Columbus Circle.


In the middle of Columbus Circle is a 76 foot tall monument dedicated to Christopher Columbus. The 14 foot tall statue of Columbus that rests on top of the pillar attracted some controversy last year, with some groups wanting to take down the statue because of claims that Columbus mistreated the native population of Hispaniola. Here's a closer view of the statue, which has Columbus wearing a hat that almost makes it looks like he has dog ears (or Yoda ears?).


The monument was placed here in 1892 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Columbus first landing in North America. Besides the statue of Columbus, the pedestal also has a statue of an angel holding a globe. There were two pigeons who had taken over the statue that day.


We went to a museum that overlooks Central Park (spoiler alert for a future blog post!), and when we were finished I ran across the street into the park. It was raining, but despite the weather there were lots of people out jogging or just taking pictures. This is along a pathway by the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, which covers 106 acres and holds over 1,000,000,000 gallons of water. The reservoir was built in 1862 and for awhile it was actually used as a source of drinking water for the city.



Central Park is huge, containing 843 acres. Construction of the Park began in 1858, and was completed in 1873.


I can't imagine how expensive the real estate is on the buildings that overlook the park. I bet they're not that cheap.



On another trip to Central Park, we passed by Strawberry Fields, the section of the park dedicated to John Lennon (who was shot and killed in front of the nearby Dakota Building). The heart of Strawberry Fields is a mosaic, which was donated by the city of Naples. There was a large group of people surrounding the mosaic, all waiting in line to take selfies while standing over the memorial.


The next stop was The Lake, which had a few ducks floating around or just hanging out on some snow-covered rocks on the shore. In the background is the San Remo apartment building, which has been the home of celebrities ranging from Steven Spielberg, Barry Manilow, Tiger Woods, Bruce Willis and Steve Martin. Bono purchased an apartment here for $15 million from Steve Jobs (so now I know where all my money from those concert tickets is going).



The Bow Bridge, which crosses The Lake, is the largest bridge in Central Park. The cast iron bridge was completed in 1862.


Central Park is the most visited urban park in the country, with about 40 million visitors every year. It also holds the claim as the most filmed location in the world, appearing in hundreds of movies and TV shows. It can seem a little strange while walking around in New York (and also Washington DC or Chicago), because you just randomly find a building or spot that you recognize from seeing it on TV. For example, I recognized this next spot because it was on the first season of The Amazing Race.


This is the Bethesda Terrace and Fountain, which were designed to be the heart of Central Park. They were some of the first structures to be built in the Park. Construction began in 1859, and the terrace has some amazing tile work.


And one last shot of the Terrace, where you can see the fountain through the arches.


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