As I said in the previous article, 6 hours in New York, Central Park is definitely my dream park. Unfortunately, I didn’t visit it in all seasons, so I wasn’t able to enjoy the park being dressed in autumn colors, or see how nature revives in the springtime.
However, I did visit the park in summer and in winter, even during Christmas, so, overall, I had enough reasons to enjoy the things that the most visited urban park in the world has to offer.
My visits to New York have always been quite short, but I always managed to make some time for the lungs of Manhattan (as they call Central Park for good reason). I collected 20 photos that I made with my iPhone or my camera and I want to show them to you too.
The Mall: I’m sure that this is a path you probably all know, even if you have never visited Central Park because it has appeared in many films. The American Elms stand in a straight line on each side of the alley, creating a splendid canopy above the green benches.
Each tree is monitored by the Central Park Conservancy. New Yorkers love to walk here during the summer days, because the shadow drops the temperature significantly, so the air becomes much more breathable.
The southern end of The Mall is called Literary Walk due to the number of statues of some of the most prominent writers.
In Central Park take place many marriage proposals, but also sessions for wedding photos, or even mini parties with all sorts of occasions. For example, in one of my visits, a few wedding guests were gathered in this beautiful gazebo to celebrate.
The Pond: this is probably the first thing you’ll notice entering the park from the North. It’s one of the seven naturalistic water bodies of Central Park and is highly valued by the ducks who love to swim here under the curious eyes of tourists. Also, right next to The Pond you can see the Gapstow Bridge.
The cute squirrels: They are absolutely all over the place, and they are so familiar with people, that they will come to you asking for food without any fear. Therefore, if you happen to have some almonds, I think they will be glad to share.
Bethesda Terrace: It makes the connection between The Mall and The Lake. This place is also very famous. If you’re a fan of Gossip Girl, you definitely noticed it in one of the episodes, because it’s the place where Blair and Chuck got married.
Bethesda Fountain is a beautiful architectural work, home to a few water lilies. The attraction of this fountain is the statue called Angel of the Waters, symbolizing purity and health.
Activities that occur every day in Central Park, include, besides jogging, reading and relaxing on the grass in Sheep Meadow, short walks with your dog.
Central Park has several beautiful gardens filled with flowers of all kinds. Of these, the best known are the Shakespeare Garden and Conservatory Garden.
Wollman Rink: It is a gift offered by Kate Wollman and was inaugurated in 1950. Since then, it has become a tradition for New Yorkers to skate here in every winter. Thanks to the superb panorama, the rink has also appeared in acclaimed movies such as Love Story (1970) or Serendipity (2001).
You just can’t make the most of Central Park, until you walk hand in hand with your lover while enjoying your Starbucks coffee together.
The Lake: The easiest way to get here is if you come from the North entrance, crossing The Mall and going down the stairs to Bethesda Fountain. With an area of 22 acres, it certainly is the largest of Central Park’s naturalistic water bodies. Although it may seem very natural, you should know that this, along with the rest of the park was created by a team formed of designer Frederick Law Olmstead and architect Calvert Vaux.
Since I mentioned The Lake, I need to also mention the most beautiful bridge that stands over it. It’s Bow Bridge, the most photographed bridge in Central Park. You can get to it walking or passing under, by boat.
This bridge had been also featured in many famous movies, such as Manhattan (1979), Made of Honor (2008), Night at the Museum (2006), Romeo and Juliet (1908), Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) etc.
I walked through this beautiful park in the daylight, evening, at dusk and in the night, when I had the pleasure to meet a family of raccoons, hidden under one of the 36 bridges in the park.
I recommend you taking a walk through the park in the moonlight. It is fabulous and you will have wonderful views of Manhattan’s skyline.
Central Park in numbers:
- 843 acres (6% of Manhattan’s total acreage)
- 4 km long and 800 meters wide
- 9 000 benches
- 36 bridges
- 21 playgrounds
- 275 species of migratory birds
- 125 drinking fountains
- 40 million tourists each year