It’s hard to imagine New York City having a rural haven in the middle of #Manhattan, but that is exactly what Central Park provides…843 #acres of green space has been #landscaped to transport its #visitors from a congested, loud #city to a quiet, #picturesque world. Since its design in 1858 by Frederick Olmested and Calvert Vaux, the park has had its ups and downs with upkeep and growth, and the latest attempt at #conservation has been a 10 year campaign launched by the Central Park Conservancy called Forever Green. Stretching from 59th St. to 110th St. in between Central Park West and 5th Avenue, there are endless points of interest and activities that play their part in the massive retreat. Winding #paths, #bridges, #fountains, a #castle, and a #zoo are just some of the distractions it offers to the over 25 million people that visit it every year.
My son and I had been in the city for the American #Museum of Natural History, and we decided to walk through the park on our way to Times Square after the visit. Since I’m from out of town I had to keep Googling where we were, and what would we be able to view in certain sections as we passed, but we got to see a lot in our hour and a half walk…there were so many bodies of #water, #statues, and live #performances that I was surprised we made it out that quickly. One of my favorite stops was at the #Bethesda Fountain, a modest singular statue fountain, but very pretty all the same. It was created and designed by Emma Stubbins, the first woman to receive a sculptural commission in New York City, and was meant to commemorate the Croton water system that brought in fresh water to the city. It sits in what is now known as Bethesda Terrace, an area that provides two grand #staircases, bi-level #terrace views of The Lake, and a beautiful multi-arched #underpass.
Our limited time in the #park produced a pleasant sensory overload with the #crowds and constant activity along the way. Watching people on the water was #relaxing, while watching a group of young men put on a stunt show provided #entertainment…there were #hills, #steps and natural #formations to climb, places to grab #food and #drink, #history to be learned, and #sports games to watch. There are five visitors centers to check out, one of them being the #Belvedere Castle, a sprawling mini castle that provides the highest views of the park, and our time there made me want to plan an all day #trip just to #explore what I missed. A #visit to their zoo would be a must, as well as the Conservatory Garden and The Obelisk, so I look forward to those next time…I love that #NewYorkCity is someplace I can take my son to for one activity, but allows me to add in so many other elements to the day that it feels like it’s a brand new #destination every time.