Central Park brings back memories of my children at the ages of one and three, Jen at one and Mike at three traveled by subway with me and three or four other kids to walk in different parts of the park on Sunday afternoons when no traffic is allowed.
Straight from the wilds of southern New Jersey and South Brooklyn, they were new urban dwellers who each week revelled in the splendor of the different sites and the interesting people populating the park. From the roller-bladers weaving in and around other skaters or bikers, to the talented artists and mimes, the park comes alive with the diverse culture of the city.
It would take three or four very long posts to give you the proper history and description of each part of Central Park, the neighborhoods it borders and the events it hosts.
Central Park is a great tourist attraction, and a staple in many motion pictures and television shows.
Show the kids a fun afternoon in our fair city, spend Sunday walking the acres of land.
Tour with a horse-drawn buggy, eat at one of their best eateries, in particular, Tavern On The Green and grab the reigns of a technicolor carousel horse.
Originally crafted in 1908 by Solomon Stein and Harry Goldstein, the current Carousel is one of the nation’s largest merry-go-rounds, featuring 57 hand-carved horses and two decorative chariots. While still in working condition, it is over 100 years old and has undergone many rounds of repair and maintenance.
In 1982, a donation from Alan and Katherine Stroock went to the cause and the Central Park Conservancy also restored the surrounding area and plaza with an upgrade in 1990. Currently, the organization is still working to make sure each individual horse is also restored.
Alice In Wonderland: Margarita Delacorte Memorial [Unveiled 1959]
Sculptor: José de Creeft 1884-1982 • Spain Gift of publisher and philanthropist, George Delacorte (1893-1991) in honor of his late wife, Margarita.
Visitors from all over the world stop to marvel at the larger than life-size sculpture of Alice, from Lewis Carroll’s 1865 fantasy classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Here in Central Park she sits high upon a giant
mushroom overlooking the Conservatory Water and presiding over an eternal tea party to which she has invited all the children of the world.
Surrounding Alice, this bronze ensemble of characters also includes the White Rabbit looking at his watch, the insane Mad Hatter, the Dormouse nibbling on a tidbit, the Cheshire Cat perched in a tree, and Alice’s kitten Dinah playing on her lap.
A favorite of children, the mushrooms and figures have become smooth and polished over the years as pint-sized feet have climbed over them to the top of this 11 foot structure while using their tiny fingers to grab hold of Alice’s hand or the Hare’s ears for support. The sculptor also included plaques with inscriptions from Carroll’s “The Jabberwocky,” in a granite circle surrounding this unique sculpture …
Central Park, which has been a National Historic Landmark since 1963, was designed by landscape designer and writer Frederick Law Olmsted and the English architect Calvert Vaux in 1858 after winning a design competition. They also designed Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.
The park, which receives approximately thirty-five million visitors annually, is the most visited urban park in the United States. It was opened on 770 acres (3.1 km2) of city-owned land and was expanded to 843 acres (3.41 km2; 1.317 sq mi). It is 2.5 miles (4 km) long between 59th Street (Central Park South) and 110th Street (Central Park North), and is 0.5 miles (0.8 km) wide between Fifth Avenue and Central Park West. It is similar in size to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, Chicago’s Lincoln Park, Vancouver’s Stanley Park, and Munich’s Englischer Garten.
Central Park is bordered on the north by West 110th Street, on the south by West 59th Street, on the west by Eighth Avenue, and on the east by Fifth Avenue.
Along the park’s borders however, these are known as Central Park North, South and West, respectively. Only Fifth Avenue retains its name as it delineates the eastern border of the park.
If you have the chance to take a Sunday stroll along its grassy slopes and around its magical tree lined pathways, by all means do so. Bring a blanket, a picnic lunch, a camera and enjoy one of the prettiest locations in The Big Apple.
What is your favorite place to spend a quiet Sunday with the family?
fOIS In The City