I've always wanted to visit Central Park. Always. Obviously, we visited a section of it yesterday - and it was beautiful - but today's visit was to some of the more famous sections of the park. It was really exciting :) We walked for a good couple of hours (my feet aren't entirely convinced that it wasn't a good several hours), and had a marvelous time. It was Saturday, so there were a lot of people out at the park, but I really think that just made the whole thing that much better :)
The afternoon started with another trip on the subway. Yep. Still find the subway super exciting :)
So. We went to the section of the park us locals refer to as 'the 70s'. That's because it's in the horizontal strip of the park located around 72nd Street. We entered the park at 72nd street over on the West Side, and walked in a big circle through to the east side, down to 65th street, and back across and up again, so we exiting at the same spot we entered - Strawberry Fields.
Strawberry Fields is across the road from The Dakota - which is a beautiful (and very fancy) apartment building that's famous for a few different reasons - primary among them being that John Lennon was shot and killed as he exited the building. Yoko still lives there apparently :) And of course, Strawberry Fields is the place with the John Lennon 'Imagine' monument on the ground. It's a relatively small tiled plaza spelling 'Imagine', with a TON of people placing a TON of flowers on the monument, and a bunch of buskers playing Beatles songs :) Very iconic.
I should take a moment to give you a very quick side note: TONS of buskers all over this city. And almost all of them are incredibly talented. Opera singers in the subways etc. etc. Always enjoy listening to them.
So from Strawberry Fields we headed up to Cherry Hill - which has lots of Cherry Trees, and is right by the lake. When you see someone in a rowboat on a lake in Central Park (in a movie of course), this is the lake they're filming on. Of course, when there's not a film company paying so that you can be the only rowboat on the lake, you're one of MANY rowboats :) The lake was FULL! But I can still imagine that it's incredibly romantic :) And of course we walked over the bridge (famous as the place where Brecken took the photo of mum and dad looking like refugees from a tiny Eastern European country...). Loved it!
This is also where Justin and Reuben tried to have some fun with the boomerang that I brought for Justin. It was just too crowded for them to actually throw it properly, but luckily Reuben didn't know any better, so he was completely contended with some really sissy little boomerang throws :)
Next on the list was Bethesda Terrace. This is Brecken's favourite part of CP, and I can see why. It was really beautiful and very iconic. It has the boathouse from 27 dresses, the fountain from Enchanted (and a million other NY-centric movies), and the 100 year old reception centre where Brecken took some family photos recently (I think you'll recognize it). Unfortunately, the fountain was been renovated, so it was drained and covered in scaffolding. We did spend some time here taking photos though, and also spent a while watching a small group of hip-hop dancers who were very funny, and who had drawn a huge crowd of people - over a hundred I would say. Brecken says they're there every Saturday, and they perform at the bottom of a very large and wide staircase between the terrace and the upper road. So the crowd was in a ring around the stage area, as well as all the way up on the stairs, and lining the bridge up above. It was a lot of fun to watch them for a while, and they were very funny :) Then we took a bunch of phtos in the terrace:
Next on the list was the Conservatory Waters - which is the big pond where all the kids sale the remote control little sailboats. I recognized it from a movie - but can't remember which movie it was :) Anyone?! This is also where the big Hans Christian Anderson and Alice in Wonderland statues are. They were wonderful, and had kids crawling all over them :)
From there we walked on to The Mall, which is a beautiful big garden walk with the world's largest concentrate of American Elm trees. (Sidenote: I think we should all be a little concerned for the world's American Elm trees, because there was a nice gathering of them there, but it certainly didn't seem substantial enough to be the 'worlds greatest gathering' of them....). The great thing about The Mall was that it was set out to be a giant outdoor cathedral, so the trees are planted where the arches would be, and the floor plan for the park is a giant cross (lowercase t) shape. Very pretty.
We went down past the sheep meadow, and along some more walking paths before finally exiting out at The Dakota again. Such a wonderful afternoon with sunshine and beauty and excellent company :)
We then went to Dallas BBQ for dinner and had a giant feast - effectively putting back on every calorie we lost on our trek through Central Park :)
When we got home, we put the boys to bed, and we watched the latest episode of Bones on Hulu. If there's a better way to finish off a day, I don't know what it is.
REALLY love Central Park :)