A green space in the city
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Walking across Central
Park in New York early on a Saturday morning, you quickly become aware of a
large number of activities that take place all over this huge area of green
countryside which can be found in the centre of the city. From the south of the
park to the north, it is used by families and friends throughout the year. With
ice rinks in the winter and baseball in the summer, it is a hive of activity.
Designed in the
1860s and 1870s, it was created as a space for everyone to enjoy.
As I crossed
Central Park my first encounter was a children’s birthday party. A group of excited
youngsters had settled on the grass to be entertained by a magician. Surrounded
by parents and friends, the magician was providing a mega pack of magic for all
to enjoy. As I rounded the next corner, I came to a large expanse of grass
known as the Great Lawn where Paul Simon made his comeback in an outdoor concert.
This area was currently being utilised for a variety of baseball games. A wide range
of youngsters had come together in their favourite baseball outfits and were
now taking part in a variety of games. All kitted out accordingly, it was encouraging
to see both girls and boys taking part.
My next port of
call was the Jackie Kennedy Onassis Reservoir which is 1.58 miles in circumference.
106 acres in size, Central Park is a beautiful place to be as the sun goes down
over the Big Apple. On arriving I noticed a large number of runners and walkers
who were making their way around a wide expanse of water. Most of them were keeping
to the rules going just one way, but of course there were some rebels who
insist on jogging and walking in the opposite direction!
reservoir, the park seems to quieten down with dog walkers and joggers. Some
people were practising yoga and were meditating on the rocks that can be found
all over Central Park or hidden in the trees. Look out in the northern part of
the park for the statue of Duke Ellington.
Going back down towards
the city you will find Strawberry Fields and a shrine to the Beatle John Lennon.
The shrine just says Imagine and is visited every day by hundreds of people. Whilst
there you will probably notice a lone guitar player who plays a lot of Beatles
numbers. There are plenty of seats by the memorial and it is worth just sitting
for a few minutes and listening to the accomplished musician and singing along
with some of the famous tunes. Just across from the Dakota Building, where John
Lennon was shot in 1980, it is said to be the most visited spot in Central Park.
Park has plenty
of places to eat ranging from small snack bars to more exclusive restaurants
and cafes such as the Loeb Boathouse where you can enjoy an excellent Brunch at
the weekends. If you are willing to take a walk a few streets away from the
park you will quickly come across some very good traditional diners including
the famous Neil’s Coffee Shop in Lexington Avenue where you get great service
and a wide selection for breakfast. You must try the ‘Lumberjack’ available at
the weekends. It was started back in the 1980s and is a family business. Near
Hunter’s College they have kept many of the original features. It has a great
atmosphere and is incredibly friendly.
Staying on or
around Central Park is a good alternative from lower down in Manhattan and
there are a lot of hotels to choose from. I stayed at the Park Lane which looks
out onto the Park. Rooms are well-appointed
and you can opt for a partial or full view of Central Park. Prices vary accordingly to the room type and
season. There are plenty of subway
stations nearby and Trump
Towers is just around the
There are many other
green spaces in New York including Washington Square
Park close to Greenwich
Village to the disused overgrown rail line which has been turned
into a spectacular walkway. Known as the High Line, it was developed as a green
space from a 75-year-old railway line. The parks at the bottom of Manhattan
close to the Staten Island Ferry are also well worth exploring as are the banks
of the Hudson River further up.
Travelling around the
city is easy but do make sure you have a good pair of shoes. Expensive trainers and suits seem to be one
of the latest trends. You can always hail a yellow cab or if it is a special
occasion why not try the Super Shuttle Limo Service.
Central Park is a great place and you can easily spend several hours just watching the world go by.
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