Friday, August 8, 2008

Central Park

Get your sneakers on, we are going to walk through Central Park in Manhattan! Tied tight? Let's go!

If there is just one place you ever visit in New York City, make sure it is Central Park. Forget everything else-you must get here! On our trip we spent an entire day in the park. At 843 acres, this was not difficult to do! The idea of such beauty in the middle of a large metropolis is mind-boggling.
But, of course, before we entered the park at Central Park South we did a little window shopping at Bergdorf Goodman on Fifth Avenue. Window shopping on Fifth Avenue is an afternoon in itself! Now, now, we are NOT going inside, this store is crazy expensive!

Off we go to the entrance to the park, the carriages all lined up for a leisurely stroll...

We begin by walking along the Central Park Mall. The Mall or "Promenade" leads to the Bethesda Terrace. The park was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead in the late nineteenth century. Wealthy New Yorkers wanted a park in the middle of Manhattan reminiscent of English parks in London. 2008 is being designated as the 150th anniversary of the design of the park. Interestingly, you can catch a balloon ride over the park this summer! Sneakers on, we're opting to walk! The treed canopy of the Mall is a nice respite from the sweltering summer heat, don't you think? Can't you just see the Victorian society ladies strolling with their sun umbrellas here?
The terrain of the park is craggy and sloped...
Now we've come to the Bethesda Terrace. It overlooks the Bethesda Fountain and its sculpture, Angel of Waters, which was designed by Emma Stebbins in 1873.
A detail of one of the sculptured columns...
This neoclassical winged female figure symbolizes and celebrates the purifying of the city’s water supply when the Croton Aqueduct opened in 1842 bringing fresh water to all New Yorkers.
Speaking of fresh water, we're getting parched and hungry! Another New York institution: the Dirty Water dog. Hot dog vendors are set up all over Manhattan and there is just no hot dog better in the world than a "New York Dirty Water" dog. Steaming in water all day, they are ready and waiting for us! Of course we'll have the sauerkraut! Load it on! No self respecting New Yorker would do without it! Yes, mustard, too! Add a coke and we're set!
In the middle of the park is Belvedere Castle. This lookout over the park is also a weather station. When you ever hear on tv what the New York temperature is, it is taken at this location in Central Park.
It is also perhaps the most magical monument in Central Park, one that combines function, form and romance - all in one convenient, central location.

It was designed originally in 1865 by Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey Mould as a Victorian “Folly” (A fantasy building) that would provide an overlook to the scenic splendors around it.
Let's climb up to the top! Did you finish your hot dog? Good...up we go!

Here we are!
Look at the amazing view from here! Now we'll stop at the Conservancy, a spot to sail a motorized toy boat...
And view the Alice in Wonderland sculpture...

Yes, yes! We'll eat! I made reservations at a special spot-the Central Park Boathouse. We'll sit in the terrace! We'll order the striped bass and apple glazed pork chops, please!
Let's watch the rowers on the lake from our table...
Tummies full, we're ready to leave! Wasn't that a great day in Central Park?


M.Kate said...

Hello Tara, you make you want to go there..and one day I will..and hopefully not at my very old age, wont be able to walk too much! You have a fantastic weekend my friend :)

Tracy said...

Hi, Tara! Fantastic photos and views...thanks so much for this big postcard from NY! Happy weekend ((HUGS))

Rue said...

Hi Tara :)

I just did the whole NY tour with you. Great job! I felt like I was back there again :)

I actually have stayed at the Plaza twice, but it was before the remodel. I thought it was gorgeous and didn't understand the need for it, but that was 7 years ago, so maybe it did need it.

Loved the tour of central park too!


CIELO said...

How I would love a leisurely stroll on those romantic carriages right now!


Donna said...

What a fabulous day in Central Park. Great photos! I must admit as many times as I've been to NY, we've never done the park. Thanks for the tour!

Pat said...

I love Central Park, especially in the fall.
You did a wonderful job showing all the high lights, Tara! Did you see the polar bears and ride the carousel too?
So much to do in that wonderful oasis in the city!

Hugs, Pat

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

Donna, I've never done the park either. Tara, after I read your post I called my son who lives there and told him next time I visit we are definitely doing the park. Thank you for a wonderful post. ~ Lynn

Adrienne said...

Hi Tara -
Thanks for taking us on the tour of the park. I've always wanted to stroll through the park. Now I know what to do when I get a chance! Your photos are gorgeous and shared the beauty in the middle of the city.

pve design said...

Great walk in the park here. One of my most favorite things while we lived in the city was the "slide" which my little one's loved. Looks like a great time!
Hope to see you soon....

Life on Bonnie Lane said...

Wow, what a beautiful oasis in a busy bustling city! You hear about Central Park all the time, but it was fun getting to see it up close!


Shannon (Faith and Chocolate) said...

Wow, Tara! What a "stroll"... thank you so much for taking us on this little walk. It's beautiful.. nice photos!

Cottage Contessa said...

How AWESOME! Tara sweetie I am sitting here completely GREEN with envy! What an amazing place! Thanks for taking me along too!
Amanda (aka Cottage Contessa)

Rhondi said...

Thanks for the tour of Central Park. I've been there a few times. It is amazing and I especially like the way it is so well used by everyone.

LynnW said...

Hi Tara-
Thank you for your lovely and informative hometown travelog.
I learned some new things about NYC today. The photos were wonderful as well as your commentary. Next time I come to New York, I'm going to take your itinerary along.