New York Journals

CENTRAL PARK - An Oasis that's not a Mirage

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A travel journal to New York by Jose Kevo

The Big Apples Eden Photo, New York, New York More Photos
Quote: Despite what you might have heard or are thinking, no trip to NYC would be complete without a visit to Central Park. This journal details a local's favorite spots and feelings about this historical, natural refuge us city dwellers would be lost without. VUELVO - I return; often as possible!

CENTRAL PARK - An Oasis that's not a Mirage

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Overview

The Big Apple's Eden Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Seasonably fashionable, Central Park yields a whole new set of beauty and experiences with each visit; especially throughout the changes of the four seasons. With 843 acres that make up this barely over one-square mile enclosure, you'll find a lot of something for everyone. Locals and tourists alike flock to the park from every walk of life to create the city's greatest 'People Watching Paradise' in what I've deemed "the largest unfenced zoo of the human species". But if it's solitude you're seeking, there's plenty of that available, too. Once stepping inside the stone walls surrounding the Park, the asphalt jungle you've abruptly left behind transforms into greenery and natural beauty p...Read More

Dining In General

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Restaurant

Dining In General Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
By far the most recognized dining place within the Park is TAVERN ON THE GREEN located along Central Park West in the upper mid-60's. The structure which houses the restaurant is one of the Park's originals from 1870 and was built as the Sheep Fold for all the woolly critters which used to grace/graze Sheep Meadow across the loop. In 1934, it was converted into Tavern restaurant serving $1.75 steaks and 25-cent pots of coffee. Don't expect to find those prices today OR come here without a reservation as it's one of NYC's most popular and pricey places. I've attended a fundraiser, staff party, and a reception here but've never leisurely dined. I am a Holiday regular for enjoying the outer courtyar...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 7, 2001

Dining In General
Within the Park
New York, New York

Central Park

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Attraction | "Safer Than You Think"

Central Park Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Originally coming from the midwest, I'm well aware of America's perception of Central Park - "It's a crime waiting to happen"! But would you believe that this vast area has the lowest crime rate of the entire city reported annually by it's own Police Precinct which patrols the Park!?! So what about the terrifying headlines which make the National News...maybe once a year? These same acts of crime occur daily in other parts of the city you'll never know OR hear about. Yet, everyone knows and has heard of Central Park. Its headlines capture your attention...just as your safely being able to fully experience it will, too! NYPD heavily and frequently patrols the park by car/motorcycle/cabbed scoo...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 7, 2001

Central Park
59th To 110th Streets Between Fifth Avenue And Central Park West
New York 10023
(212) 310-6600

Central Park Conservatory Garden

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Attraction | "The Biggest Hidden Find - Conservatory Gardens"

Central Park Conservatory Garden Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Most locals don't even know about or have experinced what I consider Central Park's greatest and most beautiful asset. The Conservatory Gardens, located at 5th Ave./105th St. in the lesser developed northern section, is a sanctuary of natural beauty within a tranquil setting I can't imagine not having at my daily disposal. Located only a few blocks from where I live in Spanish Harlem and even closer to our Youth Center, this has became a haven and anchor as a place to escape to often as possible whether lunch breaks, student conferences, doing reading/paperwork outdoors or simply excercising mindless contemplations. But don't let the location scare you off...as it has a lot of New Yorkers. Perh...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 7, 2001

Central Park Conservatory Garden
East Side from 104th-106th Streets (5th Ave.)
New York, New York

Central Park

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Attraction | "The Northern Section - Dare you NOT to Come!"

Central Park Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Most locals consider northern sections of Central Park "off limits" based on close proximity to surrounding Harlem or, at best an after thought (much as park developers did). The area between 106th-110th St. wasn't added until 13 years after original property acquisition and budget overspending on southern portions never allowed further development of the opposite end. This 140+-year old oversight has served in adding diversity and unique atmosphere you'll quickly detect if you dare venture this far up. If not taking a cab, by far the quickest/easiest/cheapest way to arrive is by the red-2/3 express subway lines exiting at 110th & Lenox/6th Ave. which puts you at the Park's northern boundary...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 7, 2001

Central Park
59th To 110th Streets Between Fifth Avenue And Central Park West
New York 10023
(212) 310-6600

Central Park

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Attraction | "The Legacies FROM Central Park"

Central Park Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
When America was barely out of colonizaion and still considered a questionable "upstart", immigrants-turned-New Yorkers set a course of history and politics that went into shaping life as we know/see it today. Wanting a grand park to rival London's Hyde and those of other European cities, a contest was held to design one for New York. Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux submitted the winning "Greensward Plan" after initial turmoil of politicians deciding where the land would come from for the park. The current space was deemed the "least loss" for future real estate development and was acquired in 1857 displacing many poor Irish and German immigrants who were "squatting" within the boundaries a...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 7, 2001

Central Park
59th To 110th Streets Between Fifth Avenue And Central Park West
New York 10023
(212) 310-6600

Central Park

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Attraction | "Believe what you DON'T see - Optical Illusions"

Central Park Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Call them architects, landscapers or just plain eccentrics, but the duo who designed and created Central Park are artists to say the least; all but magicians to come up with a plan that would not only please the people, but enhance the many limitations they'd been given to work with. My favorite of their optical illusions can unknowingly be found on "The Mall", located in the central southern portion, which is also often referred to as The Promenade or Great Literary Walk for statues of famous writers. Much like today, people from the 1800's liked to see and be seen and this portion was designed for park patrons to be dropped off in their carriages for stolls. One of the creator's greatest conce...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 7, 2001

Central Park
59th To 110th Streets Between Fifth Avenue And Central Park West
New York 10023
(212) 310-6600

Central Park

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Attraction | "Little Bo Peep & The Flock of Peops"

Central Park Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
There's a lot to see and, likely miss within Central Park...but Sheep Meadow won't be one of them. Located in the southern section, this 22-acre lawn dominates vistas and is perhaps the best-manicured, well-tended section in the Park. When it comes to warm sunny weekends, there's a NY saying - "You can't see the grass for the people"! Sheep Meadow is definitely the showcase proof of this statement as all walks of the spice of life descend upon this expansive open area to present a free "side-show" better than any performances you'll pay to see on Broadway. Tourists, don't be suprised if numbers you find are greater than your home population. Bring a blanket or sit on the grass. Keep yo...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 7, 2001

Central Park
59th To 110th Streets Between Fifth Avenue And Central Park West
New York 10023
(212) 310-6600

Central Park Summer Stage

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Attraction | "As you like it - The Live Entertainment"

Central Park Summer Stage Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Perhaps you'll remember publicity of the infamous Diana Ross concert from Central Park in the massive rains - something that even Paul Simon or Garth Brook's recent blow-outs couldn't surpass though you'd never know it by the numbers. One promoter joked there were more people on the Great Lawn, where/when these largest events are held, than in the entire state of South Dakota! It he's right, that would be 700,000! Big events in the Park capture the headlines, but you'll find forms of live entertainment everywhere without the hassling crowds. When weather's decent, you can't go far without coming across various forms of street entertainers singing, playing music, dancing, juggling or anything fo...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 7, 2001

Central Park Summer Stage
72nd Street off Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10063
+1 212 360 2777

Central Park

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Attraction | "TRIVIAL TRIVIA in case you cared to know"

Central Park Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
October 1st, 1857 was eviction day for 1,600 people who lived or squatted within the Park's newly formed boundaries. Ironically, it's believed near the same number of homeless people "live" within the Park today. Rocky terrain remaining within the Park is what was scattered around most of the island purchased in 1626 from Wappinger Algonquins for the equivalent of $24. "Manhattan" is derived from their original Native American name "Manah-atin" meaning Island of Hills in reference to the rocks our skyscrapers are embedded on. 24 Sparrow Cops were hired in 1858 to police the Park and made 228 arrest for violations of driving carriages too fast, walking on the grass, picking flowers, publi...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 7, 2001

Central Park
59th To 110th Streets Between Fifth Avenue And Central Park West
New York 10023
(212) 310-6600

Central Park Zoo

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Attraction | "America's First zoo"

Quote:
In the Park's early days, the stink about the zoo had more to do than with just smell. Original planning was to include a large zoo except no one could agree where. Manhattan Square was purchased as an initial sight and is the only official space not within park boundaries. Plans changed and the Museum of Natural History was built opening in 1877; Hayden Planetarium came later. A second plan was thwarted for the zoo to be where today's Metropolitan Museum of Art is located that opened in 1880. The park's creators were so frustrated, they even walked away from the entire project; their inablities to create an official zoo still 21-years after the Park had opened only one of many problems...or so t...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 7, 2001

Central Park Zoo
830 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10021
(212) 439-6500

Central Park

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Attraction | "A Suggested Simple Walking Tour"

Central Park Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
To showcase the best of Central Park, here's a brief itinerary to help you explore highlights without straying far from a main course: Enter from 59th St./6th Ave. and as the road begins to wind, follow the path leading uphill to the right which saves steps getting to the main loop. When you get to where the right is lined with benches, you'll be looking back to Wollman skating rink which the Plaza Hotel appears to tower over. The Chess/Checkers House is the small structure crowning the hill to the left should you want to observe or play. The small building in the valley between these two is The Dairy; another of the Park's originial structures that served fresh milk/snacks to early park goers. T...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 7, 2001

Central Park
59th To 110th Streets Between Fifth Avenue And Central Park West
New York 10023
(212) 310-6600

Central Park

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Attraction | "Tips & Information for Seasonal Highlights"

Central Park Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
As a habitual park goer, it's not an overstatement to say the daily evolution of the seasons is quite evident providing an entirely new set of vistas and experiences for each visit to Central Park...no matter how many times you might've already been there. I'd wager Spring is by far the best season. In March, daffodils and other flowers begin appearing scattered about poking their heads through late snow when necessary. Moderate temperatures begin luring NY'ers out of dreary, cramped apartments; park attendance especially swelling after the first Sunday in April and DST. The fountains get filled and drinking fountains turned on while new buds on trees/bushes cast a fresh light-green coat...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 8, 2001

Central Park
59th To 110th Streets Between Fifth Avenue And Central Park West
New York 10023
(212) 310-6600

Central Park

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Attraction | "The Jungle From Within"

Central Park Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
Aside from two-legged wildlife critters, Central Park has an amzaing variety of flora and fauna that' enough to even catch a city dweller's undeducated attention when it comes to nature. From the beginning of construction according to Olmstead and Vaux's "Greensward Plan", uninterrupted scenic/natural vistas were their main objectives - which included 40,000 cubic yards of compost and manure used on the 270,000 trees and shrubs planted within the first five years. In 1982, there were 147 different kinds of trees (not counting saplings) accounting for 24,595 trees within the Park. Pay close enough attention - you'll come across some of the obscure indentifying markers giving brief descriptions on...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 8, 2001

Central Park
59th To 110th Streets Between Fifth Avenue And Central Park West
New York 10023
(212) 310-6600

Central Park

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Attraction | "The Park in the Dark"

Central Park Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
If you're one who considers Central Park's daytime safety questionable, ignore this entry lest you set yourself up as a potential target since people can/do read each other just as animals perceive us - they sense uncertainty,...you know the rest. But for others, here's revelations for enjoying sites once the sun has gone down just as you might be suprised to see so many others doing despite how brave yet foolish you find them. One of my favorites comes at dusk around the Harlem Meer...though any body of water will do. The sky's sunset pallet provides an excellent background for all the buildings which tower over the trees lining the Park walls. As if this site isn't inspiring enough, you'll ge...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 8, 2001

Central Park
59th To 110th Streets Between Fifth Avenue And Central Park West
New York 10023
(212) 310-6600

Central Park

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Attraction | "Sports & Recreation Directory, Part One"

Central Park Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
While it would seem there's something going on everywhere you look, I'll list some of the key spots for recreation enjoyment as a participant or spectator: JOGGING - The NY Roadrunners Club have an information kiosk at the 5th Ave./89th St. entrance which is also a good place for locating the mile-half+ "natural" course circling the reservoir which is rather well lit, basically safe, and heavily used at all "decent" hours. Die-hards use the asphalt thoroughfare which loops around the Park and, by detected use, would appear safer for late-night runners. This circular route is closed to traffic except a.m./p.m. weekday rush hours. Jogging/biking lanes are marked, often crowded. Those in town the...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 9, 2001

Central Park
59th To 110th Streets Between Fifth Avenue And Central Park West
New York 10023
(212) 310-6600

Central Park

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Attraction | "Sports & Recreation Directory, Part Two"

Central Park Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
ICE SKATING - Two rinks are open from November-March with day and night sessions. Most popular is Wollman Memorial Rink along the southern boundery within view of Plaza Hotel. While larger and less expensive than Rockefeller Center rink, it's VERY crowded. In summertime, it doubles as an outdoor roller skating rink also with a miniature golf course. In the northern end off the 2/3-train 110th St. stop is Lasker Memorial rink which is least expensive, less crowded. It's also home of Harlem's youth hockey leagues. * Both rinks have snack bar facilities. Admission and skate rental are seperate with fees annually creeping upward. SWIMMING - The only public swimming pool is also a...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 9, 2001

Central Park
59th To 110th Streets Between Fifth Avenue And Central Park West
New York 10023
(212) 310-6600

Angel In Disguise...Personal Reflections

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Story/Tip

Checking the Pulse Photo, New York, New York
Quote:
During my years as a transplant New Yorker, I can't begin to imagine what life would have been like or be without knowing Central Park was just waiting at my beck and call. A survey study I participated in during the year 2000 about "Life as a New Yorker" revealed I had 165 days with time spent in the Park...whether an extended romp or just passing through. That's 64% of the year I wasn't away from the city traveling. Over time, there's been a lot contributing to this insatiable "Love at first sight and experience" affair. I'll never forget my first visit to NYC or Central Park. It was a cloudy summer Sunday with several friends. We hadn't been there long when I'd finally convinced the last o...Read More