Sunday, 29 November 2015

Discovering Central Park

It’s the place you’ve seen a thousand times at the cinema and on TV, but nothing is quiet like crossing from the hectic mayhem of the city into the green shelter of Central Park.

Angel of the Waters fountain

I feel like I already know the rocky mounds and leafy paths from cinemas most iconic scenes, like Kramer vs. Kramer, Angels in America and Home Alone. The real things conjures as many surprises and romantic interludes as the movies; the first colours of autumn are starting to emerge and in the distance a jazzy band are playing for dollars.

We started our explorations from the 6th Avenue entrance, bee-lining towards The Mall. Lots of people hire bikes to make the most of the extensive park, but as they’re restricted to the more main roads, we chose to walk so we could go where we pleased.

Central Park was the only place in New York where I could hear birdsong and the gentle rustle of the leaves as they flitted for berries. Gorgeous birds with fantastic blue plumage were such a treat and squirrels scurried in the trees. Venture far enough north and you’ll even find turtles beside the Great Lawn!

The Mall and Literary Walk

The Mall, my favourite spot, glows green in the sunlight, and the leaves form a canopy over the pathway which is flanked by benches. I could sit here and watch the world go by all day, but at the end it is the Bethesda Terrace beckoning me along. The Bethesda Terrace feels like the centre point of the park watched over by the angel in the fountain.

Bethesda Terrace

For a more woodland vibe, The Ramble and its intertwining network of paths are a stark contrast to the straight and wide boulevards of The Mall. This is where nature flourishes and the city is only found through breaks in the trees or the hum of the distant traffic. Eventually it will lead you to Bow Bridge and you feel like you’re in New York again.

The Lake
For everything you need to plan a day/afternoon/hour in Central Park, visit the Conservancy website or stop by the 6th Avenue kiosk for a free map and advice.