Thursday, December 12, 2013

One of the Best place in New York for Biking, City walk sightseeing, Walking, Cross-country skiing,
Swimming, Bird watching, Tennis, Rock climbing, Inline skating and Getting married.

Central Park is a public park at the center of Manhattan in New York City. The park initially opened in 1857, on 778 acres of city-owned land. In 1858, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux won a design competition to improve and expand the park with a plan they entitled the Greensward Plan. Construction began the same year, continued during the American Civil War, and was completed in 1873. Central Park is the most visited urban park in the United States.

Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1962, the park is currently managed by the Central Park Conservancy under contract with the city government. The Conservancy is a non-profit organization that contributes 83.5% of Central Park's $37.5 million annual budget, and employs 80.7% of the park's maintenance staff.

Rev: "We only saw a sliver of the park, but the skating rink was open, and the view of the city at night was one of my favorite parts of the trip! Next time I hope to spend more time there."
Central Park, which has been a National Historic Landmark since 1962, was designed by landscape architect and writer Frederick Law Olmsted and the English architect Calvert Vaux in 1858 after winning a design competition. They also designed Brooklyn's Prospect Park. Central Park is one of the most famous sightseeing spots in New York. It is bordered on the north by Central Park North, on the south by Central Park South, on the west by Central Park West, and on the east by Fifth Avenue. Only Fifth Avenue along the park's eastern border retains its name; the other streets bordering the park (110th Street, 59th Street, and Eighth Avenue, respectively) change names while they are adjacent to the park.

Rev: "Ice skating amazing, expensive but what a memory. Alice in Wonderland worth seeing Loeb Boathouse restaurant is spectacular Strawberry Fields is strangely humbling."
The park, which receives approximately thirty-five million visitors annually, is the most visited urban park in the United States. It was opened on 770 acres of city-owned land and was expanded to 843 acres . It is 2.5 miles long between 59th Street (Central Park South) and 110th Street (Central Park North), and is 0.5 miles wide between Fifth Avenue and Central Park West. Its size and cultural position, similar to Munich's Englischer Garten and London's Hyde Park, has served as a model for many urban parks, including San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, Tokyo's Ueno Park, and Vancouver's Stanley Park .

Rev: "What a great way to cap off a 4-day trip - a relaxing walk through Central Park on my last day, after having been in pouring rain, sunshine, and freezing wind, it started to snow just as I entered the park. The sky was a bright white, and as the snow started to stick, a light blanket began to cover the fields of the Park, covering it in a peaceful beauty. I got some wonderful photos. Christmastime in NYC is magical!"
The park is maintained by the Central Park Conservancy, a private, not-for-profit organization that manages the park under a contract with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, in which the president of the Conservancy is ex officio Administrator of Central Park. Today, the conservancy employs four out of five maintenance and operations staff in the park. It effectively oversees the work of both the private and public employees under the authority of the Central Park administrator (publicly appointed), who reports to the parks commissioner, conservancy's president.

As of 2007, the conservancy had invested approximately $450 million in the restoration and management of the park; the organization presently contributes approximately 85% of Central Park’s annual operating budget of over $37 million.

Rev: "Find Steven. Take his long bicycle cart tour. He know it all and it was very fun. Never saw Central Park like this before. find him near Columbus Circle."
The system was functioning so well that in 2006 the conservancy created the Historic Harlem Parks initiative, providing horticultural and maintenance support and mentoring in Morningside Park, St. Nicholas Park, Jackie Robinson Park, and Marcus Garvey Park. While planting and land form in much of the park appear natural, it is in fact almost entirely landscaped. The park contains several natural-looking lakes and ponds that have been created artificially, extensive walking tracks, bridle paths, two ice-skating rinks (one of which is a swimming pool in July and August), the Central Park Zoo, the Central Park Conservatory Garden, a wildlife sanctuary, a large area of natural woods, a 106-acre billion-gallon reservoir with an encircling running track, and an outdoor amphitheater, the Delacorte Theater, which hosts the "Shakespeare in the Park" summer festivals.

Rev: "This was really fun. I loved the experience especially getting out of the hustle of Time Square. Christmastime is an awesome time to visit NYC, but it is really crowded."
Indoor attractions include Belvedere Castle with its nature center, the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre, and the historic Carousel. In addition there are seven major lawns, the "meadows", and many minor grassy areas; some of them are used for informal or team sports and some set aside as quiet areas; there are a number of enclosed playgrounds for children. The six miles of drives within the park are used by joggers, bicyclists, skateboarders, and inline skaters, especially when automobile traffic is prohibited, on weekends and in the evenings after 7:00 pm.

As crime has declined in the park and in the rest of New York City, many former negative perceptions have waned. The park has its own New York City Police Department precinct (the Central Park Precinct), which employs both regular police and auxiliary officers. In 2005, safety measures held the number of crimes in the park to fewer than one hundred per year (down from approximately 1,000 in the early 1980s). The New York City Parks Enforcement Patrol also patrols Central Park.
There are four different types of bedrock in Manhattan. In Central Park, Manhattan schist and Hartland schist, which are both metamorphosed sedimentary rock, are exposed in various outcroppings. The other two types, Fordham gneiss (an older deeper layer) and Inwood marble (metamorphosed limestone which overlays the gneiss), do not surface in the park. Fordham gneiss, which consists of metamorphosed igneous rocks, was formed a billion years ago, during what is known as the Grenville orogeny that occurred during the creation of an ancient super-continent.

It is the oldest rock in the Canadian Shield, the most ancient part of the North American tectonic plate. Manhattan schist and Hartland schist were formed in the Iapetus Ocean during the Taconic orogeny in the Paleozoic era, about 450 million years ago.

Rev: "Great in all seasons: just stroll at your own pace through out the park: the skaters, the carriages, the joggers, the street musicans--always something interesting to see and hear"
During this period the tectonic plates began to move toward each other, which resulted in the creation of the supercontinent, Pangaea. Cameron's Line is a fault zone that traverses Central Park on an east-west axis. Various glaciers have covered the area of Central Park in the past, with the most recent being the Wisconsin glacier which receded about 12,000 years ago. Evidence of past glaciers are visible throughout the park in the form of glacial erratics (large boulders dropped by the receding glacier) and north-south glacial striations visible on stone outcroppings.

Rev: "Last day in NYC, took a walk through the park to get away from the noise of the city. Traffic not permitted on Sat and Sun. Saxophones, street performers, artists, and some street peddlers around but not over abundant. Grand staircase was much photographed. The fountain was not operating due to the temperature."
Central Park, home to over 25,000 trees, has a stand of 1,700 American Elms, one of the largest remaining stands in the northeastern U.S., protected by their isolation from Dutch Elm Disease which devastated the tree throughout its native range. A partial listing of the tree species found in Central Park, both natives and exotics:

  1. Acer campestre Hedge maple
  2. Acer ginnala Amur maple
  3. Acer palmatum Japanese maple
  4. Acer platanoides Norway maple
  5. Acer pseudoplatanus Sycamore maple
  6. Acer saccharinum Silver maple 
  7. Platanus occidentalis American Sycamore
  8. Quercus alba White Oak
  9. Quercus palustris Pin oak
  10. Quercus rubra Red Oak
  11. Robinia pseudoacacia Black Locust
  12. Taxodium distichum Bald Cypress
  13. Tilia americana Basswood or American Linden
Rev: "Overall, my favorite thing in NYC besides the Christmas decorations in Rockefeller! I would love to come back to central park in the warmer months to finish exploring it. I just loved the feeling of being in there, it was like another world away from the city. It is definitely a nice breather after waling through crowded streets. You can get some very cool pictures in there."
Sculpture: A total of twenty-nine sculptures by sculptors such as Augustus Saint-Gaudens, John Quincy Adams Ward, and Emma Stebbins, have been erected over the years, most have been donated by individuals or organizations. Much of the first statuary placed was of authors and poets, in an area now known as Literary Walk. Some of the sculptures are:

"Angel of the Waters" at Bethesda Terrace by Emma Stebbins (1873), was the first large public sculpture commission for an American woman.

Balto: a 1925 statue of the sled dog who became famous during the 1925 serum run to Nome.

King Jagiello bronze monument on the east end of Turtle Pond.

Rev: "We took some great family photos here. Even in the winter, it is still beautiful. There were carriage rides and a small craft fair going on."
Duke Ellington: created by sculptor Robert Graham was dedicated in 1997 near Fifth Avenue and 110th Street, in the Duke Ellington Circle.

Cleopatra's Needle: is a red granite obelisk. The "Cleopatra's Needle" in Central Park is one of three; there also is one in Paris and one in London, which is one of a pair with the New York obelisk. Each obelisk is approximately 68–69 feet tall and weigh about 180 tons. They originally were erected at the Temple of Ra, in Heliopolis, in Ancient Egypt around 1450 B.C. by pharaoh Thutmose III. The hieroglyphs were inscribed about two hundred years later by pharaoh Rameses II to glorify his military victories. The obelisks were all moved during the reign of Roman emperor Augustus Caesar when Ancient Egypt was under the control of Rome. They were brought to Alexandria and erected as tribute to Julius Caesar, in front of the Caesarium, a temple originally built by Cleopatra VII of Egypt in honor of Mark Antony, thus the name "Cleopatra's Needle.
There are two versions of how the Central Park Cleopatra's Needle made its way to Central Park: either it was a gift from the Khedive of Egypt, Isma'il Pasha, or it was stolen through the machinations of William H. Vanderbilt who paid the tab to have the obelisk shipped to New York and erected. The obelisk arrived in New York in July 1880; it took thirty-two horses hitched in sixteen pairs to pull the obelisk to the park. It was erected in an official ceremony on January 22, 1881.

Rev: "Every time we've been in New York we make a point of going to the park. This time we did it by mistake in the dark whilst trying to find the balloon inflations for the parade! We went back a few days later on the weekend and it was a different place - visitors and locals all in there together...children, dogs, runners, skaters. Was a great atmosphere and you can go for miles if you want to by following the running track up to the reservoir etc. We stuck around the middle this time as we had already seen "imagine" etc. Still love it. Trees still had some leaves on and it was lovley and crisp. Have a hot dog and a coke while you're at it....if you go in summer grab something from the deli and enjoy eating it in the park! Cant wait to go again!"
Strawberry Fields: On October 9, 1985, on what would have been John Lennon's 45th birthday, New York City dedicated 2.5 acres to his memory. Countries from all around the world contributed trees, and Italy donated the iconic Imagine mosiac. It has since become the sight of impromptu memorial gatherings for other notables and, in the days following the September 11, 2001 attacks, candlelight vigils were held there.

The Gates: For sixteen days in 2005 (February 12–27), Central Park was the setting for Christo and Jeanne-Claude's installation The Gates. Although the project was the subject of very mixed reactions (and it took many years for Christo and Jeanne-Claude to get the necessary approvals), it was nevertheless a major, if temporary, draw for the park.
Birds: The first official list of birds observed in Central Park was drawn up by Augustus G. Paine, Jr.. Paine was an avid hobby ornithologist and, together with his friend Lewis B. Woodruff, drew up a list of birds counting 235 species. This was regarded as the first official list and was published in Forest and Stream on June 10, 1886. An article in The New Yorker on August 26, 1974 calls attention to this early list. Over the decades the list has been updated and changed.

The park is frequented by various migratory species of birds during their Spring and Fall migration on the Atlantic Flyway. Over a quarter of all the bird species found in the United States have been seen in Central Park. One of these species is the Red-tailed hawk, which re-established a presence in the park when a male hawk known as Pale Male for his light coloration, nested on a building on Fifth Avenue, across the street from the park. He became a local media celebrity and a prolific breeder. Central Park was the site of the misguided unleashing of European starlings in North America, a native of Eurasia which has become an invasive species.
In April, 1890, eighty birds were released by Eugene Schieffelin, and the following March another eighty; these one hundred and sixty birds are the progenitors of the flocks which now span the United States and parts of Canada.

  1. Raccoon (Procyon lotor): nocturnal tree dwellers that come down to ground level to feed at night, have become extremely common in Central Park in recent years, prompting the Parks Department to post rabies warnings around certain areas.
  2. Eastern gray squirrel, or grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), is a tree squirrel in the genus Sciurus native to the eastern and mid-western United States.
  3. Eastern Chipmunk (Tamias striatus): although not commonly sighted, there are chipmunks in Central Park.
  4. Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana): a nocturnal marsupial that rests in trees during the day and searches for food on the ground at night.
  5. Arthropods: In 2002 a new genus and species of centipede (Nannarrup hoffmani) was discovered in Central Park. At about 0.4 inches long, it is one of the smallest centipedes in the world.
Each summer, City Parks Foundation offers Central Park Summerstage, a series of free performances including music, dance, spoken word, and film presentations. SummerStage celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary in 2010. Throughout its history Summerstage has welcomed emerging artists and world renowned artists, including Celia Cruz, David Byrne, Curtis Mayfield, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, George Clinton and the P-Funk All Stars, and Nobel Laureate and Pulitzer winner Toni Morrison, Femi Kuti, Seun Kuti, Pulitzer winner Junot Diaz, Vampire Weekend, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company, and many more.

Rev: "I come here a lot just to walk around and clear my mind. There are some crowded areas, but if you want to get away from the crowded streets of NYC, then I would say Central Park would be the place to go. There is also an ice skating rink, bike rentals, and a lot of other activities available in the park."
With the revival of the city and the park in the new century, Central Park has given birth to arts groups dedicated to performing in the park, notably Central Park Brass, which performs an annual concert series and the New York Classical Theatre, which produces an annual series of plays. Central Park was home to the famed New York City restaurant Tavern on the Green which was located on the park's grounds at Central Park West and West 67th Street. Tavern on the Green had its last seating on December 31, 2009 before closing its doors.

Central Park is surrounded by four roadways: Central Park North, Central Park South, Central Park West, and Fifth Avenue.

Rev: "This is the second time myself and my wife have visited New York and we made sure we visited Central Park again. It's great having a stroll around and having a look where movies were filmed, seeing some performers and all the wildlife. Wanted to ice skate but being December the queues were to long. Visited the strawberry fields memorial was nice as well."
There are four plazas on each corner of the park: Frederick Douglass Circle on the northwest, Duke Ellington Circle on the northeast, Columbus Circle at the southwest, and Grand Army Plaza at the southeast. There are also four transverse roadways: 65th–66th Streets, 79th–81st Streets, 86th Street, and 96th Street. The park has three roadways that travel it vertically: West Drive, Center Drive, and East Drive.

The Central Park Medical Unit is an all-volunteer ambulance service that provides free emergency medical service to patrons of Central Park and the surrounding streets. It operates a rapid-response bicycle patrol, particularly during major events such as the New York City Marathon, the 1998 Goodwill Games, and concerts in the park. Central Park constitutes its own United States census tract, number 143. According to Census 2000, the park's population is eighteen people, twelve male and six female, with a median age of 38.5 years, and a household size of 2.33, over 3 households. However Central Park officials have rejected the claim of anyone permanently living there. Central Park is the most filmed location in the world.

Rev: "The park is lovely, you can walk for hours and not come across the same spot, most definitely worth a visit."


Leave a Reply

Subscribe to Posts | Subscribe to Comments

- Copyright © Wonders Of The World - Free xml sitemap generator -