A Walk Through Central Park

Our Saturday in NYC started out bright and sunny--perfect for a stroll through Central Park.  After a bowl of oats, Brigid and I set out to explore.

I read the end of Devil in the White City:  Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America on my flight to NYC, so I walked into the park with at least one fun fact.  Frederick Law Olmsted, the chief landscape architect at the Chicago World Fair of 1893 (the "White City"), had also designed Central Park in Manhattan.  

Thoroughfare of Central Park

Although Olmsted is gone, the pastoral beauty he envisioned is still here.  As we walked, I snapped a few pictures of flowers blooming in the late April sun and trees budding with pops of green.

Spring has sprung!

Cherry blossoms

A while later, we found ourselves at the foot of the Bethesda Fountain.  After a little post-trip Googling, I found out why the fountain bears this name.  In 1842, an aqueduct was opened to supply the city with fresh water.  The sculptor of the copper angel, Emma Stebbins, drew a biblical parallel (source), which led to the fountain's name:

Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called... Bethesda... whoever then first after the troubling of the waters stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.
— John 5: 2-4

Pond beyond the Bethesda Fountain

Although Brigid is a park regular, she hadn't been to Strawberry Fields, the park's memorial to John Lennon.  We found our way to the site, which is a bit removed from the flurry of park's runners and bikers.  It's peaceful and meditative, and benches surround this round mosaic.


John Lennon memorial at Strawberry Fields

You may say that I’m a dreamer; but i’m not the only one
— John Lennon, Imagine

Next, Brigid led us to her favorite part of the park--the Shakespeare Gardens, which is bursting with colorful flowers.  The observant will also find little bronze plaques, holding some of the playwright's famous quotes.

Shakespeare Gardens

We wandered up the hill of the gardens to find the entrance to the Belvedere Castle.  I don't know about you, but I had no idea that there was a castle in Central Park?!  It was designed by Olmsted's partner and co-designer of Central Park, Calvert Vaux.  The castle looks out over the reservoir and great lawn, and affords great views of the city buildings peaking above the trees in the distance.

Me, in front of the Belvedere Castle

Brigid, looking fly

Almost forgetting that we're in NYC!

The walk through the park tired us out, but we still had lots to see!  Good thing the Cloisters is a good 30 minute metro ride north of the park--we were able to rest our feet for a hot minute!

Stay tuned for our tour of the Cloisters..


More New York Memories

More New York Memories