Travel Report: Central Park, New York City.
May 2007. When Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux began work on Central Park in the 1860s, the vast area at their disposal was little more than marshland. Their vision was simple: To build the world’s greatest park, a place that could be enjoyed by all New Yorkers, regardless of colour, class or creed. In these respects, and indeed so many others, The Big Apple’s premier green space has been a resounding success. For those seeking a simple walking route through the middle of the park, look no further than The Mall, a pretty tree-lined walkway running from 66th to 72nd street.
May 2007. Follow The Mall in either direction and you’ll soon come upon Bethesda Terrace and its fountain. Accessed by three stone staircases, today the park employs a sculptor to maintain the impressive sandstone carvings. The terrace provides wonderful views of Central Park Lake, while movie fans may remember the fountain from the movie Ransom when Mel Gibson’s onscreen son is kidnapped by Gary Sinise and friends.
May 2007. The amazing Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir was probably my favourite Central Park spot for getting shots of the NYC skyline. Holding a billion gallons of water, the now decommissioned basin is famed for the 1.58-mile running track that encircles the water. In 1994 the reservoir was named after former US first lady Jackie Onassis, who had revealed it was her favorite jogging spot.
May 2007. The handsome Delacorte Theater is an 1-800 seat open air venue that plays host to New York’s annual Shakespeare in the Park productions. If you find yourself here in the summer you should check it out as there are two usually two productions scheduled each year and tickets are free. To head straight to the theater cut into the park from 80th street on the southwest corner of The Great Lawn.
May 2007. Central Park’s fifty-five acre Great Lawn sits right in the centre of the park and is one of the most famous green spaces in the world. Open from mid April to mid November, it’s a great people-watching spot, with snacking, drinking, kite flying, soccer-playing, Frisbee-throwing, napping, studying, juggling, acrobatics and even baseball training on the eight diamond-shaped pits that run along the outer rim. I remember slumping under a tree with a salad box from a local deli and watching it all play out. The lawn also hosts concerts from time to time, with Bon Jovi, Diana Ross and Paul Simon all boasting triumphant performances.
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