This girl needs a serious foot massage! Yesterday hubby and I headed into the city to see Harry Potter: The Exhibition. It was definitely cool to see the costumes and props up close, but the long lines and crowds definitely made me antsy. I think we spent more time in line then we did viewing the exhibit. No bueno!! Needless to say, by the time we left I was definitely ready to enjoy some of the great outdoors. For those of you who’ve been to Manhattan finding serenity amidst the concrete jungle can sometimes be a difficult task, but with a little effort you can have a blissful day soaking up nature, entertainment, peace and conversation – all in one place. Welcome to Central Park.
We walked for HOURS through the park and I promise that we never saw the same place twice. It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining and even though it was a little chilly, the sun (and all the walking!) kept us warm. We entered the park at Columbus Circle and were immediately greeted by street performers. One of the performers jumped over 4 kids who were bending down touching their toes and it was so graceful too! He cleared them, but didn’t quite catch his footing when he landed. Instead of just falling, he actually slid and ended the jump rather artistically. From there we started to walk up toward Sheep’s Meadow where everyone was out playing, throwing frisbees, running around, playing baseball. We walked over to the big fountain where we were greeted by two huge groups learning to salsa dance, one man blowing giant bubbles, a beautiful wedding party and two guitarists and a marionettist with a guitar playing puppet. If you haven’t seen this famous fountain, usually sprawling with all sorts of activities, check out this video from the movie Enchanted. It shows some of Central Parks highlights and it’s also a really fun video!!
Making our way past the fountain we ducked around The Boathouse which is one of the staple restaurants in the park. It is beautifully located directly on the lake and is a popular spot for weddings and special events. In fact, the wedding party that we scoped out at the fountain was actually having their reception there! Right past the Boathouse is The Rambles. This is one of my favourite parks of the park. It is a little piece of rural hiking in the middle of the city. The trails are nicely lined with wood chips and you can get off the path a little and climb over some seriously large boulders. There are also little waterfalls and lots of nature to see. We passed quite a few people bird-watching and meditating in The Rambles. A serene place indeed!
From there we made our way up to The Great Lawn, passing the Swedish Cottage Puppet House and the Delacorte Theatre. We took a break on The Great Lawn for hula hooping and stretching and people watching as we’ve been walking for over 2 hours already!! We only stayed for a short time so that we could also work in a walk around The Reservoir. The Reservoir is HUGE and it has a wonderful running trail going all the way around it’s perimeter. The sun was starting to set at this point, so I snapped a picture before it disappeared behind the skyline completely.
Getting hungry, we started to make our way back downtown through the park, but first making sure to stop at Strawberry Fields. There is always something happening here. Usually music of some sort whether live or via radio, but almost always The Beatles, John Lennon or something equally from that era. Today it was beautifully decorated in flowers and mementos, a tribute to one of the greatest musicians of our time; John Lennon. I always get goose bumps walking through Strawberry Fields or passing The Dakota (the hotel that John Lennon called home and was ultimately the last place he was seen alive). He’s definitely left an impact for sure.
As many places that we did visit in the park, we didn’t even come close to seeing them all. It’s a really really HUGE park, but I highly suggest visiting and seeing as much of it as you can. The official Central Park website gives you tons on information and places to visit. There are also maps everywhere in the park so you never have to worry about getting lost. Definitely give yourself time though because there really is a lot to see!! After our park excursion through the park we headed down Columbus Ave, walking past the magnificent Lincoln Center and finally ending up at a lovely little Turkish restaurant called Aba. We ordered and shared several appetizers and the food was delicious! After dinner it was time to head back to Grand Central Station and home, it’s been quite a day!
Below is a little snippet from a song that I wrote called Manhattan (and the title of my blog post is some of the lyrics!) Enjoy! 🙂