Friday, August 8, 2008

Central Park

You may have noticed I have a thing for NYC parks. When the concrete and noise become overwhelming the parks become our refuge. Believe it or not, New York City has 29,000 acres of parkland across our five boroughs. Central Park, at 843 acres, isn't the largest (Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx, 2,765 acres, wins that one) but at 25 million visitors a year it is the most active.

There's much to see in Central Park. The Lake (actually seven lakes), Bethesda Terrace, the Boathouse, Strawberry Fields, Tavern on the Green, Harlem Meer, The Mall and Literary Walk to name a few. All the statues. So how do you see Central Park like a native? Grab a lunch, enter the park at 5th Avenue and 59th Street, take a seat on a bench by The Pond and relax. On a weekend from Spring to early Fall enter the park at 103rd Street and Central Park West and walk to the North Meadow to watch high level baseball and some not-so-high-level softball games. The games move to the Great Lawn after Labor Day. On summer nights, if you can't get a ticket to Shakspeare in the Park, climb the steps to Belvedere Castle and listen to Hamlet coming from the Delacorte Theatre. Take the kids to one of the 21 children's playgrounds around the park or to see a show at the Marionette Theatre in the Swedish Cottage by West 79th Street. And to answer your question, yes, it's safe. A, B, C, D, F, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 trains depending on which part of the park you're going to. Walkable from most midtown hotels. Nearby - Metropolitan Museum of Art, Plaza Hotel, 5th Avenue. Photo by Tour Guide Mark.

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