One of my favorite things about New York City are its many parks, especially Central Park. In the middle of Manhattan is a forest, where locals and tourists come together to enjoy nature. It takes up 843 acres or 3.4 square kilometers of New York. There are so many things to see and do in Central Park. Today I am going to give you a guide through Central Park.
Lets start at the bottom (the south) and work our way up. In the southwest corner of Central Park you can find Columbus Circle, this is a traffic roundabout and a lot of trains stop here. When you enter the park here you will see a lot of people sitting on the grass under trees or in the sun. Some are sitting alone and some are with other people, some are young and others are older. From here you get a beautiful view of the New York’s skyline. If you walk a little further north to around 63rd Street, you will find some baseball fields, where there are always people playing a game. East of the baseball fields is the Central Park Zoo. I have not been there and I have heard it is not really worth going to. If you really want to visit a zoo, I suggest you go to the Bronx Zoo. It is amazing.
We are going further north to 72nd Street. Close to the west entrance at 72nd Street are the Strawberry Fields, where people remember John Lennon. This is where you can find ‘Imagine’ on the ground and many people bring flowers to lay on the sign. You can listen to artists singing and playing songs of John Lennon and it really is a special place. He was before my time, but the atmosphere here is great and you can really feel the energy that brings people to this place.
West of the Strawberry Fields, you can find Bethesda Terrace and Fountain. This place is the background for a lot of movies and series. It is really touristy, so if you quietly want to enjoy a book, this is not the place to go. From here you can walk to the Bow Bridge and the Loeb Boathouse in a minute. These places are also very busy with tourists taking pictures. If you want you can rent a boat and take pictures of the Bow Bridge from the water.
When you cross the Bow Bridge you will walk into The Ramble, where you can get lost in nature and can get away from the busy streets of Manhattan. Because of the many plants and trees this is also called the “wild garden”. The paths in this area are a lot narrower than in the rest of the park and there are no lawns to sit down to enjoy a book or magazine, but if you come to New York you should definitely take you time to explore this part of Central Park. North of The Ramble is the Belvedere Castle which looks out over the Turtle Pond and the Great Lawn. There is not really a lot to see here besides the view.
You can find the Great Lawn between 81st Street and 86th Street in the middle of Central Park. This is a really popular spot with the locals during the summer. You can enjoy a baseball game here or just sit on the lawn with a book. It is a great place to relax while being around people and it is a great place watch people. North of the Great Lawn is the Jackie Kennedy Onassis Reservoir from where you can enjoy the skyline of the Upper East Side. The best way to enjoy the reservoir is to walk around it and take pictures from all the different sides.
My favorite part of Central Park is just north of 100th Street on the west side. The lake here is called The Pool and it is a really quiet place. I like to go here to escape the busyness of the city. I love to come here after school and sit on the grass for an hour or two with a magazine and an iced drink from Starbucks.
The last spot I want to tell you about is the northeast part of Central Park. You can find the Harlem Meer here, which is the home to fish, turtles and birds. A lot of kids come here to play on the many playgrounds around the lake. There is a swimming pool here and there are a lot of spots to have a picnic while enjoying the weather.
That concludes my tour of Central Park. I definitely have not seen everything there is to see, but I have seen a lot of it and I can honestly say that I love going to the park. Exploring the park by foot is great, but if you want to go a little faster you can rent a bike and I have heard that is great way to explore the park too. If you ever decide to visit New York City, I would hope that you would take your time to see Central Park.