Central Park

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Bethesda Fountain, one of Central Park’s most famous sites.

New York City is full of amazing places to visit. There’s Time Square, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Wall Street, and many other attractions. After living there for three years, however, I found that one of my favorite places to be in New York City was Central Park. Central Park is an oasis of trees and open space in the midst of an iron jungle of skyscrapers. When Emily would visit me, we would always take walks through the park. While you can see many of Central Park’s most famous sites in different movies such as Enchanted and 27 Dresses, I thought I would take you through a stroll through my favorite parts of the park and show you the route that Emily and I often walked.

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Gapstow Bridge

Emily and I often walked from my apartment on 34th St. up Fifth Avenue to Central Park. That way we got to see all of the fancy shops on our way to the park. We entered the park from the Artist’s Gate near the southeast corner. This “gate” is actually just an entry to the park surrounded by elevated statues of Jose San Martin, Simon Bolivar, and Jose Julian Marti. This entrance leads you around the Pond, one of seven small bodies of water in the park. Walking around the Pond leads you over Gapstow Bridge and where Donald Trump builds his ice rink during the winter.  Above this area is the Dairy, a country-esque structure that was built in 1870 to provide free milk for children.

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Christopher Columbus, located at the beginning of the Mall.

Continuing our stroll, Emily and I would cross the 65th St. Transverse, a road that stretches across the park. Then we would find ourselves at “the Mall”, a walkway that takes visitors past the statues of literary greats such as William Shakespeare, Sir Walter Scott, and Robert Burns and leads to the Bethesda Terrace.

Bethesda Terrace is one of the most beautiful places in Central Park. It overlooks the Boathouse and Central Park Lake where tourists can rent rowboats. From the terrace you can descend down stone stairs through the Arcade, which features arches and a tiled ceiling. Bethesda Terrace is also home to Bethesda Fountain, 96 feet wide and 26 feet high featuring the Angel of the Waters statue. Though it is drained during the winter, during the spring and summer lily pads and flowers float in the water.

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The “Imagine” mosaic at Strawberry Fields.

After Bethesda Terrace, our path split three ways. Sometimes, Emily and I would walk over to Strawberry Fields. This grassy hill is across the street from the Dakota Apartments where John Lennon and Yoko Ono lived until Lennon was shot dead. The top of the hill features a black and white mosaic built by Italian artists, embedded is the title of one of Lennon’s most famous songs—Imagine.

If we did not visit Strawberry Fields, Emily and I often crossed over Bow Bridge, the most famous bridge in Central Park. Bow Bridge is the place of many Hollywood scenes, like in the Disney movie Enchanted, as well as the location of many proposals and photo ops. The path across Bow Bridge leads into winding trails through a small wood around Central Park Lake.

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Bow Bridge

Alternatively, Emily and I also would take a left from Bethesda Terrace (Strawberry Fields and Bow Bridge are both to the right). This would lead us past the boathouse, across the road to a small conservatory pond (the location of the boat race in Stuart Little). The Hans Christian Anderson statue and the Alice in Wonderland statue are both located next to this conservatory of water.

If you walk farther into the park you will find other fun attractions, from Belvedere Castle and the Shakespeare Garden to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Cleopatra’s Needle. The park has many beautiful sights to offer visitors if they are up for a little walking. Since Emily and I are both big walkers, we often strolled through Central Park. It is a much-needed respite from the city. Whether it is full of snow in the winter, colored orange in the fall or green in the spring, Central Park is always beautiful. If you ever visit New York City, this is one of the places you must see.

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In the spring, Central Park is full of beautiful tulips.

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