Central Park has always been, for me, a sort of Narnia in the middle of the city. For years, it has been a place of comfort when I’m stressed and an escape from the best, but endless chaos of New York. It also helps that it lies between my two favorite museums: The Museum of Natural History and The Met.
Despite how many times I have walked from the east side of Central Park to the west and back again, there are still a few select spots that I make sure to stop for a minute each and every time I go.
And that is how a week ago despite, the freezing temperatures I ended up on a tour of Central Park that I had been on many times before.
- Bethesda Terrace
The detailing of the inside of Bethesda Terrace combined with the erosion and rust of certain areas give it that unique, worn-down-by-time feel, which I feel makes it that much more beautiful. While you’ll likely pass a multitude of people taking the cliché Bethesda stairs photo, I always spend at least ten minutes just walking through the corridor.
“You can get the true essence of New Yorkers by just hanging out in Central Park.” – Andy Roddick
2. The Hans Christian Andersen Statue
One version of “The Ugly Duckling” by Hans Christian Andersen opens with “It is a beautiful summer day. The sun shines warmly on an old house near a river.” I have always loved the location of this statue sits across the Conservatory Pond and Central Park skyline. It’s almost as if Hans, whose statue depicts him sitting beside a swan while reading “The Ugly Duckling” has stepped into his own story.
“The most wonderful fairy tale is life itself.” – Hans Christian Andersen
3. Strawberry Fields
While Strawberry Fields is a 2.5 acre of land dedicated to the memory of John Lennon, the most popular part of this memorial is the “Imagine” plaque. Growing up with a grandfather who is about the age that John Lennon would have been, the Beatles were one of bands I’ve always listened to. Despite the fact that I was a generation or so behind when they were at their prime, their music and the words of John Lennon are still inspiring to me.
Often, guitar players will play John Lennon and Beatles songs regardless of the weather. Nothing gets you in your feels more than that.
“Imagine all the people, living life in peace.” – John Lennon
4. The Lake surrounding the Loeb Boathouse
While the Loeb Boathouse is popular for visitors, my favorite shot is from the slightly elevated spot between Bethesda Terrace and the boathouse, where the trees perfectly frame the buildings in the back. You almost feel as if you’re somewhere else, but they give a small reminder that you’re still in this stunning city.
“And the most unusual and surrealistic place in New York City, is Central Park.” – Christo