A piece of green in the middle of a big city, that’s Central Park in New York at first glance. But in fact, this famous place is a paradise of rest for most New Yorkers.
It’s not just about lying down in the grass or walking under the green treetops. People meet here, play sports, have fun… you can supposedly do anything in Central Park. But you will never be alone here.
According to acronymmonster, Central Park is located in the very “heart” of New York, in the middle of Manhattan Island. By its placement, it divides it into East Side and West Side. Although Manhattan looks like just a cluster of skyscrapers from the outside, Central Park is one of those places where you don’t feel like you’re in a bustling big city at all. The campus has served New Yorkers for more than 150 years and in its current form has an area of 341 hectares. To give you a better idea, it is a 4 kilometer long and 800 meter wide green complex. 60 hectares of the total area is occupied by water. Either in the form of various small lakes or the largest Reservoir, which is a reservoir of drinking water for New York. Currently, Central Park welcomes approximately 25 million visitors annually.
The establishment of the area dates back to the 1840s. It was then that the poet William Cullen Bryant organized a large-scale campaign to encourage the city government to build a new park that would be large enough to accommodate New York’s ever-increasing population. The construction work, carried out according to the plans of Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux, lasted 16 years and involved a total of 3000 workers! Although the architects were to some extent influenced by the style of English parks of the time, their final work had a very distinctive appearance. Central Park thus acts as a real creation of nature, created without the touch of human hands. Lakes, woodlands, rocks and meadows seem to have existed here forever.
Central Park is full of interesting places – everyone will find something for themselves here, where they can spend their free time pleasantly. If you are at a loss and need directions, go to the “Dairy”, which is the most important point of the park. It is a visitor center where you can get information about all public events held on its territory. The Dairy also sells chess and checkers, games run in the adjacent Chess and Checkers House. A little further to the west, there is a beautiful carousel (Carousel). From the southeast corner of the park, you can reach the entrance of a small, modern zoo around the Pond. There is a children’s zoo in the immediate vicinity, allowing direct contact with the animals.
The terrace of the Tavern on the Green restaurant on the other side of Wedst Drive is perfect for a short rest and refreshment. The building once housed sheep grazed on the nearby Sheep Meadow, today this vast grassy area is an ideal spot for picnics and sunbathing. North of this, the wide Mall avenue leads to the Bethesda Fountain, situated in the immediate vicinity of the picturesque Lake. At the Loeb Boathouse, you can rent a boat during the summer and go on a romantic cruise on the water. Conservatory Water, a small lake east of here, is reserved for ship modellers. Statues of Hans Christian Andersen and Alice in Wonderland stand nearby. On a hill near the Metropolitan Museum of Art stands the Obelisk of Queen Cleopatra (Cleopatra’s Needle), an approximately 3,000-year-old monolith that was transported to New York in the late 19th century. century as a gift from the Egyptian government. Somewhat more recent are the park developments in the Strawberry Fields area on the western edge of Central Park between West 71st and 74th Streets. Among other things, there is a monument to John Lennon, who was shot in 1980 on the opposite side of the street in front of the Dakota guesthouse.
On the grassy area of the oval Great Lawn in the middle of the park, you can often listen to the tunes of operas, classical concerts and popular music productions for free. In the southwest corner of the Great Lawn is the Delacorte Theater, the site of a high-quality summer festival of William Shakespeare plays in July and August. Free tickets are always issued on the day of the performance at the theater box office according to the slogan “first come, first serve”. The main roles are usually played by well-known film and television actors. Belveder Castle on the rock behind the theater serves as an astronomical observatory and information center where you can get a good overview of Central Park’s fauna.
You can also visit famous museums in the peripheral parts of the park. The American Museum of Natural History offers exhibits on the development of man, dinosaurs, gems, primitive art, etc. Across the park is the Metropolitan Museum of Art. If you are interested in history and art, you can expand your circle – a number of other important museums are located near Central Park, in Manhattan.
So far we have visited Central Park as tourists, but for New Yorkers it is primarily a place where they go to actively relax. Sporting opportunities are huge here. In the complex, you can count 26 baseball fields, 30 tennis courts, 2 batting centers, 2 basketball centers, 12 handball courts, 2 ice rinks, a swimming pool and a swimming pool in winter, a climbing wall, and countless cross-country trails that are used by “joggers” in winter. You can also ride a bike and even ride a horse in Central Park. In the area of Wollmann Memorial Rink in the southern part of the park, it is possible to rent skates and ride on the ice surface accompanied by music, during the summer this area belongs to fans of roller skating.
Central Park, however, is more than anything else a veritable runner’s paradise. Americans practice running in various forms far more than we are used to in our latitudes. And so practically at every step you can meet young, old, white, black, yellow, running, jogging, walking or crawling people in sports clothes with headphones on their ears. You can run with strollers, with dogs, in pairs and in groups. In addition to runners, the routes in Central Park are also used by cyclists and in-line skaters. The largest circuit around the park measures 6 miles (9.6 km), but it can be shortened in many places to less than 3 kilometers. They are all asphalt roads that have a dedicated lane for runners and cyclists on the left side, they are closed to cars only in the morning and early evening, when there are the most “athletes”. The circuit profile is slightly wavy, only in the northern part of the park there is approximately 500 meters of descent and then ascent. But you can also run on the sidewalks and paths that Central Park is literally riddled with and which measure several tens of kilometers. Those who don’t mind asphalt can use the 2.5 km cinder circuit that borders the Reservoir. Sections can also be run here, as distances are marked on the ground along the entire length of the circuit.
That Central Park is a true runner’s paradise is also proven by the present life-size statue of Fred Lebow, the founder of the New York Marathon. All year long, he stands just off the corner of Central Park Drive and 90th Street, looking meaningfully at his watch as if he’s keeping track of everyone passing by. Only on the first Sunday in November, Fred is transported to the other side of the park to watch over the finish line of runners completing the New York City Marathon.
Unfortunately, security in the park is a separate issue today. During the day, you can move here practically everywhere without fear, perhaps only with the exception of remote and heavily overgrown places. However, it is better to avoid Central Park in the evening and at night. After dark, only areas where well-attended public cultural events, summer concerts, etc. are taking place are safe here.
New York (in English New York City, Fr. Nouvelle York, Spanish Nueva York) is the most important and most populous city of the United States of America. It is located on the east coast of the country in the southern tip of the state of the same name, at the mouth of the Hudson River into the Atlantic Ocean. The city is the economic capital of the United States and the center of world trade. Many international organizations, including the United Nations, are based here. New York is also known as the city of skyscrapers. The city proper, consisting of five boroughs (Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Islands), covers an area of 800.31 km² and has a population of 8,108,040 (2005). New York has two international airports (Kennedy and LaGuardia), across the river in the neighboring state of New Jersey is the third major airport, Newark. The Czech Consulate of the Czech Republic is located in Manhattan on 83rd Street.