Central Park is an urban park in the borough of Manhattan in New York City that has been open since 1857. Central Park’s size and cultural position – similar in stature to London’s Hyde Park – has served as a model for many other urban parks around the world. The park, which receives approximately 35 million visitors per year, is [perhaps unsurprisingly] the most visited urban park in the United States.
Being a bit of a luxury hotel fan (but not being able to afford them!), I can remember seeing pictures for the Ritz-Carlton Central Park Hotel here in NYC, and remember that one day I would vow to stay there. As things have turned out, I still can’t quite afford such luxury in such an expensive city, but finally I did manage to come to New York and check out the famous Central Park. I can even remember seeing this location in many films, including one of my all-time favourite kid’s movie Home Alone 2! In that film, Central Park was made out to be a place of mystery and darkness, although in reality it is actually a fantastic urban park which, during daylight hours at least, has many people walking and jogging through it, so it is perfectly safe for all travellers.
One thing I noticed was the sheer amount of statues in Central Park (apparently there are 29 of them). I certainly didn’t see all of them, but the ones I did see were really interesting – including Balto, Alice in Wonderland, and King Jagiello. It would be good to have a list of all the bronze and stone statues that are scattered around the park and check them off as you found them. It would be a good way to spend a summer’s evening after some retail therapy on Fifth Avenue!
The statues of Central Park are scattered around, but some of the best ones were around Bethesda Terrace and its adjacent fountain. I had never imagined an urban park like this one would contain so many amazing locations. It is very easy to get lost in Central Park, but by using the statues and Bethesda Terrace (there is also a castle and a zoo in Central Park, too!) you can have a reference point to help you find your way through the trees (and tourists).
When you’re caught up in the bright lights of the Big Apple, it is sometimes easy to forget that you have such a beautiful urban park on your doorstep. So I can easily recommend spending at least an hour walking through the park, even if parks are not normally your thing. Fifth Avenue is right adjacent to Central Park, and Rockefeller Center is not too far away either, so it is easy to add to your itinerary – and it’s completely free!