Tuesday, March 17, 2009

NYC09: New York City's Central Park

I find myself at the beginning of day four in New York. I finally feel as if I'm starting to get to know the city. If I had to leave today, I would feel comfortable with my experiences thus far to say that I got to know the city. Still, there was so much left unexplored and undiscovered.

Being March 17th, one thing was surely set for today, but that – the St. Patrick's Day Parade – would not begin until 11:00. There was still a lot of time to dedicate towards other forms of exploration.

My first stop would be Central Park. Only three blocks from where I've been staying, it has loomed like a sore (green) thumb for days. For such an integral element of New York culture, having not explored it yet was quite a shame.

I entered at 81st street, following the paths that spread like veins connecting all the small paths to the main arteries. Though I did not venture far to either the north or the south, my west to east journey took me past some highlights:

There is a theatre in the park where statues of Romeo and Juliet stand, embracing, only meters from Prospero and his daughter Miranda from Shakespeare's The Tempest. The statue seems to indicate something that I have always argued – there is more than a simple father daughter relationship at work here. From his perspective, at least.

Pressing on, under bridges, and archways with signs thanking you for your donations, allowing for the survival and upkeep of such things, I came to the great lawn. Unfortunately park season has not begun. All the grass was barren, and fenced off. Not even a quick run of the sandlot bases was possible. Without the picnics and the people Central Park was less some of its charm. Still – there was the castle looming on an elevated slope.

Months earlier, I did not even know this castle existed – however, having seen it in some terrible movie I watched on a dreary night in London, over New Years, I became of aware. A man transformed from frog to price wooed his lady love there. And now I was gazing upon it. Perhaps this was the historical connection I would have wished to have made for proper appreciation, but still – it was at least some reason to care.

As I neared fifth avenue, and the east-most border of the park, I found myself staring at an Egyptian obelisk. “My, that looks a lot like Cleopatra's Needle – erected beside the Thames in England,” I thought. Further investigation, I read the plaque. “Cleopatra's Needle.”

How many of these things were there? How many could there possibly be? If I go to Paris, or re-explore Tokyo will I find more? Is this how world class cities are determined? Possession of these objects?

And then, Central Park was over. Ever so close to the Frick Collection, I took a slight detour. I wanted to see the building on which Marvel Comics' Avenger's Mansion was based. From there, it was just a skip down a few blocks where I would wait to enjoy the St. Patty's Day parade.


  1. There's a Cleopatra Needle in NYC?

    I have warm memories of the one in London as it was the meeting place for the students who were studying at the Herstmonceux Castle whenever we had field trips in London.

  2. You know, I was just as shocked to see it - but there it was. The one in London is in far better condition though. Most of the writing on this one has been worn away.

    Plus, there are no marks from german shellings on this one, either.


All original text and photographs Copyright © 2009 one.year.trip / previously.bitten | Theme Design by previously.bitten | Entries and Comments.Powered by Blogger