You didn’t think I’d visit New York City and all you would get is one picture of the statue of Liberty, did you? Over the next few posts I will share some steam-era highlights from my trip last week. Enjoy!
“Central Park, the first major landscaped public space in urban America, was created in the 1850s as an antidote to the turbulent social unrest, largely as the result of the country’s first wave of immigration, and a serious public health crisis, caused by harmful environmental conditions. Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the winners of the 1858 design competition for Central Park, along with other socially conscious reformers understood that the creation of a great public park would improve public health and contribute greatly to the formation of a civil society. Immediately, the success of Central Park fostered the urban park movement, one of the great hallmarks of democracy of nineteenth century America.” http://www.centralparknyc.org/about/history.html
(Click on any image to open a gallery of larger images)
For me, the most striking thing about Central Park were the gigantic boulders. I only got to explore about 1/3 of the park, but everywhere you turned there they were, glittering in the sun. This is clearly the part of the island that wasn’t a swamp when the park was built in the 1850s.
And in addition to all of the shiny scenery, the famous Tavern on the Green restaurant (est 1870s) can also be found on the edge of Central Park. The last time I visited NYC I was a kid and we ate there, and the only thing I can remember is that my dessert was a tiny house made of cake that sat at the edge of a raspberry drizzle pool. I was captivated! Unfortunately, we weren’t able to eat there on this trip because of some ill-timed building maintenance, but we made do at a lovely cafe in the heart of the park instead. The Tavern has a gorgeous interior that I was not able to photograph, but you can see a great gallery on their website.
I realized I was making this gallery that it looks like I went back to the park numerous times because of how much the sky changes between shots, but all of these photos were taken in about a 6-hour period my first full day on the trip. The sky steadily darkened as the day went on and on our way home we got completely soaked trying to flag down a taxi. We had spent the second half of the day at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (opened to the public in 1870), and I had an amazing cocktail on the roof just before the rain started composed of mint and cucumber syrup, muddled basil and gin. I am not usually a gin fan but it was the perfect way to refresh after trekking all through Central Park!
Next up, Grand Central Station…