Central Park is one of my favorite things about New York City. There are parts of the park that I know like the back of my hand because I've walked through them so frequently, and parts I've only seen once [and parts I have yet to discover!].
The park's massive size is one of the things that draws me to it [you can never run out of places to explore] but, because of its size, I have been struggling with coming up with a way to share it since putting it in one post would be idiotic, boring and a horrible pain.
So I decided to break to park up into regions as best I could and share them periodically. Every central park post will include a copy of a map of central park with a star [or stars] indicating where in the park I am focusing. I realize the park can get confusing even if you have visited it, so I hope the map is helpful in letting you realize the park's size & all the attractions it includes!!
Remember, you can see all my exploring posts organized on my exploring page here, so if you're planning on visiting NYC or Washington D.C. be sure to check it out!! [More added all the time!!]
I would have to say that personally, I know the bottom half of the park much better than the top half. In fact, much of the top half I've only seen once, or not at all. However, my school is located on the south west corner of the park so I frequently wander into the lower half of the park and have a few favorite spots that I frequent. [I know, it's weird I'm not starting with sharing those spots!!]
The other day I was looking through a website of places to see in central park [unfortunately the internet does not have a very thorough helpful guide to the whole park] and realized that there is a place in the north east corner of the park called the Conservatory Gardens that I had never seen. So Phillip and I decided to go visit it and explore a little!
I had lunch with one of my good friends in Brooklyn, so I met Phillip at the park afterwards [he walked there from the village like a crazy athletic person] off of 96th Street and Lexington [I took the subway of course, like a normal person] and we explored the park together.
I am slightly disappointed in my photos, but I am sharing what I have and I will let you know about the garden as well. I also snagged this picture from the city's website because it really gives you a better idea of the garden and I couldn't really take a photo like this on my own since I don't have a helicopter lol.
As you can see from the photo, the garden is divided into three sections. Unfortunately we didn't get a chance to see the section to the far left of the photo and to be honest I have no idea how we missed it. Sorry about that, but hey, it's an excuse to go see it again sometime!
The center garden is huge and formally laid out, with a grand fountain in the center. Huge gates divided the garden from the street and neighboring city. I mean it, this garden is directly on the edge of the park.
My favorite part of the center garden wasn't the garden itself, but instead it was the curving pergola in the back of the garden, covered in vines. On the ground under the pergola were engravings of the original 13 colonies.
The northern garden [pictured on the right in the photo of all three] had a round hedge surrounding a courtyard with a large fountain/statue in the center. You could enter the courtyard through any one of four identical openings, one of which is pictured above. I think this fountain was my favorite part of the gardens [you can see it in more detail at the top of this post], I just have a thing for fountains. I love photographing flowers the most, but in reality my favorite part of exploring gardens is seeing the fountains.
At this point, we left the gardens and wandered across the park west to take the subway home. On our way we stumbled across the most gorgeous little waterfall and creek! Phillip said that was his favorite part of our walk, and maybe of the entire park.
That is one of the things I love about central park, you can go with the intention of seeing one thing, but you never know what else you'll stumble across, it is just filled with little gems!!
Have you ever been to central park? If so, what is your favorite part? And if not, what parks do you like to visit?