Central Park covers 843 acres of Manhattan (almost twice the size of London’s Hyde Park, Regents Park, Green Park, St James’ Park and Kensington Gardens added together). It is the most-visited urban park in the US and one of the most-filmed locations in the world.
It was established in 1857, expanded to its current size in 1873 and has undergone many renovations and reconstructions through its life. It is home to a massive range of fauna and flora, and visitors can walk, jog, cycle or take a horse and carriage venture into this delightful park.
For me, it was a walking day. Entering in the north-western corner, I strolled through the North Woods and up and around the Great Hill, stepping carefully on the icy slopes.
Then came the very icy Pool, casually scattered with snow balls and the occasional ice-skating water bird.
A few more strides east of the Pool and I was transported to England by a rustic stone bridge, known as Glen Cross Arch. This quaint feature borders the Ravine, and was built in 1885 to replace a previous wooden structure.
By now my extremities were feeling cold and uncared for, so I speeded up, skirting the North and East Meadows and heading for the reservoir – a waterside walk that I didn’t want to miss.
The Central Park Reservoir was built between 1858 and 1862, receiving water from the Croton Aqueduct and distributing it to Manhattan. It was decommissioned in 1993 but still feeds water to parts of the Park. In 1994, it was renamed to honour Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to recognise her contributions to the city, as well as her habit of jogging in this area that lay beneath the windows of her apartment.
The fountain reminded me of Geneva, the choppy waters of the ocean, but the skyline was undeniably Manhattan.
The reservoir is surrounded by a 2.5 km jogging track and a bridle path, but the walkway was treacherous, not cleared of solid snow and ice. I balanced my way around for a while, clutching at the fence for support, but in the end I gave up on my plan of circling the waters, and headed for an east-side exit from the Park, popping out onto Museum Mile where I could spiral my way around the Guggenheim instead.
Copyright Debbie Smyth, 13 March 2017
Part of Jo’s Monday Walk