Autumn in Central Park

ThomBradley

This blog is from the Central Park Conservatory

“It has been said that Central Park is most beautiful in autumn, when the leaves turn into a light show of golds, browns and shades of red that can only be found in Mother Nature. Just as in spring, when the trees come alive with color, fall is a feast for the eyes and a photographer’s delight. Leaves change color early fall due to shortened daylight and colder temperatures, typically beginning in October and continuing into early November.”

.Read the rest of this article about some of the popular places in the park

here

Forgotten or Lost? WW1 Memorial

Today a group of people who visited a world War I Memorial in Central Park published a post in a local blog. It was a visit to the WWI 307th Infantry Regiment Memorial Grove.

I must confess having explored Central Park, for several years, this was new to me. The memorial is in a grove dedicated to the  WWI 307th Infantry Regiment.

The Grove is an area of Central Park located just south of the Band Shell, surrounded on all four sides by paved walkways.

The area of the Grove originally was covered with grass, consistent with the adjacent areas of the park. However, a number of years ago, the grass was replaced with wood chips, apparently as a result of soil erosion and insufficient sunlight below the tall tree canopy.

The Regiment participated in the following campaigns: Oise-Aisne, Meuse-Argonne, Champagne, and Lorraine. Company K was a member of the “Lost Battalion“.

The lost battalion — outnumbered, outmaneuvered and outguessed — was cut off from other American forces along the Western Front. It was also hit by friendly fire and stunned by German flamethrowers. A captain was so badly wounded he leaned on rifles as crutches as he continued to give orders to the single surviving machine-gunner. The casualties were almost unfathomable: By the time reinforcements finally arrived, 107 soldiers had been killed, 190 were wounded and 63 were missing. Little more than a third of the unit, 194 of the original 554 soldiers, escaped unhurt.

After the war, young trees were planted in the grove—each representing one of the regiment’s companies—which features a memorial plaque naming the men of that company who died in battle. One of those plaques specifically honors the fallen members of Company H, 307th Infantry Regiment, including baseball great CPT Edward (“Eddie”) L. Grant.

The Grove also contains the 307th Infantry Regiment Stone, with its plaque honoring all companies, and the Knights of Pythias Stone.



Thanks to the group for sharing…

I later noticed that there had been a movie made about the Lost Battalion.

NYC – The North Woods-Ravine and more

Read – Construction in the area March 20, 2021

updated for future planning

This year where traveling is limited and keeping a safe distance is hard to achieve, why not a nice walk in the woods. [ the photos are from a fall walk but it is a nice walk in any season.

The North Woods is located at the very northern part of Central Park. It has the feeling of being in the woods. It is a little off the typical tourist area but on a nice day is worth a visit.

You can start this walk from two directions.

The first is from the Meer and walk west and then around the pool where, in a parking lot, (maybe construction detours during 2021) you will see a stone arch You are now in The Ravine. The second approach is from the west side (1ooth Street) starting at the Pond.  The Pond is a small lake with green lawns, a waterfall and a loch at the other end. Walk to the end of the pond and  follow the stream into the Ravine.

There is much more to see in this part of the park. Here is an excellent link with a good map here.

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NYC-Central Park-Bethesda Terrace-carvings -slightly updated

New York City’s Central Park is a must place to visit and the Bethesda Terrace (fountain) should not be missed. It is a magnificent terrace that has much to see – a towering fountain, a beautiful lake, a distant boat house and, often missed, intricate carvings on the railings and columns of the Terrace.

Over the past years I have returned to the Terrace area many times and my latest visit brought my attention to the intricate carvings that adorn the railings and columns. I found that they are placed in groups to represent each of the four season’s .

I came across a FB video describing the carvings in great detail. The video is from the Central Park Conservatory and is well done however the background noise can be a little distracting (not sure to put volume up or put your ear to the speaker/.

video here

I had intended to create a longer blog but I think the video will do a better job of showing these marvelous carvings. I encourage you to take a look the next time you visit NYC

NYC – are there really gates at the Central Park entrances?

Updated September 2020

 

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There are 20 gates to Central Park, but most people don’t even know they exist. But what of Central Park’s original gates? There is no charge for entering the park, and no turnstiles or gatehouses are visible as you walk through the openings in the low stone wall along its borders. But if you look closely, you will see that some entrances have names carved into the sandstone: Scholars’ Gate, Hunters’ Gate, Explorers’ Gate.

These named gates honor groups of New Yorkers such as Scholars, Artisans, Merchants, and Artists—all the variety of hard-working people who make New York a world-class city. The names were chosen in 1862 by the park’s commissioners to try to represent the people who might be using the park and their professions. They represent a bygone era.

Answer: The Park originally intended to install modest gates at the entrances to close the Park at midnight. When they could not agree on a design, they put off the decision and left gaps in the wall that still remain today.

While the names were used on maps, the gates were not inscribed with their names until 1999. 

The board also wanted to install small statues at each Park entrance representing the group for which the gate had been named. While the idea did not fully come to fruition, two gates do have nearby homages to their namesakes.

You can find these statues at Inventors’ Gate (East 72nd Street) in the form of Samuel F.B. Morse, and at Naturalists’ Gate (West 77th Street) with a statue of Alexander Von Humboldt.

 

Enter at the Children’s Gate on Fifth Avenue near 76th Street: there is a playground, and if you wander between this gate and Inventors’ Gate at West 72nd Street you will see the statues of Alice in Wonderland and Hans Christian Andersen. There is the model boat pond to conquer if you can ship aboard a vessel heading out to sea. For the space of one’s childhood, perhaps, it is possible to believe in growing up to become an inventor.

Opposite Merchants’ Gate at Columbus Circle, it is eerily appropriate to see the Time Warner Center towering higher every day as a testament to the power of the American corporation.

 

Strangers’ Gate at 106th Street and Central Park West marks an entrance opposite the building once thought as a haunted castle. A black slate stairway leads into the park at Strangers’ Gate, and to enter the park there is to enter a fairy tale: a wilderness welcoming all strangers.

There is no Clerks’ Gate, a common profession at the time. Also there is no Lawyers’ Gate, Therapists’ Gate or Computer Programmers’ Gate.

There are 18 original names in all: Artisans’, Artists’, Boys’, Children’s, Engineers’, Farmers’, Girls’, The Gate of All Saints, Hunters’, Mariners’, Merchants’, Miners’, Pioneers’, Scholars’, Strangers’, Warriors’, Women’s and Woodmen’s.

Names have been added to the original eighteen, but I believe the list below is the full, current list with their locations:

East 110th Street     Pioneers’ Gate
East 102nd Street     Girls’ Gate
West 100th Street     Boys’ Gate
East 96th Street     Woodman’s Gate
East 90th Street     Engineers’ Gate
West 85th Street     Mariners’ Gate
East 79th Street     Miners’ Gate

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West 77th Street     Naturalists’ Gate – added later


East 72nd Street     Inventors’ Gate   –  added later
East 64th Street     Children’s Gate
East 60th Street     Scholars’ Gate

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Sixth Avenue     Artists’ Gate
Seventh Avenue     Artisans’ Gate
Columbus Circle     Merchants’ Gate
West 72nd Street     Women’s Gate

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West 81st Street     Hunters’ Gate
West 96th Street     Gate of all Saints

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West 106th Street     Strangers’ Gate

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA
Adam Clayton Powell Blvd     Warriors’ Gate
Lenox Avenue     Farmers’ Gate

I have not photographed all of them and will when I am in the area. It is a large park!

Source article   NY Times

 
 
 
 

NYC Central Park – few women among many men -change is here!

This is  an  August 2020 update to an older post. 

For the first time in history, a bronze statue depicting and celebrating the achievements of women joined the myriad monuments honoring men, animals and fictional characters in the storied park.

A statue of three women’s rights pioneers was unveiled in Central Park on Wednesday — becoming the 167-year-old green expanse’s first monument to real-life female figures.

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The bronze sculpture, located in the park’s Literary Walk, honors Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, key figures in the women’s equality movement, each with roots in the Big Apple.

The city  plans to place the “Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Woman Suffrage Movement Monument” in 2020. It will be located at the south end of Literary Walk.

I wrote, last year, that the only monuments depicting females in the park are Alice in Wonderland, Mother Goose, Juliet (from Romeo and Juliet) and a variety of nymphs and other mystical creatures. Also, there are woman statues in other parks (see below).

Post from January 2016

Nestled amid the greenery of Central Park are some rather inexplicable statues of men of history — such as King Jagiello, a 14th-century Polish king, and Albert Bertel Thorvaldsen, a Danish sculptor who lived in the 18th century. Not included in the park’s 29 monuments dedicated to historical notables are any real women.

alice in CP
Alice in Wonderland

Currently, the only female figures to be honored with statues in the park are fictional (and not necessarily human), like Mother Goose and Alice in Wonderland.

MotherGoose-750
MotherGoose

However, the city’s Parks Department has granted conceptual approval to an effort to erect a statue of Elizabeth Cady Stanton* and Susan B. Anthony by the park’s West 77th Street entrance.

*Born on November 12, 1815, in Johnstown, New York, Elizabeth Cady Stanton was an abolitionist and leading figure of the early woman’s movement. An eloquent writer, her Declaration of Sentiments was a revolutionary call for women’s rights across a variety of spectrums. Stanton was the president of the National Woman Suffrage Association for 20 years and worked closely with Susan B. Anthony.

As of now, only a few of the 800 or so sculptures in New York City’s parks feature historical women:

Eleanor Roosevelt and Joan of Arc, which are both located in Riverside Park. In case you are wondering, the others are Gertrude Stein, Golda Meir, and Harriet Tubman.

Throughout the city a few women are honored. On the I. Miller Building at Broadway and 46th Street there are  sculptures of Mary Pickford, Ethel Barrymore, Marilyn Miller, and Rosa Ponselle.

In the Bronx at the Bronx Community College’s Hall of Fame for Great Americans, busts of Harriet Beecher Stowe, Susan B. Anthony, Mary Lyon, Maria Mitchell, Emma Willard, Alice Freeman Palmer, and Lillian Wald are included.

Then there are a few statues on churches of saints and of real women on private property that have a public presence, like the statue of Mother Clara Hale at the Hale House.

There is the face of a female model – Audrey Munson who posed for several statues including the Isador and Ida Straus Memorial.

Resources used for this article here 1 , here 2

 

September 2020 Addition

Women of STEM

Central Park was recently the site of another effort to honor women of accomplishment – an initiative recognizing women who work in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) with 6 statues (part of an exhibit of 122 female statues) 4on display at Central Park Zoo through Oct. 31.The exhibits goal l is for girls everywhere to see STEM as exciting, relevant, and cool.The six women depicted all work in wildlife conservation: Kristine Inman, wildlife biologist, Wildlife Conservation Society; Rae Wynn-Grant, large carnivore ecologist, National Geographic Society; Dorothy Tovar, Stanford University microbiologist; Jess Cramp, shark researcher and marine conservationist, Sharks Pacific; Earyn McGee, herpetologist focused on lizards, University of Arizona; and Kristen Lear, bat conservationist, Bat Conservation International.

NYC – Fall (or any season) Walks in Central Park

As we say farewell to summer and get ready to enjoy the spectacular beauty of fall, we can find the changing leaves along the many paths of Central Park. The Park can also be a place to get refreshed from the sun’s warming rays and is something that is very pleasant and easy to do.

To begin with, I found an article written by Rachel Brown, who described two walks which are very accessible from midtown. Also, I have added my own personal recommendations. Ms. Brown wrote for the CP Conservatory as well as her own blog.
Often, I am asked about the location of specific sites. Sometimes the answer is more confusing than it should be. Below, each walk has highlighted some of the sites that you could visit. It is not a detailed map but, at least, it lets you know what is in the area of your walk.
CENTRAL PARK SOUTHERN SECTION

 

Wein-walk
Wallach Walk

I think it’s best to start your walk from the southwest corner of 59th St. and 5th Ave by the Pulitzer Fountain. It’s easy to find the spot because the statue is located directly in front of the Plaza Hotel’s main entrance. By wandering the winding the pedestrian paths, towards 72nd Street, you will be passing a pond, rocky outcrops, bridges, open fields, and skyline views If you follow the pathways you will end up at 72nd St. and Central Park West

LOWER SECTION Sites include Grand Army Plaza~ The Plaza Hotel~ Central Park Zoo ~The Pond~ The Dairy~ The Mall and Literary Walk~ Bethesda Terrace and Fountain Sheep Meadow~ Strawberry Fields ~The Dakota Apartments

Addition Features 
  • Hallett Nature Sanctuary – Surrounded by the Pond at the southeast corner of Central Park is the four-acre Hallett Nature Sanctuary, a peaceful haven just feet away from some of Central Park’s busiest paths.- East Side from 60th-62nd Streets

  • Sheep Meadow is a  peaceful expanse of green that inspires calm and refreshing thoughts just by looking at the meadow.- West Side from 66th to 69th Streets
  • Umpire Rock is one of the best examples of Central Park’s rich endowment of exposed bedrock, Umpire Rock is likely named for its commanding view of nearby baseball diamonds. Central Park has an unusually rich endowment of exposed, ancient bedrock People love to climb them too) -West Side at 63rd Street

 

CENTRAL PARK MIDDLE SECTION

A second walk focuses on the middle of Central Park, starting in front of the beautiful American Museum of Natural History. You even get to see the pond where Stuart Little raced his sailboat in the children’s movie! Don’t forget to bring along your camera, there are so many awesome photo opportunities in this park. You can start walking from the park entrance directly across the street from the American Museum of Natural History at the intersection of Central Park West and 79th Street and if didn’t do the lower section you could go south and end up at Bethesda Terrace, on the 72nd Street Traverse through Central Park.

MIDDLE  SECTION Sites include: American Museum of Natural History~The Swedish Cottage~Shakespeare Garden~Belvedere Castle~ Turtle Pond~The Delacorte Theatre (Shakespeare in the Park)~The Great Lawn~Cleopatra’s Needle~ The Ramble~The Lake~The Conservatory Waters~Bethesda Terrace

Addition Features
  • Strawberry Fields is a living memorial to the world-famous singer, songwriter and peace activist, West Side between 71st and 74th Streets.
  • The Ramble is a 36-acre “wild garden.”  Central Park’s designers imagined a tranquil spot where visitors could stroll, discover forest gardens rich with plantings, and meander Mid-Park from 73rd to 79th Streets. along the paths. This truly is a place for the urban explorer to escape the city and get utterly lost in nature.
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  • Turtle Pond – Like all of the other water bodies in Central Park, Turtle Pond is man-made, filled with New York City drinking water. It is the home to five species of turtles who live in the Pond year-round. Mid-Park between 79th and 80th Streets.
  • Bow Bridge -The first cast-iron bridge in the Park (and the second oldest in America), the bridge was built between 1859 and 1862. Bow Bridge is named for its graceful shape, reminiscent of the bow of an archer or violinist. Mid-Park at 74th Street west of Bethesda Terrace, connecting Cherry Hill and The Ramble.
  • I have explored many walks in Central Park and I recently published a short article – A pre Fall Walk. It is a brief highlight of specific parts of the park.
I am working on material that will cover the upper part of the park. Most people know that Central Park is big.  Unfortunately, most people don’t know how big it really is because they only explore the southern and middle portions. 

 

NYC- A pre-fall Walk in Central Park

This is an update to an earlier Blog.

This time of year walking through Central Park is very relaxing. The crowds are less, the flowers are slowly starting their retreat and the sunny days are comfortable. Just about any place in the park is ideal. My walk today is a  popular location around 72nd Street .

If you enter the park from 5th Avenue, a short detour to  the Conservatory Pond is worth the time.  Sometimes they have miniture sailboats [for rent] that zip around the pond. Also, there is a coffee shop and restroom facilty here.

From here you can walk to  Bethesda Terrace and then take the the path  to the Bow Bridge. The views are  excellent and there may be boaters enjoying the nice weather. (And alternate short detour may be to visit the “Boat House”‘ A popular place to eat, rent a boat, or use the restrooms.)

If so inclined, you may wish to leave the park on the west side. A popular area to walk through is “strawberry Fields” a beatles landmark.

Also, at this location you can look  the building on the corner of CPW and 72nd st. It is the Dakota  building which is closely tied to John Lennon’s history.

This walk has a few inclines and steps. However, there are alternate paths, plenty of benches that will help during your walk.

The Park Conservatory has a free tour covering this area. Details here.

NYC – Barbershop Museum

This past weekend the Barbershop Museum was officially opened. but when I went over to visit  the museum was closed. Unusual for me, I have taken the liberty to copy a few photos  and cite some information from the internet

 

 

Joining the ever-growing list of quirky city museums is the NYC Barber Museum, a newly opened Upper West Side establishment dedicated to the art and history of barbering. The brainchild of Arthur Rubinoff — a fourth-generation “Master Barber” and the CEO of the Reamir  barbershop chain whose star-studded clientele includes Bruce Willis, Tony Danza and Regis Philbin — the museum opened this past Friday with much fanfare. Now it’s paying tribute to generations of old school barbers, while also offering a variety of grooming services to visitors. Best yet, it’s free to visit. They have no telephone listed.

(Source:untapped cities)
This would be a neat place to visit if you are 9 blocks away from Lincoln; 7 blocks away from Zabar’s; a few blocks away from the Beacon Theater; and one block away from Central Park) I would put it on your list of things to see only if in the area

 

The NYC Barber Museum is located at 290 Columbus Ave. It’s open “casual hours” Sat-Mon; Tues 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m., Wed 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Thurs 11 a.m.-11 p.m. and Fri 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

Winter Jam – January 27, 2018 – Central Park

While in NYC …

Many times I write about an event that I have gone to but  I thought, today, I would give a shout-out to an event that will happen on Saturday, January 27, 2018. My family has enjoyed this event in the past and I know, if you are in the city, your family might enjoy this fun day in the park.

Take a snow day at the annual Winter Jam in Central Park next Saturday, Jan. 27th, with FREE skiing, cross country skiing and snowboarding lessons, an ice slide for kids, ice sculpting and more. It’s all happening 11am to 3pm at the Central Park Bandshell in Rumsey Field, rain or shine, so let’s hope for shine (rain/snow date is Feb. 3).

Here is a link to Winter Jam 2018

https://www.nycgovparks.org/highlights/festivals/winter-jam

 

Here is a link to some other sites you could enjoy in this same area.

https://thombradley.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/nyc-winter-in-central-park/