New York Sights to See - Central Park
Completed in 1873, Central Park, located in the middle of New York, is among the world's great urban innovations and the travel destination of thousands of visitors annually. Bound by 5th and 8th avenues on the east and west respectively, and from 59th Street on the south, 110th Street on the north, these 843 acres hold plenty for the visitor to New York to see and do.
With two skating rinks, horseback riding, and skating and bicycle
trails, the athletic person won't lack for anything that suits their
taste. For those who enjoy a more leisurely pace, the many sculptures,
lakes and bird species provide ample opportunities for just gazing.
Largely grass dotted with trees and shrubs, there are nonetheless
sidewalks all around and through the park for strolls and people
watching. Plenty of that can be had, since the park is visited by some
25 million annually. Even so, the once fearsome crime rate has dropped
to at or below every other urban park in the world.
Winding through the park is a 6mi (10km) road along which travel cars
as well as the occasional horse-drawn cart. The romantic ride is still
a favorite activity more than a hundred years after the service began.
It makes for an especially relaxing treat during the Fall when the
leaves turn to red and gold.
Several other roads cut through the middle of the park, though with
restricted hours, to make cross-town car travel more convenient. Beware
the zooming taxis!
The Central Park Zoo
is modest cost and houses Tamarin monkeys, large cats and a wide
variety of other animals, not the least of which is the Polar Bear. Long one of the lesser
zoos in the US, it enjoyed a renaissance in the 1990s and now joins Prospect Park Zoo in
Brooklyn and Queens Zoo
in Queens as one of the city's major attractions.
Along the edges of the park there are several museums, including one of
the world's great storehouses of art: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Avenue and 82nd Street. Low-cost and varied, art lovers
should be prepared to spend a day or two if they wish to see the entire
6,000 year collection.
The Natural History Museum
is sited on the west side of the park at 79th Street and Central Park
West. Here the collection is, ahem, somewhat older than 6,000 years
with artifacts dating back, in some cases, millions.
In between these two jewels are several other sites and activities to
interest the culture-lover. During the summer, Shakespeare
in the Park attracts thousands of devotees of
the bard, and the Metropolitan
Opera puts on two concerts per year, as well. The New York Philharmonic
often gets into the act, traveling a block from Lincoln
Center to put on an open-air concert.
Before the concert, a glass of wine or a fine meal can be had at the
on the Green restaurant. Be sure to make reservations several
months in advance, though.
While you're at the park, looking at things new and old, don't miss
seeing the ancient Egyptian
Obelisk. It isn't often you see centuries old sculptures
in the middle of the world's most modern cities.
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