My first visit to Central Park, New York was in the winter of 2007 when entry restricted in most areas. I visited New York again year after year, somehow different seasons, and each time there was something new, something different about this swathe of green in the midst of concrete.
My 2009 visit, in autumn, is still my favourite when the Park was ablaze, electrifying and dazzling, a package of nearly 25,000 trees landscaped into a nature retreat from 59th Street East /West to 110 Street East/West Manhattan. The in-between patches of green and aqua add to the openness of the Park.
Park Walk: I started from Bethesda Terrace, past the Bow Bridge and the Conservancy, along the Lake and the Loeb Boathouse towards Belvedere Castle. From here walked past the Metropolitan Museum of Art or The Met, entrance is from the street side and on to the East Meadow. Here I decided to sit around, watch the walkers, joggers, tourists, dog walkers children, cyclists, pram pushers, seniors, nannies turn the Central Park into an island of activity.
One can divide the Park walk into segments from Upper East 110 and walk backwards via the Great Hill towards the Summit rock, the Arthur Rose Pinetum, the Shakespeare Garden, Strawberry Fields dedicated to John Lennon, on to the Tavern on the Green and the Rink the starting point.
It was a phased-out walk to savor the serenity and the theatrical production of colors around me. With guide on hand tried identifying the trees and leaves. The American Elms, in abundance throughout Central Park, are the color suppliers with their dark green oblong, serrated leaves, now a brilliant yellow. The reds and oranges are the Callary Pear heart-shaped leaves and along with Norway Maples and Pine Oaks, found at Strawberry Fields, along the 59th Street Pond and the Dairy lawns. add to the riot of deep yellows, russets and bronze. The Spotted Red Oaks, the stately Silver Linden with symmetrical oval crowns and green and silver leaves and the Willow Oaks line the Great Lawn, the Bow Bridge and Loeb Boathouse. The russet glow of the Cedar crowned Cedar Hill above the Glade was a sight to behold. It was an identification parade with the Ginkgo, the Beech trees, the nodding Eastern Hemlocks and the easily identifiable Weeping Willows casting their shadows in the algae green waters of the Pool, adding to my list of trees present.
In between, the watery clouds spoilt my fun of watching sunlight flirt with nature’s bounty.