New York City Tours & Sightseeing | M2M Tours – Central Park
‘The Lungs’ of New York City – a Beloved Sanctuary from Urban Living
I know that it may come as a shock to some, but New York City’s Central Park is not an act of God.
Designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, Sr. and Calvert Vaux, swamps were transformed into serene lakes, sparsely vegetated flats were sculpted into rolling meadows & woodland ravines and rambles, and picturesque views were designed from carefully scripted vantage points.
They wanted to create a retreat from the city and envisioned a sweeping pastoral landscape.
Construction of the First Urban Landscaped Park in the United States began in 1858. Using the power of eminent domain, the city acquired 843 acres located in the center of Manhattan, spanning 2 ½ miles north to south by ½ mile east to west. Thousands of Irish, German, and New England-area laborers toiled ten-hour days, for more than a decade, earning between a dollar and a dollar fifty per day.
Today, Central Park Conservancy crews care for 250 acres of lawns, 24,000 trees, 150 acres of lakes and streams, and 130 acres of woodlands; they install hundreds of thousands of plantings annually, including bulbs, shrubs, flowers and trees; they maintain 9,000 benches, 26 ballfields and 21 playgrounds; they conserve 55 sculptures and monuments, as well as 36 bridges; they remove graffiti within 24 hours; and the collect over 5 million pounds of trash a year.
Then there are the park’s visitors – joggers, bike riders, bird watchers, dog walkers, ball players, nature lovers. The park hosts millions of visitors yearly engaging in such activities as rollerblading, fine-dining at Tavern on the Green, watching free performances of Shakespeare in the Park, and relaxing and sunbathing on Sheep’s Meadow.
When you tour Central Park, make sure to visit these gems – click here for a Central Park Map for locations:
Imagine Mosaic at Strawberry Fields honors the life of Beatle John Lennon, a brilliant singer, songwriter, musician and peace activist. The location, named after the song “Strawberry Fields Forever”, was built to inspire hope for a world without strife, war or conflict.
Bethesda Fountain - one of the largest fountains in New York and one of the most well-known fountains in the world was featured in films such as When Harry Met Sally (1989) and Enchanted (2007).
The iconic Bow Bridge (shown here in the wintertime!) Featured in many blockbuster movies such as:
- The Way We Were (1973)starring Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand.
- Keeping the Faith (2000)with Ben Stiller, Jenna Elfman and Edward Norton.
- Made of Honor (2008)featuring Patrick Dempsey and Michele Monaghan, and
- Night at the Museum (2006)with Ben Stiller, Robin Williams and Owen Wilson.
- The Alice in Wonderland sculpture – intended to invite and encourage children to touch, climb and crawl all over Alice and her friends in order to have an authentic Alice in Wonderland experience.
The Loeb Boathouse – a perfect place for fine dining with spectacular views of Central Park. At the boathouse you can also hire boats and enjoy a relaxing gondola ride.