Blue Sky. It was a perfect day to visit the iconic urban park in the middle of Manhattan.
We've all seen, heard or read about Central Park in movies, music or literature, and this is definitely one of the must do things in NYC. We came with a small list of places to visit in the park, but we had no idea how to find them. So we just walked and walked and walked.
FROM WIKIPEDIA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Park
Central Park is an urban park in Manhattan, New York City, U.S. state of New York. It comprises 843 acres (341 ha) between the Upper West Side and Upper East Side, roughly bounded by Fifth Avenue on the east, Central Park West (Eighth Avenue) on the west, Central Park South(59th Street) on the south, and Central Park North (110th Street) on the north. Central Park is the most visited urban park in the United States, with 40 million visitors in 2013, and one of the most filmed locations in the world.
We started at the 5th Ave and 59th street entrance, right at a subway exit.
Since we all have seen Madagascar, the Central Park Zoo was on top of our list of places to visit in the park.
Here is a rare Red Panda showing off. Apparently, according to a zoo keeper, Rohan - the Panda - was "extra cute for the tourists today."
FROM WIKIPEDIA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Park_Zoo
The Central Park Zoo is a small 6.5-acre (2.6 ha) zoo located in Central Park in New York City. It is part of an integrated system of four zoos and the New York Aquarium managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
The zoo began in the 1860s as a menagerie, thus making it the first official zoo to open in New York. The zoo was modified in 1934, with the addition of many new buildings ranged in a quadrangle around the sea lion pool. (The zoo from this era has been commonly known as the "1934 Zoo" or "Robert Moses Zoo".) The zoo was renovated in the mid-1980s and reopened in 1988, replacing cages with naturalistic environments.
Best friends. I just love this combination.
The green area is huge and very beautiful, but you can't forget this is still New York with its skyscrapers.
FROM WIKIPEDIA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strawberry_Fields_(memorial)
The Central Park memorial was designed by Bruce Kelly, the chief landscape architect for the Central Park Conservancy. Strawberry Fields was dedicated on what would have been Lennon's 45th birthday, October 9, 1985, by New York Mayor Ed Koch and Lennon's widow Yoko Ono, who had underwritten the project. The entrance to the memorial is located on Central Park West at West 72nd Street, directly across from the Dakota Apartments, where Lennon had lived for the latter part of his life, and where he was murdered in 1980. The memorial is a triangular piece of land falling away on the two sides of the park, and its focal point is a circular pathway mosaic of inlaid stones, with a single word, the title of Lennon's famous song: "Imagine". This was a gift from the city of Naples, Italy. Along the borders of the area surrounding the mosaic are benches which are endowed in memory of other individuals and maintained by the Central Park Conservancy. Along a path toward the southeast, a plaque on a low glaciated outcropping of schist lists the nations which contributed to building the memorial. Yoko Ono, who still lives in The Dakota, contributed over a million dollars for the landscaping and the upkeep endowment.
I am not sure why we didn't try the traditional Central Park House & Carriage Ride, although I think it would've been fun. I think prices vary from US$50 (20 minutes) to US$120 (one hour).
I like the fact that people are not trying to sell you anything at the park and the services are pretty downplayed. On the other hand, it can be a bit tricky for tourists to find where things are - like bike rental or cafes. So, if you visiting the park for the first time, do your research before hand and find out exactly where things are. It is even hard to find a map of the park - paper or signs.
Juju really wanted to ride the Carousel. Why not?
FROM WIKIPEDIA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Park_Carousel
The current carousel is officially the Michael Friedsam Memorial Carousel, It is the fourth carousel in the park since 1871, all located at the same site, and is part of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission's Central Park Scenic Landmarks.
The original 1871 Central Park carousel was powered by a mule or horse under the carousel's platform, signaled to start and stop by the operator tapping his foot. Two succeeding rides were destroyed by fires in 1924 and 1950.
The current carousel, which was restored in 1990, has 57 hand-carved horses — 52 jumpers and 5 standers — and two chariots. It is open seven days a week when weather permits and serves around 250,000 riders every year.
We also spent some time at the playground, of course. We liked how they have structures that are meant to be climbed and they connect to big rocks - inviting kids and adults to climb those too.
We thought the place was great to finally open the letter that Fifi sneaked inside our luggage just before we left home, wishing us a good trip.
How sweet, Fifi! Thank you!
We'll definitely come back here with you one day.
I had to register this. I absolutely loved this T-shirt.
After taking a couple of hours of rest at the hotel, we got ready to go out again. With tickets in hand to see Juju's first Broadway show, we were waiting for a taxi. Suddenly this man stoped and offered us a deal: to take us to the theatre style for US$20. Within seconds Juju and I were taking a ride on the back of this guy's bicycle, going uptown among crazy cars on 6th Ave. I have to admite that I hopped in because I felt bad for him at first, but soon after we starting having so much fun, laughing all the way. It was another NYC's surprises.
We didn't have too many options of plays for Juju to see because most of the big productions take a day off on Sundays. Really, we had only two options: School of Rock and Stomp. I knew both were good, but Juju really wanted to see this and I am glad she picked it. We loved every minute of it. The play was perfect for her age, since the story happens in a elementary school. The kids were amazing and as someone mentioned to us at the theatre "we are so done with the princesses, right?!"
FROM WIKIPEDIA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_of_Rock_(musical)
School of Rock is a rock musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Glenn Slater and a book by Julian Fellowes. Based on the 2003 film of the same name, with a screenplay by Mike White, the musical follows Dewey Finn, an out-of-work rock singer and guitarist who pretends to be a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. After identifying the musical talent in his students, Dewey forms a band of fifth-graders, in an attempt to win the upcoming Battle of the Bands contest.
Juju loved it so much that we had to hang out outside the stage door waiting for cast members to come out and getting their autographs.
The kids - about 10 years of age - were so adorable and friendly to her.
Before we went back to the hotel on a regular taxi we made sure we walked up to the Rockefeller Center and took this shot for the record.
You might never sleep, NYC... but I am dead!