Central Park
A getaway from the city without leaving the city!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Central Park is the most visited park in the world!  Hundreds of thousands of people enter Central Park on a daily basis.  That is almost 100,000,000 million people a year!  So, why is this park -in the middle of the greatest city in the world- such a popular place to visit?  Well, maybe that question was answered in the question.  Central park takes up 6% of Manhattan with a total of 843 acres.   Some people call the park "Manhattan's Lungs," because with all the carbon dioxide coming from the city the inhabitants of the island would suffocate from lack of oxygen.  Some say the great park produces enough oxygen to keep everyone -including the many non-human creatures of the city- breathing nice clean city air!  Let's take a look at a few factors that make Central Park the greatest park in the world!

  The History Behind Central Park

The history of Central Park starts in the middle 1800s when almost all New Yorkers lived below 38th street in very crowded quarters.  Immigration was increasing rapidly during this time and it became extremely crowded and frustrating for the inhabitants of Manhattan.  In order for people to get away from this chaotic setting, they went to the cemeteries in nearby Brooklyn.  Ironically, these cemeteries brought joy and a fresh breath of air to civilians who were feeling the squeeze from the busy city.   The city finally  decided it was time to fund a city park that would be placed in the uninhabited and swampy and muddy terrain of what is today, Central Park.

 Reservoir in 1850s.  Today it is the Great Lawn.

In 1858, Frederick Law and Calvert Vaux created the Greensward Plan -the design of Central Park.  Their plan would create the first major park for public use in all of America

The Construction of Central Park

 While the park was used as a refuge from the city's daily grind -like today- the designers could never have imagined that the city would boom to the point where the city would be fully developed around the park. 

 Entertainment and Recreation in Central Park

Today, Central Park welcomes people from all walks of life.  Whether you’re traveling with friends, family, or flying solo, Central Park will keep you entertained and busy for as much time as you’re willing to give it. 

For the romantic type, take a look back in time while viewing the great scenery of the park with a carriage ride.  Or, take advantage of the park’s gondola ride, which will take you through some of the beautiful waterways of the park Venetian style.  After some time on the boat you can head to one of the many restaurants, such as the famous Tavern on the Green.  And, of course after dinner head to the Great Lawn for a great New York City sunset. 

For the Beatle fan, take your own, or guided Strawberry Fields tour where you will enter the park through the same entrance John and Yoko used to.  The tour will start you off at John Lennon's former residence, The Dakota, and into Strawberry Fields to view the famous Imagine Mosaic. 

If you are looking to be a little more active, you could join a pickup game on one of the many softball fields scattered throughout the park, or rent a bike to cycle through the park.  While on your bike join the Central Park Movie Tour and see the spots of the hundreds of movies filmed in Central Park.  During the winter months you have to go ice skating on one of the park's famous ice rinks. 

For the children and animal lovers, head to the Central Park Zoo to see animals from all over the continent.  And what's a trip to Central Park without going to the famous Central Park Carousel?  The Central Park Carousel has the largest hand crafted horses for a carousel in the world!  

 For more information on Central Park,

and information on Van Cortlandt Park visit:

http://www.kn.att.com/wired/fil/pages/listparksm.html