Monday, November 27, 2017





(Photographs.. Autar Mota)

Sometime around  1857, as the Population of New York kept  increasing due to continuous arrival and  settlement of immigrants ,  the New settlers in Manhattan  felt an urgent need  to  build a Large  urban Park .  The park came to be known as CENTRAL PARK.  There was a continuous expansion and  Beautification this uptown  urban  park that currently  has Forests,  a lake ( Named as Jacqueline Onasis kennedy Onasis Reservoir ), Ponds, statues, walkways, Bridges, Meadows, Fountains,  Tonga tracks , Theatres , cafes, Clubs, flower Beds , Restaurants, Restrooms and so many amenities . Places or spots to see include Cherry Hill, Bow Bridge, Shakespeare Garden, The Pool, The Loch, The Ravine on west side. On east side you can see Gapstow Bridge, The Mall ( Literary Walk), Balto, Bethesda fountain, Alice in Wonderland, Conservatory Water, Cleopatra's Needle, Harlem Meer, Reservoir and conservatory Garden. You can also rent a bicycle and enjoy a ride , go for Boating , enjoy seasonal ice skating or  visit a Theatre or Zoo. There are some good Restaurants that serve Hot Coffee ,snacks  and sizzling Foods . Some prominent and  Popular  eating places inside the Park could be named as HARLEM MEER SNACK BAR, LOEB BOATHOUSE, LE PAIN  QUOTIDIEN, TAVERN ON THE GREEN,  THE  BALLFIELDS  CAFÉ  AND  DANCING CRANE CAFÉ. There are so many visitors information  centres inside with a Main Kiosk near Columbus Square Entry Gate.

The park is spread in about 840 acres in the upper Manhattan covering an area between 59th street to 110 street from north to south and from 8th avenue to 5th avenue from West to East. Travel by Metro ,pay $2and 75 Cents  and get down anywhere from Columbus square near 60th street up to 110th street to enter this park.

Managed by a private nonprofit organization known as Central Park Conservancy, The  Park opens at 6AM ( Morning) and closes at 1AM (Night ),365 days a year. This organization was founded in 1980 to restore, manage and look after Central Park. 75% of the annual budget ($65 Million ) of this organization comes from public donations .Central Park conservancy also runs a store that sells Central Park branded T shirts, Hats, hand embroidered material and guide books etc. Proceeds from all purchases help the conservancy to manage the Park. The conservancy has also set up free information Booths inside the Park . It also provides guided Tours inside the Park.

Once inside, you feel you have suddenly come to a different world with birds , green trees,  Pine forests, Grassy lands ,walkways, ponds , Playing Grounds and tranquil ambiance. The hustle of walking crowds amidst high rise buildings of New York  is suddenly forgotten even if  you see some skyscrapers around the park. You can Play an open Air Game of chess and Checkers inches AND CHECKERS HOUSE inside the Park. You can see breathtaking views from the BELVEDERE  CASTLE   or Visit CHARLES  A  DANA  DISCOCERY CENTRE  to see rotating Exhibits .
During Late Autumn season, we saw    some beautiful fall foliage.   We  also came across Colourful  Horse Carriages/  Tongas  carrying  tourists to various spots inside the Park. Bicycle Richshaws with tourists also keep moving. 

"Sir, you wanna  Park  Tour . Just $120  45 Minutes  . This Special Horse Carriage. Michael's ride. I carry family of President Clinton. Come  Madam."

Over here, if you are a Tourist from India, you will be addressed as Babu ji by people connected with Travel and Tour Industry. Young, old , literate or illiterate is a Babu ji. And every Babu ji will receive salaam and Namaste together. Take Salaam, take Namaste or take both together, choice is yours.

 As we move ahead, A  bicycle rickshaw man looks at us and comes closer:

" Babu ji , Namaste Salam. You  india .Come. I gonna cheaper concession. $50 two persons half hour. Madam decide. Babu ji wanna go around"

We go near the Bow Bridge. Shah Rukh khan has also done some film song sequences inside the Park near this Bridge. We see an Artist busy drawing a landscape near Bow Bridge. A chinese man in dark yellow robe comes close to us and wants to sell some image. I say no.We go to a restaurant and Order Mocha coffee with croissants. No vehicle is allowed into the park. Penalties are high and Adherence is strict.
We see families with children. We see individuals with pets. We see people sleeping and relaxing. So many young couples keep talking and getting intimate. Feelings are expressed. Others around have no business to look .If you are a Babu ji, shame is yours in such situations .

We see people in shorts running or Jogging . Outside , on Columbus Square entrance, we see some boys performing acrobatics to attract Tourists.    Outside  near Columbus Square ,Busy Halal  Vans   and  Tea / Coffee   Vendors   were ensuring that their customers make a line to buy Pretzels, Hot dogs, Bagels ,Sandwiches  and hand held  foods.   Near 5th avenue entrance, we see a group of Chinese demonstrating and raising slogans against  former Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui .

We see them changing  positions and posing for photo session  and video coverage.

While in New York, never miss this Park. 

( Autar Mora)

Creative Commons LicenseCHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
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