Today was a great first day in New York City!
Although my hostel is pretty far away from Midtown (I’m on 103rd W while Times Square is on 42nd!) it only takes 5 minutes to walk into this oasis in the heart of the city!
I entered on the North west side so the first thing I saw was ‘the pool’ which is typically one of the quietist bodies of water in Central Park and was a great relaxing start to the day!
Surprisingly this part of the park isn’t obviously manicured and it really does feel like you’ve just stepped into the countryside! I know that was the intention my the park’s designers but it really did feel really organic around the northern fringes of the park.
Then I stumbled into the North Meadow. Just an expanse of lawn that’s usually used for various sports. And right next to it is the East Meadow where quite a few people were obviously getting ready for their Saturday Baseball game!
After skirting the meadows I found myself on the wide path that rings the park where it seems like the whole of Manhattan come to run and bike ride! I’ve seriously never seen so many runners!
And once I got onto the reservoir track I saw even more! The reservoir is so so so pretty and I can actually see the appeal of running it’s circumference as it’s truly stunning.
You’re actually meant to only walk/run/jog in one direction on the reservoir track as it gets super busy (I didn’t know this and walked the wrong way!)
(if you ever get lost you just need to find a lamp-post and on it is the number of the nearest road e.g 83rd on 4th Avenue is the nearest road to this post - I thought this was such a clever and simple idea)
After managing to escape the hordes of runners, I wandered over to the turtle pond! And rising above it’s turtle infested waters was ‘Belvedere Castle’.
To be honest I’m still not entirely sure what to make of the ‘castle’... it kind of reminded me of the ‘Eifel tower’ in Vegas…
I ended up lingering a lot longer than planned in Shakespeare’s Garden as the ‘wild flowers’ were just so lovely and it was a surprisingly quiet section of the park.
After passing the Swedish Cottage and a Theatre I found myself at the lake and took the rambles down to Bow Bridge to get some amazing views out over the lake.
From Bow Bridge
I really loved the skyscrapers and all the beautiful buildings peeking over the trees from the lake – so beautiful!
I even picked up an oreo ice cream (which was yummy) so I had an excuse to just sit and while away some time looking at people struggling to row their boats!
The beautiful Bow Bridge
Then I walked up Cherry Hill and made my way to ‘Strawberry Fields’ named, obviously, for John Lennon.
This was definitely one of the busiest parts of the park so I didn’t really linger but there were a few really interesting memorial pieces and plaques dotted about.
Then I got to the part of the park that always seems to be in films, first up being Sheep Meadow. It seemed like everyone who had the day off had come to sunbathe, picnic and enjoy the sun in Central Park today and the view of the New York Skyline was pretty amazing!
After queuing for 30minutes (no joke) for the toilet, I then pottered down the Heckscher’s ball fields, up to the chess and checkers house (where I was tempted to play a game with some of the pros) before stopping for some photos at ‘the Pond’.\
This area was so lovely I ended spending ages wandering about before I finally tracked down the ‘Mall’. Which is basically just a wide straight path lined with trees but which always seems to be in films of NYC and is a little bit iconic.
Anyway there were all sorts of performers along the way and every single one of the was amazing. There were artists who would do incredibly accurate portraits and singers, some incredibly acrobats/dancers who put on a great show, as well as a very impressive magician!
Bethseda Terrace was at the end of the Mall and it was simply beautiful. In fact, there were quite a few brides walking around getting photos taken of them here.
After stopped by Bow Bridge to see how far the painter I’d seen earlier had gotten (there’s something mesmerizing about watching a talented artist paint) I walked over the ‘Great Lawn’ to the Reservoir for a final walk around it’s rim in the softer light
I really love the photos I managed to get of the reservoir!
Then it was just up Cedar Hill and past the Tennis Courts to get back to the hostel! Everyone in my room seems really lovely so far, and despite having a top bunk the bed doesn’t squeak!
I really loved what I saw of NYC today and I can’t wait to hit Midtown tomorrow and explore the streets properly!