Friday, August 23, 2019

New Yorkers and their parks: Central and Bryant, a winning pair

Children's pools, playgrounds, rowing ponds for all ages, beautifully kept greens greet the eye at Central Park East.
A calming stroll along the perimeter of Central Park is a must.



A summer day is enjoyed by these two folks, sunning
and enjoying a bite of lunch in Bryant Park's gardens.

PARKS ARE at a premium in the middle of large, congested cities. No one loves their parks more than New Yorkers, those fast-talking subway travelers. They live at a frenetic pace, these taxi honking, gesturing folks who eat, play, relax, take the sun, play cards or chess, people-watch, unwind and even nap in their beloved parks.
New York City has more than 1,700 parks, playgrounds, and recreation facilities across the five boroughs. They are well used by the city's 8.3 million residents and 63 million annual visitors.
NEW YORK's park properties range from swimming pools to wetlands and from woodlands to skating rinks.
Free concerts continue through the summer in Central Park.
One of our favorites -- and millions of others -- is Central Park, that magical 843-acre green space featuring rolling meadows, peaceful bodies of water,  concert areas, food trucks and a famous restaurant.
In 1857, landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted and architect/landscape designer Calvert Vaux won a design competition to construct thepark with a plan they titled the "Greensward Plan". Construction began the same year, and the park's first areas were opened to the public in late 1858.MUCH SMALLER but equally lovely Bryant Park in Midtown, is a 9.603-acre privately managed public park.  It sits  between Fifth and Sixth Avenues and 40th and 42nd Streets in Midtown Manhattan. So you'll find a mix of businessmen and women, tourists and patrons of the nearby Main Branch of the New York Public Library.
Sound equipment is readied for a concert, while
a few folks are taking their seats early in Bryant Park.

Both parks have a lively performance schedule.  Bryant's "borrow a blanket, grab some food" offerings feature NYC's acclaimed Drilling Company. We saw "Hamlet" there; "Othello" runs Aug. 30-Sept. 7 on various days. Accordion masters perform a wide range of styles this summer, along with five free Carnegie Hall concerts and three New York City Opera hour-long cuttings of "La Boheme," "Carmen" and a Pride Concert celebrating New York's diversity.
CENTRAL PARK'S equally popular Summer Stage Series is an outdoor festival of the arts held each year at Rumsey Playfield. Performances are mostly free, except for a few big-name benefit concerts that help fund SummerStage programming.
Shakespeare comes to Bryant Park
(here) and Central Park as well.
We always stop at Central Park's Strawberry Fields, a wonderful living memorial to the world-famous singer John Lennon. Financed and dedicated by his widow, Yoko Ono, it movingly celebrates the life of the songwriter and peace activist, best known as singer and composer with the Beatles. Every time we've wandered through, we've heard someone playing the guitar.
Strawberry Fields invokes tourists and New Yorkers
to "Imagine" a better world, as John Lennon asked.
pause, reflect and often leave a flower or note in this touching, beautiful place.
Both parks have wonderful, user friendly websites with maps, events and more:;

The AKC Museum of the Dog is a barking good treat in NYC.

UP NEXT:  With a wealth of museums to pick from, we  write about several a year.  This time we returned to several of our favorites and a new kid on the block.  We paid a visit to a museum designed to honor and pay homage to man's best friend. The AKC Museum of the Dog is a unique, one of a kind museum with paintings, photos, videos, games, sculpture and more devoted to every manner of canine.  Among other features, a self-portrait dog match machine takes your portrait photo and matches you to a lifetime dog. Remember to explore, learn and live and catch us Fridays for a new look at travel, the arts, nature, pets, family and more at


  1. Another one of your fun looks at the world around us.

  2. We love our parks, too, in Chicago. Thanks for the lovely photos.

  3. Shakespeare in Central Park in the Joe Papp days-- fond memories.

  4. Fun story and photos. Isn't Central Park an amazing place? Thanks to visionaries.

  5. Fabulous fun parks around the world. Good story and pretty photos.

  6. Always a pleasure to get the Cookie and Keller slant on a place we, too, know.