18 June 2012

Sunday in the Park

On a recent Sunday I took a leisurely walk through Central Park. At 843 acres, it's best to just take in a section of the park at a time so that day I decided to visit the Shakespeare Garden and then walk across the park to the Met on Fifth Avenue (not a very long walk if you don't stop and make detours). After taking the A Train to 81st Street I entered the park at Park Drive, which is closed to traffic on Sundays.

The park was green and lush, the trees creating a nice canopy of shade on the paths. Some of the trees even appeared to grown sideways.

Looking up, one could see the tops of grand apartment buildings peeking above the trees.  Turning a corner, I came across some police horse vans. I liked these two guys—one tail in, one tail out.

Just past the Swedish Cottage (home to the Marionette Theatre), the Shakespeare Garden is surrounded by a rustic wooden fence with stone paths that wind upwards around beds filled with plants and flowers found in Shakespeare's plays.

There were still quite a few flowers in bloom, including loads of roses and lilies. The garden is especially popular with butterflies; in late summer apparently one can see Monarchs stopping on their way south. Amidst all of the plantings, I spotted a lone black Hollyhock on the outer edge of the garden; I couldn't get very close but was still happy to see one of my favourite flowers standing proud. There are benches in the garden where one can sit and take in all of the loveliness; I'd love to bring a book and just hang out one day. On my way out, I saw evidence that some wedding photos had been taken earlier—red and white rose petals scattered on the steps.

Leaving the garden, I walked up to Belvedere Castle and took in the view from the highest spot in the park. The temperature is recorded at the castle hence the reason the weathermen always report on the weather in Central Park. Going back down to the path,  I walked around the Delacorte Theater where if you're willing to stand in line for hours, you can see the Public Theater's productions of Shakespeare plays and others for free. 

The aptly named Turtle Pond was murky and filled with turtles who swam right up to the dock. I read that many of the turtles were once pets who got dropped off at the pond by their owners.

Continuing on, I crossed across the Great Lawn and over to the back of the Met where I saw some park police on horseback and could spot the latest installation on the Met's rooftop—Tomás Saraceno's "Cloud City," which I'm looking forward to visiting. I walked up to Greywacke Knoll to get a closer look at Cleopatra's Needle, an Egyptian obelisk that is covered in Hieroglyphics and features support from brass sea crabs. It has a twin in London and is pretty cool.

I walked around the Met and out onto Fifth Avenue only to find the street closed for the Puerto Rican Day Parade, which I had somehow forgotten about. I walked a few blocks down and watched the parade goers for a bit before heading back to my neighbourhood. What a lovely way to spend a Sunday morning. 

photos by Michele.

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