Stroll Along South Central Park on 59th Street
Late March, 2012
Whenever it rains the day before, the clearing clouds the following morning always make for great photo opportunities. So on one such morning in early spring, I took a long detour to work to stroll along 59th Street between 8th and 5th Avenues that forms Central Park South.

Central Park in its entirety is surrounded by a stone wall. The wall, about 4 feet in height, was being considered for demolition when, in 1913, “some fuss has been made over the simple and intelligible proposal that Central Park would be bettered by the removal of the low stone wall”. (source: The project would have been expensive at the time especially when the new subway system was costing the city so much money. The removal of the stone wall -- deemed an eventuality at the time -- was postponed for an unspecified future date.

Thankfully, that has not happened. The New Yorker Magazine in 2011 calls the wall the “boundary between the green park and the concrete city” and found the “perspective of the Central Park wall and the big overhanging trees” fascinating.

Personally, I like the wall. When approaching Central Park from any direction, I am met by the straight and stern stone wall and so I walk alongside it in search of an opening from where I can get in. When I eventually find one and step inside, perhaps because of the effort I put in and perhaps because of the contrast with the wall’s straightness, I am simply mesmerized by the wavy oak tree branches seemingly floating above the undulating landscape of rising mounds of green and the curved paths that bend around them, and the grace and elegance of the bridges and the softness of the lakes that sprout into view every now and then. As opposed to, say, a park that has no walls and where everyone may run headlong into from any direction, no doubt Central Park’s low stonewall commands respect, awe, and admiration to the beauty contained within and makes the public park seem and feel like a private one.

The wall’s top is shaped like a pyramid I suppose to prevent people from sitting on it. There are plenty of benches surrounding Central Park, many with a small plaque engraved with the name of a person or persons, or a personal inscription of the donor’s choosing. The adopt-a-bench as the program is called is not cheap -- the $25,000 donation goes to the preservation of Central Park.

I suppose when one is rich -- as I’m sure New York City has its more than fair share -- one can easily afford such a price tag. I suppose, too, however, that even the not super-rich might want to place a loved one’s name on one of Central Park’s wooden benches. If you’ve been to the deeper recesses of Central Park where you get complete isolation right in the middle of the city, you might concur. Even for someone who believes in the afterlife -- or maybe especially for someone who does -- no words might express the feeling one gets of having a deceased loved one’s name immortalized in a park where one frequently goes to for peace, comfort, and maybe even in times of sorrow, bliss.

Click on a picture to enlarge.
Dedicated in 1892, the monument commemorated the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' landing in America.
Columbus Circle on 59th, Broadway, and 8th, on the southwest corner of Central Park.
Steel globe at Columbus Circle fronts the Trump International Hotel.
The U.S.S. Maine monument at the southwest entrance of Central Park was dedicated to the 266 sailors who perished when their battleship, the U.S.S. Maine, exploded in Havana three months before the Spanish-American War began. At the time, the U.S.S. Maine was
There are many big rocks buckling up from the grounds of Central Park. This rocky outcropping is on the southern edge of Central Park on 59th Street. The big rocks make the park fun for children and grownups, too, as they get to experience the harshness of Nature without leaving the city.
Park benches on 59th Street.
The Pond seen from 59th Street. Gapstow Bridge is on the far end of the Pond.
Monument of William Tecumseh Sherman, the general that helped Lincoln keep his presidency and win the American Civil War.
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