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Old Apr 5, 2012, 3:29 PM   #1
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Default Stroll Along 59th Street or South Central Park

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: nytimes.com) 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.


#1) 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 "the most appalling disaster that ever destroyed an American ship of war." (source: NYTimes archive)


#2) There are many rocks buckling up from the grounds of Central Park. This rocky outcropping is on the southern edge at 59th Street. The big rocks make it fun for children and grownups, too, as they experience the harshness of Nature without leaving the city.


#3) Park benches on 59th Street.


#4) The Pond seen from 59th Street. Gapstow Bridge is on the far end of the Pond.


#5) Statue of William Tecumseh Sherman, the general that helped Lincoln keep his presidency and win the American Civil War.


Thank you for looking. C&C welcome.
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Old Apr 8, 2012, 12:10 AM   #2
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Thanks for that bit of history and some great photo's to go along with it. Perhaps you could get some better shots that show the wall around Central Park for those of us who have never made it there.
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Old Apr 8, 2012, 3:58 PM   #3
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G'day vvc

Agree with mike ^ ... thanks, & as always, your images are well done
Regards, Phil
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Old Apr 10, 2012, 10:04 PM   #4
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Thank you, lomitamike, Phil.

I had taken #2 and #4 with my tripod on the stonewall which was what led me to reading about Central Park's stonewall. Today I went back and took pictures of the stonewall and then some. I'm always looking for an excuse to shoot so I'm happy to oblige.

#6) Central Park West.


#7) Central Park East.


#8) View from The Lake looking south.
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Old Apr 11, 2012, 3:44 PM   #5
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G'day vvc

It strikes me -thunk- that ALL your images are stunning - almost visually voluptuous
Q- have you ever considered creating a photo book of these images and selling to tourists & other admirers like us on this list??

Regards, Phil
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Old Apr 12, 2012, 2:31 PM   #6
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Thank you, Phil. I think I'm just lucky that Central Park has so many photographic opportunities.

Regarding photobooks, I was introduced to a professional artist-photographer in Manhattan and when my wife and I visited him in his and his wife's home upstate, he showed me photobooks he creates using iPhoto, each with a specific topic. I don't think he sells them but rather he collects them to form his vast portfolio. He urges me to do the same. So I will be, soon.

#9)


#10)


#11)
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Old Apr 14, 2012, 12:45 PM   #7
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you have a gift very nice work
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Old Apr 14, 2012, 5:55 PM   #8
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7 and 11 looking great- almost "real"...!
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Old Apr 15, 2012, 6:43 AM   #9
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Thank you, zaboot1972, Simon.

#12) Not really inside Central Park but across the street from it on the corner of 72nd Street, the Dakota co-op apartment building is where John Lennon was shot.
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