843 Acres of Delight…

or..if it’s not Central Park what else could it be…I ask.

Yes, friends, 843 acres running 2.5 miles long and a half mile wide is that glorious part of the City starting at  59th Street and ending at  110th with pure magic in between…Central Park!

Now  where to begin  on my walks through the Park?  A walk to the Boat Basin or to  Belvedere Castle or to  Strawberry Fields or to the Zoo or to the famed Carousel with the 57 hand carved horses?  What to do, what to do.

I made the decision (not quickly) for this first post on the park, to write about my most frequent walk, which is to enter on East 66th Street and wind my way over to the exit by  Tavern on the Green to Central Park West.     (I miss, by the way, that gaudy shiny Crystal Room at Tavern even if the food and service were not so great).

Now before I go any further, just wanted to say, you probably know much of what I’m writing, but if, like me, sometimes a different perspective brings about some kind of awakening to something new.  Even doing my research for my posts, I always have a discovery (e.g.The Central Park Conservancy Institute for Urban Parks  The Institute teaches park users and managers to care for urban parks everywhere. )  Didn’t know that.

So let’s get started

If you’re going to the park for any reason, take the time to just enjoy! Wear comfortable shoes, take water, snack, hat and maybe a sweater, throw an umbrella in just in case, a blanket and a book and crossword puzzle if you’re so inclined.   Much of the walkways and paths  are good but there are interesting  paths and trails that are unpaved and often muddy.

The East 66th Street Entrance

Here’s one of the frequent sites seen  everywhere in the park- people reading.  Those readers could be on benches or on the grass or even on the rocks. I’ve done it many times myself or should I say I’ve tried to do it, but it’s not easy to stay focused when there is always so much to see and hear. Must admit weekdays is an easier time of it because it’s  quieter, but even then, the birds chirp, people talk, interesting people talk,  tours come through, children laugh  and I’m very easily distracted .  No, I don’t use a headset.  One reason is “my hearing is definitely not what it used to be” plus I like the sounds and often a musician or group of musicians are playing.  Love that!

As I walked down the small slope and past the children’s playground, I saw  the usual  puppeteer with his egg pubaltoppet to the delight of the kids.   And just a little further up the hill is the popular Balto statue, the famed sled-dog who saved children’s lives in Alaska in 1925.

The Mall – the American Elms – Wow!

As I walked up the hill through the arch and up to one of my favorite places in the park   The Mall, of American Elms  It’s just so beautiful (by the way, how many times can I use “beautiful” in a blog…a lot when describing the park, but I’m going to try to use other adjectives, I promise. It’s gorgeous in the spring, summer, winter and  fall.

The Mall and Literary Walk

And here we are: the single walkers, the bikers resting on the bench, the couple holding hands, the stroller in the distance, all under those magnificent elms. (saving for another post the section of The Mall called Literary Walk with statues of prominent writers.

Ahead of me was Sheep Meadow
I stood under this magnificent tree to take the photo of Sheep Meadow
  •  FROM THE CENTRAL PARK WEBSITE: The fifteen-acre meadow holds true to this intention today as Central Park’s largest lawn without ball fields and as a designated quiet zone. No organized sports or gatherings are allowed on Sheep Meadow to preserve the space for quiet picnicking and relaxation.

It certainly is, trust me on this one

Sheep Meadow Is a wonderful place to stop, bring a blanket, a book, a snack, a hat and spend the morning or afternoon or day. (restrooms and cafe close by). With kids? Yes, bring balls.

And now I’m getting close to Central Park West, I stopped to rest on a bench and watch the action as people went by on bikes, some built for two, scooters, pedi-cabs, horse and carriages, piggy backers, strollers and the most popular…walking!

THANK YOU SAILORS FOR YOUR SERVICE!

As I write this Memorial Day weekend, it brought back to mind  my last post on Fleet Week.  I’m sitting looking around when  these handsome sailors (told you I loved men and women in uniform) came by and cheerfully let me take their photo!  What a great way to end this post on this Memorial Day! A thank you to  all who served and serve!

LOVE THIS CITY!  

KAY’S NOTES:

Important to know:  Go to the Parks website – everything  you ever wanted to know about  this magical 843 acres!   http://www.centralparknyc.org/

Disclaimer: I try for correct info on my posts, but no guarantees people.


 

An Inside Walk Worth Taking

 

NO UMBRELLAS NEEDED ON THIS WALK!

The Oculus at WTC
Inside The Oculus-Photo by me

I was with my Tribeca family and we walked from their apartment thru Brookfield Place down the escalators across the walk and onto Westfield which recently opened in the soaring space of The Oculus.

The Oculus!  The Transportation Hub at the World Trade Center designed by the internationally renowned architect  Santiago Calvatrava of Spain.

I thought it was stunningly beautiful!  How do you combine a subway station and a mall into a grand open shining space…call on a famous architect that’s what you do.  Amazing!

Best way to do this walk?  I always suggest to check out websites to see what’s happening not only at Westfield, but also at Brookfield Place. They are connected and  you’ll never have to go outside. Often special events are taking place that will just add to the fun.   This is not a quiet walk, but it sure is exciting, especially the first time you do it.   By the way, stopped at the new Eataly and enjoyed a lovely wine  and pizza with my family overlooking the World Trade Center and the new Liberty Park.

It’s a huge place so when you go be sure to plan your day, don’t rush,  people-watch, perhaps  walk over  to Brookfield Place and take in a view of the Hudson or do it all in reverse.  Along your way, you’ll find many places to stop for something to eat plus, of course, a glass of wine or an old-fashioned to  give  your feet a rest and decide where  your next steps will take you on this inside walk!

oculus 10

Enjoy!

Kay’s Notes:

Important to know: It can get a little crazy during commuting times – so keep in mind it is a transportation hub.

Websites:  About The Oculus,  Westfield  and Brookfield Place

http://www.panynj.gov/wtcprogress/transportation-hub.html

https://www.westfield.com/westfieldworldtradecenter

https://brookfieldplaceny.com/

Cost:  Seeing the buildings- free. shopping, eating and drinking? As the old song goes sung by Frank Sinatra and Ruth Etting (back in the day)  “It all depends on you”!

Where to eat:  A huge selection of places- as of this post – not all opened but will be very soon.

Restrooms: Plenty

Kid Friendly:  Without a doubt

 

*Disclaimer – I try for correct info on Kay’s Notes– but no guarantees people.


 

Summer Streets Starts Today FREE! …Kay’s Free Pick

 

PARK AVENUE CLOSED TO TRAFFIC  FOR SUMMER STREETS

ONLY ON SATURDAYS – THREE DATES – TODAY AUGUST 6TH, AUGUST 13TH AND THE 20TH FROM 7 AM TO 1 PM!
Summer Streets 2016

Summer time and the walking is easy!

It’s fun to do.  Lots of activities like  music, a water slide, games, Zipline  and lots and lots of people.  But, only walkers, bikers, roller bladers, scooters, strollers, skater boarders, etc., are allowed.    And, because I live on the UES, a stop at St Bart’s outside restaurant for a Mimosa is definitely in order to stay cool and watch the fun! Event is free – the Mimosa ??? Nope!

Citi Summer Streets Returns to NYC: Saturday’s 8/6, 8/13 & 8/20

From Summer Streets 2016 website -NYC Department of Transportation. Check it out – website below

“Summer Streets is an annual celebration of New York City’s most valuable public space—our streets. On three consecutive Saturdays in August, nearly seven miles of NYC’s streets are opened for people to play, run, walk and bike. Summer Streets provides space for healthy recreation and encourages New Yorkers to use more sustainable forms of transportation. In 2015, nearly 300,000 people took advantage of the open streets.

Summer Streets is modeled on other events from around the world including Ciclovía in Bogotá, Colombia and the Paris Plage in France and has since inspired other such events around the world such as CicloRecreo Via and London’s Regent Street Summer Streets.

Held between 7:00 am to 1:00 pm, Summer Streets extends from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park, along Park Avenue and connecting streets, with easy access from all points in New York City, allowing participants to plan a trip as long or short as they wish. All activities at Summer Streets are free of charge, and designed for people of all ages and ability levels to share the streets respectfully.

Summer Streets is a project of the New York City Department of Transportation.”

Kay’s Notes: This post is a little late for today’s events – but in plenty of time for the 13th and the 20th. 

Important to know:  It’s a great walk – see the City along Park Avenue from a different perspective.   Police are very helpful because cars still want to go cross town – and there are volunteers  with signs that say “stop” or “go” or something like that.    Definitely check out the website to see where along the route the activities take place.

Restrooms – Hotels along the way – couldn’t find if they are having any of those portable conveniences.  But  plenty of Starbucks and other restaurants a block east or west of Park.

Remember it starts at 7 AM and ends at 1 PM.

Disclaimer – I try for correct info on Kay’s Notes – but no guarantees people.


 

Hudson River Walk -Part 1

 

FROM THE WHITNEY MUSEUM TO MURRAY STREET WALKING SOUTH

Hudson river greenway

 

“Should I or shouldn’t I?” That was the question.  

I had been to the new Whitney Museum, absolutely wonderful building…a must see.  As I left, I began looking for a cab.  But then, taken by how beautiful the day was, I decided to be adventuresome  and cross over the West Side Highway to  stroll along the Hudson. I had walked many times along the river but closer to Battery Park and Tribeca. So I said to myself, “Self, nothing ventured, nothing gained, let’s go!”

On the sunny side of the street…

Just so you know, if you haven’t crossed the West Side Highway, it gets a little tricky.  There are crosswalks for pedestrians, but not at every intersection. After I left the Whitney, I walked south for a few blocks and came to a marked crossing, waited for the light to change and crossed over.   Safety note: Don’t try to beat the light, just wait till it turns to “walk “again, and  then go.   Those cars, cabs, buses are just sitting there revving up their motors… on the ready to peel away.  Patience is the key.

vesey st
Vesey St and North End Ave-one block south of Murray

With the West Side Highway behind me, the walkway was just a few steps ahead.  I didn’t have a destination in mind, but I knew by looking at the Freedom Tower far off in the distance, that if, indeed, I was going to try to make it there, I had a good walk ahead of me.  I accepted the  challenge and off I went.

It’s quarter to three….

It was tranquil for the City (but you know, there’s always City noise but not so bad) that afternoon. It was around 3 o’clock with a slight breeze, some clouds overhead and  the temperature was perfect.  As I walked along, I couldn’t help but smile to myself and to others as we passed.  Some smiled back, some gave a nod, some ignored me  and I knew some were  wondering, why is this woman smiling?   I was by myself and having the best time. The view of the water, Jersey across the way, boats sailing by, people walking, running, riding bikes, kids with soccer balls, nannies and strollers, skateboards…delightful.

teds nyc

I  was quite happy to see the number of benches on my walk; I plopped myself down several times, took a sip of water, and continued on my journey.    I had absolutely no intention of walking that whole way without stopping.    I took photos, I especially liked the one at the top of this post, far off in the distance, you can just make out the Statue of Liberty.

 

Put me in coach..I’m ready to play…today

I came to Pier 25 which is a destination in itself.  It’s the longest pier on the Hudson River.  Stop there if you have time.  On weekends, it is filled with families.  There are soccer fields, an 18-hole miniature golf course, water park, a floating library, snack bar and restrooms. You’ll find it on the Hudson River Park site (under kay’s notes)

Show me the way to go  home……

 

It took me about an hour to walk the almost two miles.  I finished at Murray Street, across the way is  Freedom Tower.  I stopped at  a restaurant with  great views of the river before heading home.    What did I order? A  glass of wine and French fries and sat back to take it all in.

Americas cup

If I had gone a little further, I would have been at the World Financial Center/ Brookfield Place, which is full of all kinds of  stores, restaurants and lots of  free interesting  events.  Plus, outside is the Cove where sailboats and yachts are just waiting to sail away…somewhere.  We(my family) and thousands of others   watched the America’s Cup NYC races there on Mother’s Day.

Americas cup

It’s a great walk-  take the time to just relax and enjoy the view. If you still have time, stay for the sunset.  Spectacular!

Kay’s Notes:
Artwork by TWO

Important to know:  Hudson River Park runs from Battery Park City North http://www.hudsonriverpark.org .    The walkway, called the Hudson Greenway runs along that system.  Check out the site….so much to see and do – and events keep changing.

Whitney Museum of American Art is at  99 Gansevoort St (meatpacking district) http://www.whitney.org  A stunning building (my visit there on a later post).

 Good to know:  A twist on this walk: Take the Highline http://www.thehighline.org to the Whitney and then cross over the West Side Highway to the walkway. Note:  you probably already figured out you can do this in reverse to the  Museum and beyond.

Where to eat:  During spring and summer months there are snack bars , and water fountains.   My suggestion is to wait till you get to the area around Brookfield Place,https://brookfieldplaceny.com/ selection of food options is amazing.

Restrooms- There are several on this section  of the walkway – sometimes though they aren’t open or under construction.  The site will tell you which ones are available.

Kid Friendly:  Friendliest!!!

*Disclaimer – I try for correct info on Kay’s Notes– but no guarantees people.