A view of The Pond. In the distance, you can see the towers of Columbus Circle.
At the top of the pond was the gorgeous Gapstow Bridge.
Isn't it like something out of a L.M. Montgomery book?
My next stop was the Zoo where I saw...
The next animal of note was outside the zoo in the form of the statue of Balto, an "Alaskan Malmute who braved fierce Arctic weather to deliver a badly needed antitoxin that save a community from a diptheria epidemic." Not exactly sure what it's doing in Central Park, but the kids seem to like it.
Then I walked over to the Conservatory Water. It was fun to see children and their families sailing toy boats across the water.
To the west of the Conservatory Water was a statue of Hans Christian Anderson.
The statue is a recent addition to the park. It is dedicated to the children who lost parents in 9/11. I have to admit, I got a little choked up just looking at it. (Note the duckling at HCA's feet.)
As I left the statue, I passed a little girl who ran up to two of her friends and gasped, "You guys, Alice is in the park!" She wasn't talking about a pop star; she was referring to the giant Alice in Wonderland statue close by.
You can just make out Alice, the Mad Hatter and the March Hare underneath the pile of kids. What the attraction was to sit on this statue, I can't say, but look at them!
This description from the Central Park's website really says it all about Cleopatra's Needle:
Perhaps the strangest monument in Central Park is the 71 foot, 244 ton Obelisk, or 'Cleopatra’s Needle.' Easily the oldest man made object in the park, it is located in what is now a secluded bower directly behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Obelisk was originally erected in Heliopolis around 1500 BC and was moved to Alexandria around 12 B.C. by Rome’s Augustus Caesar. There it remained until 1879 when it was shipped to the United States as a gift of the Khedive of Egypt, who offered it to the U.S. as a token of good faith to help stimulate economic relations between the two countries. Or it was swiped by William H. Vanderbilt against the wishes of the Egyptians. It depends on who you ask.
After I passed Cleopatra's Needle, I walked over to the great lawn--probably the best place in the city for a picnic.
Once I had spent a few relaxing minutes on the lawn, I headed over to Belvedere Castle. (Sing it with me, "Streaks on the china...")
Lovely day for a row...
I climbed to the top of the castle. There is all kinds of meteorological equipment up there. In fact, if you are listening to the weather and you hear "It's (blank) degrees in New York City" this is where they are taking the reading from. There are also some really amazing views of the Delacorte Theatre (home of Shakespeare in the Park) and the Great Lawn up there.
The next stop on my Central Park adventure was Bow Bridge. Even if you've never set foot in Central Park, you probably recognize Bow Bridge. It's one of the most photographed and filmed locations in the park. It's also one of the most romantic places in the city.
Two love birds on the bridge...
My final stop that day was probably my favorite spot in all of Central Park: Bethesda Fountain.
Close up on the Angel of the Waters
At the top of the steps on Bethesda Terrace there were dozens of hula hoops on the ground and kids, and a few adults, who had picked them up and were hula hooping just for the fun of it. You gotta love New York.
I had allotted 3 hours to take this tour of Central Park, and that wasn't nearly enough time. I had to skedaddle out of there so as not to be late meeting a friend. I was sore from walking (again), but really happy I'd finally explored this magnificent place. It wasn't until later that I realized I completely missed the carousel. I guess that's further proof that you really can't experience everything this park has to offer in one trip.