Central Perks

Before I get on with the blog, many apologies for skipping last week’s post. I had guests for two weeks straight and thus very little time for reading or writing. I secretly wish some of you checked for an update and were the tiniest bit disappointed not to find one, but with Summer in full swing, I’m sure that feeling faded soon after.

Well, if you’re still interested. Here’s a little bit more about NYC.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir

There’s a reason Central Park is the park in New York. Because it basically is the only actual park. Not that there aren’t green patches with benches every here and there across the city, but most of them look like this:

Jackson Sq., West Village

Really cute and tidy, and I’d love to sit and read a book here, but if I can take a picture from one end of it – with a rather mediocre camera, I might add – and catch 3/4 of it in the frame, it’s not a park. Not to mention the towering building where some trees should be.

And how about dog parks? There must be places for dog owners to socialise along with their loyal pets. Of course there is, here’s a snapshot of Soho’s Grand Dog Park:

Yep, putting “grand” in the name didn’t do much for space. Who knows, maybe there’s a big meadow behind that corner, huh? From what I saw in Manhattan, unless there’s a secret wardrobe-passageway there, I wouldn’t bring my dog’s hopes up.

I started writing “coming from Switzerland, where nature is always at arm’s length”, but then I though, Switzerland is a tiny quiet country, not fair to compare nature here and there. So I thought of my hometown, Sofia, which is three times the size of Zürich, and still a spec in comparison to “the big apple”. Ah, what do we know, there’s less than 1,5 million people in that city – plenty of room for everything still. But then again, after having lived in huge, crowded, hurried London – and by “lived” I do mean spending a good part of your day literally [on the] Underground – I can confidently say that NYC might be “the big apple”, but that apple’s fallen far faaaar away from its tree.

Unless it fell off a cherry tree in Central Park. Now those they have:

Where I tied a martenitsa for good health.

And who hides in the wonderland of sakura and magnolia in Central Park? Alice, of course:

There’s no better way to start a walk in the park than this.

It would have been a much lovelier experience to enjoy the statue if it wasn’t such a touristic spot. I do realise I am a tourist myself, gone there for the specific reason to see and take a picture of it – maybe even with it, but I’m horrible with posing or taking selfies – but even in my most infantile state, I would only take one or two photos and then leave it to the kids. Not this lady:

She went to town on that poor statue. Climbing and clambering like a kid on a sugar rush. Unfortunately, this is also the best photo of Alice I’ve got.

I took a couple more, because there was this adorable little girl propped on Alice’s lap, but what do we see behind the White Rabbit – that same white hat on a very adult head.

Aaaand… She’s still there after both kids were already gone with their parents and their pictures of a lovely statue and a very zealous, if a little older, Alice in Wonderland fan.

I didn’t have the patience to wait for her to take a picture with every single character – and I didn’t take any of these with the sole intention of shaming her online –  but she left me very little choice. So, whoever you are, if you ever see these, it’s not personal, I just really wanted to take a picture as well, but I was on my own so couldn’t climb that mushroom and pose myself.

Plus, there was more to see around the park. I’ve spend the better part of two days in and around it, and I still haven’t seen even half of it.

Golf courses

Beautiful avenue entrances

Lovely secluded alleys

Elegant gardens

The popular spots, of course

Private spots amongst the crowd

I found some lovely vantage points on people and on the city, and spend a great afternoon with friends there.

And we found some famous spots as well. Some more randomly than others.

As you’ve probably already gleaned from the title of the post, I am a “Friends” fan and I will not be judged for it! 🙂 But even as such, I had not recognised this fountain while taking pictures of my friends monkeying around in it. In fact, I probably would not have thought of it at all were it not for the random carriage driver whom we overheard saying “Hey, you know the show “Friends”? Well that’s the fountain from it.”

At the moment I didn’t think much of it – not that die-hard of a fan – and took it as a nice additional perk. Later, we found out it was not our poor observtion skills at fault, but the gullibility of most tourists. Yep, it’s a nice fountain, albeit not working, but it’s not worth the trip if you’re doing it for the show.

There are many more beautiful spots around the park – some are definitely more popular (south of 86th street, which goes roughly through the middle of it) than others, which means there’s a spot for every mood. Although it might take you a while to find yours, as the park spans across 50 blocks in length and is three avenues wide! I mean, you’ve seen a map, it’s huge! It’s like all the parks that New York needs, merged into one giant super park (much like Rachel’s hat 😀 ). I always thought it more practical to have multiple green spots around the city where you can go, but seeing Manhattan for myself, I kind of get why they’ve done it. Having this vast green rectangle surrounded by avenues, like a nature reserve in the heart of the island, is the only way to keep it from being smothered by the concrete jungle * I was planning on making one big sentence with all the clichès about New Yrok I could think of…. But I didn’t and now see what happened. Apologies! 🙂 * It’s almost like an alegory for the city itself – you have to be big and have strong boundaries in order to be the biggest and the best in a city like New York.

None of these photos are presented chronologically, as they are from two separate days, but upon “leaving” the park I would like to leave you with this final one. A very real, very honest, very special message from a very real person, who used to live right across the street from the park. I wish you a lovely weekend with lots of positive energy! 🙂

xx, y.

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About Yoanna Novakova

Yoanna is a reader, writer, traveller, concert goer, hiker, drinker, thinker and, of late... a blogger. She's currently doing a lot of travel writing (obviously), but fiction, fantasy and life-writing all have a representative in her portfolio. A reader of varied tastes, she's even been called "strange" for enjoying Stephen King and Terry Pratchett alike. In her pre-teen years, she used to be the kid who'd re-read her favourite books over and over again. Now she knows life is just too short for that. Always reading more than one book at a time, always writing more than one project at a time, she is yet to find her perfect pace. But she's working on it!
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2 Responses to Central Perks

  1. Pingback: Hard-boiled Eggs, Subway dwellers, and a small rant about, well, other people | Yoanna vs the World

  2. Pingback: More than Sightseeing | Yoanna vs the World

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