To touch on a prediction I mentioned in a previous post, I never thought I would last more than brief visit in New York City, and I would certainly never post up in The Big Apple without at least a rough exit strategy. The hustle and bustle, the taxis, the buildings, the people, were a brutal combination destined to clash with my laid-back, wandering, wave-riding, tree-hugging personality. Yet, here I sit in a coffee shop, six months later, not so annoyed to be here. Happy, one might say.
Sure, it's got it's downfalls. I occasionally have to suppress the id's urge to deck someone in the face, kick a dent in the taxi that ran through a red light and the crosswalk I was in, or remind the Starbucks-Whole Foods people that they aren't any better than the rest of us to be deservedly cutting lines. But for the most part, I've managed to not only maintain my sanity in a place I formally referred to as Hell on Earth- I've found some sanctity here, which I believe is in large part due to the magic of Central Park.
If it weren't for Central Park, I might have taken a head-first dive off the Brooklyn Bridge by now, and I realize now that my proximity to the famous park is probably the only reason I haven't. It's a place of refuge, a place of peace, a place where one can connect to nature, breathe, and soak in the sun in a city dominated by shadows.
Central Park is not just any old park either; it's 843 acres are ornately decorated with structures and landscapes old and new. There are 25,000 trees, 26 baseball fields, 36 bridges, an Egyptian obelisk that changed through the hands of the pharaoh Rameses and the emperor Julius Caesar, a castle, a zoo, several museums, conservatories, lawns, cherry blossoms, horse-drawn carriages, and countless trails to get lost on.
The Loop, which is probably the most known of Central Park trails, is about 6 miles long, leading one from the East Side, to the West Side, as far north as 110th Street in Harlem, and as far south as 59th Street in Midtown. The average person walks about 3 miles an hour, so do yourself a favor when you visit New York- dedicate two of your hours to walking The Loop and getting to know Central Park. Below is a little video I made with my friends demonstrating one of our "Thursday Board Meetings" on The Loop.
Being that I live in the Upper East Side and have worked in the Upper West Side for the first six months that I've been living here, I've spent part of nearly every day in the park. You almost wouldn't know that it was surrounded by a 3 trillion dollar city on all sides. Summer is on the way and the trees have finally begun to bloom with all of its bright colors.
For however long I'm in this city, Central Park will not only live up to it's name from a geographical standpoint; it will also be "central" to my New York City experience.