I managed to get up earlier – not significantly though –, put on my comfortable walking shoes, applied half a bottle of insect repellant, put some homework into my bag and left for Central Park.
I took the 5th Avenue bus down to Grand Army Plaza, the southeast corner of Central Park, well aware that I would have to travel about 70 blocks from 130th to 59th street and the bus would stop every two to four blocks. So it took me about 40 minutes but the bus ride on 5th Avenue is just nice, having Central Park to your right and the Upper East Side with its residences and famous museums to the left. My planned walk would take me from the Pond via the Lake up to the Reservoir, about 2 miles in total. I had cooled my leg and ankle in the morning and Central Park would offer me the chance to sit down on a shady bench to rest and do some homework all along the way.
At the Pond I had a phone call with Sarah Jessica Parker. Ok, I did not talk to her but she talked to me. She is on Central Park’s audio guide that you can simply use by calling a number on your phone.
From the Pond I walked to Wollman Rink where in winter New Yorkers go for skating. In summer there are fun rides on the space.
Next stop was the Carousel, carrying horses and wagons. Sheep Meadow is a huge lawn to lie down or do whatever. Sheep lived there more than a century ago. After that I lost my trail and ended up at the Band Shell and the Playfield where summer stage events like Shakespeare in the Park are held.
I found my way to the Lake, passing Bethesda Fountain, the heart of Central Park.
Bow Bridge, crossing part of the Lake was closed for roadwork, so I had to buy an icecream and walk a detour following the Lake’s left shore. So I came across Loeb’s Boathouse, where you can not only rent a boat to row on the Lake but as well have Lunch or Dinner or a Drink.
Through the Ramble, a forest, I reached the northern top of the Lake. There not only my leg told me it is enough for today but as well my insect repellant had evaporated and mosquitos started attacking me. So I left the Park to the West Side, leaving the rest of the walk to another day and caught an uptown bus, taking me to Harlem along Central Park West and past Morningside Heights.
I had been to Central Park before, visiting particular places, but I never had walked through it. So today’s walk showed me how beautiful and rich with sights it really is. It was not crowded as I had expected. There were other people of course, locals as well as many tourist, but I found places where I was basically on my own. I am looking forward to see more of it. Still have not been to the Reservoir.
Next month I will stay close to Prospect Park, Brooklyn’s biggest park designed by the same landscape designers. I am curious how it will keep up with.
In the friendly grocery store on 125th street I bought a piece of salmon and Swiss chard for dinner and found out that it is possible to buy one lemon even if they are priced by four.
At home I met Ettice who asked for my leg and provided me with a business card of her doctor in case I would need one. I asked her for a wine shop and as she was just on the go for a bottle of rum I could just join her. She shop we went to was very different to all other wine and liquor stores I had been to before. The bottles are kept in a locked off area behind glass. The customer does not have direct access to the bottles. The vendor walks in the glass cage and you tell him what you want. High security. It is like this in poorer neighborhoods, Ettice said.
What I learned today:
Central Park is pretty big and offers a lot to see.