A lovely but not terribly sunny day in Central Park! It was somewhat odd that there weren't more people out, but it made for a good photo opportunity! This is an enormous island of green in a sea of urban space, in the borough of Manhattan. It's had a long history, first opening in 1857. It initially comprised 778 acres but grew to 843 acres when it was expanded in 1858 after a design competition. It's now a National Historic Landmark, since 1962, managed by the Central Park Conservancy. As New York City continued to grow exponentially in the nineteenth century, people saw the need and benefits of a large public park, which was advocated by figures such as the editor of the Evening Post, William Cullen Bryant and Andrew Jackson Downing, who was the first American landscape architect. As New York City was something of an upstart compared to the great capitals of Europe, the park was intended to resemble the magnificent parks there, such as Bois de Boulogne in Paris or Hyde Park in London to signify its increasing importance.
There are a lot of features aside from just a park. The park hosts several bodies of water, including the Reservoir, the Lake and the Pond, descending in size as they move south. The park is surrounded by some of New York's most famous landmarks, including the American Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Museum. There are also walking paths, as seen here, bridle paths, ice skating rinks, one of which transforms into a swimming pool in summer, the Central Park Zoo, a wildlife sanctuary, an outdoor amphitheater, the Belvedere Caste, the Swedish cottage Marionette Theater and a historic carousel. There are also six miles of drives within the park used by pedestrians when traffic is prohibited on the weekends. It's a must-see stop when visiting the city, but it's so large that it's helpful to have an idea ahead of time what you specifically want to see.
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