One of the things that fascinate me in New York is that big island green that is Central Park, located in the middle of an island of concrete.
Central Park is located right in the heart of Manhattan and measures 341 hectares.
Do you know how many things we can be in 341 hectares of parkland? First, a bit ‘of artificial lakes: the bigger the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir (JKO Reservoir) alone occupies some thirty hectares, and then meadows, groves, areas for sports, a zoo (this is where they started animals of the cartoon Madagascar), a museum (the Metropolitan, that even that size is no joke) and much more.
A stroll in Central Park is a breath of fresh air for anyone from New Yorkers who among all those buildings feel definitely need to oxygenate a little ‘brain occasionally, to tourists who used to live in other contexts might well have need to get out of the concrete jungle and surround yourself with green.
Us during our trip to New York we dedicated a good half a day to run far and wide Central Park: it was the day of Easter, and finally there were the sun and early spring temperatures after days of cold wind.
It all started from 5th Avenue where we witnessed the curious and famous annual parade of hats: New Yorkers parade as the first women on the famous street of the city wearing odd headgear, some Easter-themed, others with Easter have nothing to do .
But the important thing is not the theme of the hat, the important thing is to be the most eccentric of all. Around these characters are formed bells of people – mostly tourists of course – making the race to photograph them.
Many hats are really wonderful, especially designed, detailed and extravagant, and not photograph them is a shame!
When we got tired of all those people and all those hats we diverted onto 6th Avenue and we reached the headquarters of the Central Park Sightseeing Bike Tours, to redeem one of the tours included in our New York Pass (since it is included sfruttiamolo, right? ).
We could opt for a rental bike lasting 4 hours or for a guided tour.
Since we do not like things too organized we chose the car and we left alone with our bicycles and a map of the park in the direction of Central Park, making sure the stretches where we had to share the road with cars and other means.
Finally safe in the park, dribblate the horse-drawn carriages and sellers of hot dogs, we started our ride around Central Park. By bike you can not walk the trails inside the park, but only the bike path (which is more like a real road) one way that revolves around us.
From the south along the Upper East Side (that always brings me back to mind the episodes of Gossip Girl) and then get to the north side and go down again towards the south by the Upper West Side that flows right.
Our bike ride started Malino since after a few hundred meters I was punctured the wheel: I could not turn around if not leaving the park, there were no points of support along the way … So I decided to go on the ride , with the wheel hole: a little ‘hard work more, but without losing the smile. With such a beautiful day it was impossible.
Exceeded the Zoo and saluted the statue of Balto (the references to movies, TV series and cartoons in New York are endless) we went through fields and trees and groves until the great shape of the Metropolitan Museum has not shown clear to our beautiful right. The museum we had already visited a few days before so we knew the treasures it contained, and we did not linger further, we went instead to the large artificial lake that begins at about the height of the Guggenheim (also to have visited before) .
Here we left the bike (with closed padlock) and walked to the banks of the lake to take some photos: the JKO Reservoir has a little ‘disregarded my expectations, I imagined navigable, perhaps dotted with boats instead this lake I It seemed a large pool surrounded by a fence. Certainly interesting that a water basin so great you’re there in the middle, but nothing more!
Shooting the bike pedaling continued at a good pace to the point further north of Central Park, where there is a nice climb to go (which I recommend with a wheel hole though). Another pond, meadows filled with people enjoying the beautiful day of Easter, many children playing and families making picnic.
Going back to our starting point we killed two birds with one stone: stopping to eat a sandwich at one of the pickup trucks parked at the edge of the park and visit the Museum of Natural History (one of the film Night at the Museum!). The sandwich we were waiting, and the museum will be wonderful, a real surprise!
Again riding the bike we coasted “The Lake”, another pond, finally the navigable with romantic boats that I imagined, and then obligatory stop at Strawberry Fields, where stands the word “Imagine” in memory of John Lennon and the His pacifism attacked by groups of tourists photographers.
Last stop before returning to the pits (and leave your bike punctured owners) Sheep Meadow, the huge gardens, lush green, with grass neatly trimmed that day were crowded with people who were enjoying the Easter outdoors, lying on blankets, or committed to launch the footballs American-style.
With the sun and the temperature was wonderful desire to leave there the bikes and join, maybe taking a nap on the grass.
Instead of the 4 hours to our car were winding down and we had to abandon our regret that great place and back between the cars of 6th Avenue.
If you have the opportunity to take a bike ride in the park do it! Not because walking is not as nice, in fact, you could probably see a lot more walking, but you may put us too much time, and I would go out with sore feet because Central Park is really huge.
If you rent bikes remember to also give you a lock to close the bike: I will not leave unless you ask specifically (and usually included in the price). The lock is key for stops that will allow you to immerse yourself in the park on foot or visit a museum. Do not leave your bike unattended without closing them because if you steal the risk of having to pay to charterers since you are responsible for the bike during the rental.
In the park there are no bars or restaurants (except for the one near the boat rental of “The Lake”, or the coffee shop near the Metropolitan Museum). To eat or stop for a drink you can rely on street food trucks parked all around the park or on the bars, restaurants and bistros located near the park (but outside it).
Bring a map of the park is great and you will like to know where are the points of interest to be achieved.