Central Park is without a doubt the best thing about NYC. It almost makes up for the fact that NY businesses dump their rubbish right on the sidewalk producing all kinds of funky smells. (I’m not joking – picture evidence below)
It is HUGE!! If memory serves me right I think it’s about 770 acres of landscaped gorgeousness. In fact, my new life’s goal is to move to NYC for 6 months and spend everyday sitting in the park writing a book. There is something so magical about the calm quietness of Central Park that makes you feel so serene and creative. Being surrounded by such a stimulating city that never stops the park offers a retreat from all the madness and it’s this very juxtaposition that serves as it’s greatest allure.
We have a shit-ton of gorgeous parks in Australia. But none that are surrounded by such a contrasting environment. Besides, we all have our own lawns to mow so looking at grass is nothing new.
The other huge draw card (for me) is – NO ANTS!! You can lay straight on the grass, your face sticky with….. I don’t know…. Hershey’s… and not fear ants attacking! I forgot to add that to my last post where I filled you all in on my phobias. Myrmecophobia is another phobia I am burdened with. In spite of my phobia I have a great appreciation for ants. One of my favourite books is called “The Lives of Ants” by Laurent Keller – they are absolutely fascinating creatures!! I just don’t want them crawling on me, on my food or anywhere near me. In Australia I would hazard a guess that the chance of finding a 1m square parcel of land – anywhere – that is void of ants is about 0.001%. It is such a luxury for me to be able to lie on beautiful soft green grass without fear of attack.
Actually, initially I was fearful of attack – just not from ants. My love of crime shows and True Crime Podcasts had me erroneously believing that Central Park is a hotspot for rapists and murderers alike. At no point did I fear for my life. It pretty much felt like the safest place in the world at that very moment I was there. There weren’t even any signs of past crimes such as remembrance plaques for all the victims or wanted posters for all the uncaught murderers, rapists and robbers. I did some googling of crime statistics and it seems that the crime rate in Central Park is 71% lower than the national average (will post stats at the bottom of the blog). But it also states that you have a 1/126 chance of becoming a victim of any crime in Central Park which does make me raise my eyebrows. Those seem like some pretty high statistics to me!!
When we first arrived at the park we were confronted with a line of horse drawn carriages. My mum was very excited as she loves horse drawn carriages. Isabelle was super excited as being a princess is one of the future occupations she is considering. Riding in carriages is a form of work experience as far as she is concerned. Jazzy was neither excited or not excited but decided to go because her friend was going. Kylah, well Kylah was furious. Despite me reassuring her that the horses were happy and well cared for she did not see it that way. According to her, making the horses drag tourists around the park all day was akin to animal torture. I did point out that there were humans on bikes dragging carriages of humans around the park as well but this point was overlooked.
Despite her strong objections, she tried her best not to be a killjoy or too judgemental and managed a tight smile and a wave as they set off on their trip.
Kylah and I decided to pass the time with her friend by going on a squirrel hunt. This activity lasted a grand total of 10 seconds before one was sighted. I think they are the American version of possums. I sent the kids off to buy me and themselves a hotdog from one of the many “Genuine American Hotdog” vendors which encircle the park. It cost $8 USD for a hot dog and a drink. The hotdogs were so small they resembled the ones you would serve as an appetiser at a kids party. You know, a dinner roll with a cheerio (for US readers a cheerio in Aus is a micro version of a hot dog sausage). They tasted like regular processed meat on highly processed bread to me. Nothing fancy.
The bread reminded me of McDonalds bread and I’m sure that if I packed my hotdog in my suitcase it would still look and taste exactly the same in 3 weeks time. Luckily all extra space in my bag is reserved for shopping, not hot dogs, so my experiment will have to be shelved for when I move to NYC to write my book and star as an extra in my new friends’ TV show. I’ve offered to play a cadaver (for free) in a comedy crime show and have been spending a lot of time lately practicing. It’s harder than you think. All muscles in your face and body have to be completely relaxed. Luckily I like nothing better than lying around playing dead whilst a commotion happens around me (whinging children, Mr Tinkle Fart-Berry Cock-a-doodling, Ben swearing under his breath because I “forgot” to iron his work shirt etc).
My second trip to Central Park was even more perfect than the first. CHILD FREE!! I love just being able to wander around and do whatever I fancy, which is mostly just wandering around. I had a WHOLE day to spend by myself but only managed to squeeze in 2 hours at Central Park on account of all the shops I needed to walk past on my way to the park. I won’t go into the shops in this post because I’m just trying to keep it about Central Park.
During the two hours I spent wandering and daydreaming in Central Park I only covered a tiny fraction of it. Still so much more to see and do!! I didn’t come across the zoo at all which I was very keen to see. I read a story about a pair of same-sex penguins who lived in Central Park zoo which was absolutely fascinating. They were both male and after a while one of them began sitting on a rock. The zoo keepers switched out the rock for a fertilised egg and they had a baby together and raised it as their own. Roy can read all about them here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_and_Silo
Honestly, to get a feel for the park you really need to spend days there. I definitely rate it as NYC’s main attraction!!!
Thanks for reading!!