Every year, some 25 million people go to the Central Park in Manhattan, making it the most visited park in the entire world. Central Park owes its fame not only to its beauty but also to the fact that it has been the subject of or has made an appearance in so many movies and television shows. Central Park is one of the most famous parks in the world.
The road to recognition for Central Park can be said to be long and tumultuous, with some periods of peaking and some periods of decline. There was even a time when Central Park was considered a dangerous place to be caught in when darkness falls, with so many cases of muggings and rapes happening within its grounds.
Central Park started out as a response to the need of the residents of the City of New York to have open spaces where they could escape the din and the noise of the expanding city. Later, the voice of the influential New Yorkers intensified the demands for the building of a park that will mirror the grandeur of Hyde Park in London and Bois de Bologne in Paris. And so, in 1853, some 700 acres of land in the center of Manhattan was designated to be the site of the park, and the Greensward Plan created by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux was implemented.
What makes Central Park so distinct among all the parks of the world? Central Park has many features that are aimed to please its millions of visitors, whatever type they may be. If they are into sports, Central Park has many ball fields, playgrounds, skating rinks, a public swimming pool and other sports facilities.
If they are nature lovers, they would enjoy tramping in the woodland area or just sit around watching the birds as they go on their spring or fall migration. They can also go and explore the gardens, like the Shakespear Garden, which features all the flowers and plants mentioned in the Bard’s plays and sonnets. They can even visit the Central Park Zoo and Wildlife Center, or go on a carriage ride to enjoy the sights and vistas.
If the visitor is into the arts and culture, he or she would enjoy the classic architecture and the gorgeous statuary that can be found in Central Park. Among the most popular structures in Central Park are Cleopatra’s Needle, an ancient obelisk donated by the Khedive of Egypt in 1881, and the statue of William Shakespeare.
Lovers of music and the theater are drawn in by the free and open-air concerts and performances held at Central Park. The Public Theater group often holds stage plays, mostly Shakespearean, at the Delacorte Theater. The New York Philharmonic Orchestra performs at the Great Lawn of Central Park every summer, and many great musical acts also hold concerts here.
Central Park is truly a wonder, and it certainly deserves its fame. The next time you are in New York City, make it a point to visit Central Park and discover its wonders for yourself.