Through the center of Central Park. Center of our city, somewhat. Center of the Universe, I’d say. Cosmology gives us no exact point that is to be considered the center of all existing space and time. Yet, if we had to define this seemingly unfathomable place, it would encompass a grand mixture; one that included natural wonders and man-made edifices that make use of these natural wonders to create something awe-inspiring. The point would transform to accommodate any one or thing. It would be aesthetically pleasing while still rugged enough to manage the volume of the galaxies. This being said, if you ask me and anyone who walked before, behind, or alongside me over the course of this beautiful weekend, Central Park is the center point of the universe– a very large point at that! If you are looking for the optimum walking experience I’d suggest hopping on a Saturday 6 Train, getting off at E 68th street, and crossing a few avenues to the 72nd Street walkway, which takes you clear across to the West end of the park . The mouth of this entryway is spilling with people but so many that it’s overwhelming. Initially, you’ll see a few playgrounds and pedicabs, but I would suggest taking the stroll because 1. it’s free and 2. the pedicab ride gives you a touristy feel– one that leaves you with a great deal of information you could’ve retrieved from the internet but missing a portion of the experience (it doesn’t hurt to ride though if that’s the sort of day it is). In any case as you go closer to the center of the Central passing on all sides the extensive lawn, you’ll encounter the Bethesda Terrace which is one of the most beautiful places this city has to offer. It’s old English architecture, whose focal point is the fountain mounted by the Angel of the Waters, overlooking the Lake and Boathouse is an absolute must-see. Musicians, street performers, and often a hula hoop instructor frequent this location entertaining civilians but not abruptly disturbing them in their bliss. This subtly decorated wonderland is too widely recognized to be considered a great “find” but to incredible to not indulge in. Bethesda Terrace- do it. From there the hilly terrain continues, at any location being a beach, impromptu playground, arena, rink, athletic field, forest, or any given thing one would like. The possibilities are endless (defying confines of space and time– Center of the universe… told ya!), and at the end of this journey when you begin to see skyscrapers instead of trees above head, the park offers you a bittersweet goodbye: The Strawberry Fields; one last place to validate your peaceful existence.
If you’re looking to extend your experience, obviously you could venture off onto the park’s other paths (as there are a great many of them, considering the vast terrain), but you could also simply stop at any of the above mentioned locations. Some are denoted by signs as distinct points, but things like the lawn are not, however it is more than worth it to stop there for a while as well. I’d say just indulge in everything so that you don’t miss anything. Time will and opportunity will allow for it if you will.
Through the center of Central Park. Center of our city. Center of the Universe.