We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I've lived in the New York City metropolitan area for 26 years. I take many things about New York for granted. I still haven't been up to the top of the Empire State Building, and I haven't been to the Statue of Liberty. I did (back in 1982, when I was in college) get to the World Trade Center, and I've been to Windows on World for dinner. I've also been to the Top of the Rock and the Rainbow Room (which I preferred to Windows on the World).
None of these really compare to Central Park, though. It's just a great place to hang out, and thankfully is very close to my office.
(more pics below the fold)
It doesn't look like much, but the Sheep Meadow is normally covered with blankets, people sunning themselves, dogs, and people playing Frisbee or flying kites. I've watched several movies being filmed here, as I sat nearby and munched on a sandwich. Nothing was going on the day I took my walk. Sometimes that's more fun.
Taken from the other side of the Meadow, here's how the Sheep Meadow got its name:
The building with the Gables is The Dakota, famous for John Lennon, "Rosemary's Baby", and so named because when it was built (1880s), that section of New York was as sparsely populated as The Dakota Territory.
On the other side of the Park is the Conservatory Water, also known as the Sailboat Pond (none were out the day I was there):
The apartment buildings on the right overlook 5th Avenue from 72nd to 80th. I've been lucky enough to be in some, and they have tremendous views of the Park. Kind've pricey, though.
The Conservatory Water is usually where you'll find people plying their motorized boats. Another view, from the other side, shows how it got the name "Sailboat Pond":
I try to walk through Central Park during lunch at least once a week during the winter (it was mighty brisk the day I took these pictures, that's why there are no sunbathers or leaves on any trees), and two to three times a week during the summer. There's always something to do or see in the Park, and if I'm in the mood, I will watch skaters on Wollman Rink or go to the Central Park Zoo. I've seen Woody Allen and Robert Vaughn walking in the park. I took my kids to see The Gates, which wasn't much as 'art' goes, but I realized that it was an event and since they lived in the area, they should see it. I let them play on the rocks which are visible evidence of the fault line (made of Manhattan Schist) which runs through Manhattan.
I've seen the New York Marathon end here, and I've been to Tavern on the Green (sadly closed) many times. While there are many things about New York that I take for granted, Central Park is not one of them.
Prospect Park in Brooklyn saves my sanity. Hadn't been in a couple of days, and I felt like Jesus, when the Bible says (often) that he went out to the wilderness to pray. He usually does this to get away from the crowd. This morning I treated myself, and went out to the wilderness to pray. I may have looked like i was running w/ my dog, but I was refreshing myself, deeply.
What's sad is our local libertarian-bent newspaper seems to believe govt...i.e., cities...shouldn't provide parks because it's a misuse of property. I guess they think Disney World is better. Having been to the Mall in DC, Central Park (only on short visits), Zion, Yosemite, and Yellowstone, among others, it's hard to think Disney is an improvement, although it certainly has its place. And, after visiting a few years ago a wild area outside Las Vegas I used to frequent as a kid (Calico Basin in the Red Rocks), the trash and abuse made me wish Disney's clean-up crews were around. Glad to know you can enjoy Central Park and there was the foresight years ago to have green spaces in such an otherwise tumultuous environment.
One thing worth noting, Central Park is for the most part paid for by a non-profit organization. http://www.centralparknyc.org/
Some taxes do go to the park, but not as much as most people would think.
As a Libertarian, this pleases me immensely. You might remember years ago, Wollman Rink was in disrepair and the city spent a fortune trying to fix it. It cost more than expected, ran over its timeline, etc. Total boondoggle for the unions and probably the mob as well. A 2 1/2 year job took 6 years, and still wasn't completed.
Donal Trump stepped in and (this is not meant to build up Trump as a savior, but in this case he did an amazing job) finished the job in less time than he promised, and with his own money. The rink remains a public facility, but is operated by the Trump organization.
Private money gets the job done. Public money tends to get wasted. This is probably why your paper seems to not value public space. Libertarians, generally, do value public space. It's a question of how this space is provided for that makes a difference.