Welcome to my Blog! Here’s What To Expect…

Welcome to my Blog! I’m very excited to have you on board! Central Park Story is a young adult adventure series whose main character is a sixteen-year-old boy named Christopher Middleton.  It’s also a treasure hunt/romance/historical adventure/fantasy/humorous tale all rolled into one! I put a lot of time researching the backdrop to the series which […]

A Jousting Tournament in Central Park?

Ivanhoe, by Sir Walter Scott, was the first historical novel of its kind and set off a train of similar type novels. By today’s standards its plot seems cookie-cutter with lots of valiant fighting and flag-waving tournaments, but one has to remember that it was the original cookie cutter back in 1820 when it was […]

Is Central Park Any Safer Today Than in the Past?

Statistically-speaking, the answer is yes. It’s a lot safer walking in Central Park today than it was in the past. That’s not to say one should be carefree about it. There are still plenty of ways one can dramatically increase one’s chances of an encounter with a mugger. I started this post to highlight the […]

The The Four Seasons Restaurant: An Iconic Manhattan Destination

The Four Seasons Restaurant, situated in mid-town Manhattan and designed by world-famous architects Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson, is associated with a number of culinary milestones. It is credited with introducing the idea of seasonally-changing menus to America. It was also the first destination restaurant to print its menus in English. Finally, […]

Traveling on the Santa Maria–Not Exactly a Ride on the Queen Mary

As everyone knows, Columbus had three ships on his maiden voyage to the New World, the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. Unlike the other two, more agile boats, the flagship Santa Maria was a carrack. Fat and slow, she was designed for hauling cargo (read ‘gold’), not for exploration. Slow as the Santa […]

What Did Olmsted Do Before Creating Central Park?

It might be easier to answer the question: what didn’t Olmsted do before designing Central Park? To say he was a late-bloomer is an understatement. He bounced from one failed career to another well into his thirties. Add to that his entrenched restlessness, and you have a formula for a near endless array of attempted […]

Did Frederick Law Olmsted Keep A Personal Diary?

I am not aware that Frederick Law Olmsted ever kept a personal diary. Certainly he wrote numerous letters, many of which are preserved in the Library of Congress, as well as several extensive travelogs that formed the basis of several books. Yet, when he wrote the following biographical fragment in one of his letters: ‘I […]

The Conservatory Garden at 106th Street: A Relatively Undiscovered Treasure

The Conservatory Garden at 106th Street wasn’t fully renovated until 1983, so it’s no wonder it’s still somewhat unknown. Prior to the 1980s, I would have called it the’ haunted garden’, since it was in a neighborhood where one was more likely to get mugged than smell the roses (I lived just eight blocks south […]

The Naming of the Gates from 1862 to 1999…Talk About a Time Lapse!

In 1862, the NYC Board of Commissioners decided to give names to the various ‘gates’ or entrances of Central Park. Most of the names were never carved in their designated places but nevertheless persisted in subsequent maps. There are 18 original names in all: Artisans’, Artists’, Boys’, Children’s, Engineers’, Farmers’, Girls’, The Gate of All […]

The Park from 106th Street to 110th Street

Using the power of eminent domain, the city acquired 840 acres for the building of Central Park. The resultant area spans two and a half miles from 59th Street in the south to 110th Street in the north, and half a mile from Fifth Avenue in the east to Eighth Avenue in the west. However, […]

The North Meadow: The ‘Great Midwest’ of Central Park

Before the advent of baseball, the North Meadow in Central Park was an unbroken vista intended to give a sense of infinite space and relief from the cramped spaces of the city. In order to enhance the illusion of unbounded space, Olmsted and Vaux used a visual trick. They created a slight bottleneck in the […]