Is Christopher Middleton Really Olmsted’s Great (Times Three) Grandfather?

If you’re asking this question, I must have been successful¬† in writing Central Park Story. Otherwise, you’d have seen straight through to the truth. As I made clear in the preface,¬† my characters are fictional in nature; but I did try to make it seem plausible that Christopher could, in fact, be Frederick Law Olmsted’s […]

Are Olmsted’s Personal Letters Hidden in a Shoebox in Aunt B’s Apartment?

Olmsted’s personal letters exist, but not in a shoe box in Aunt B’s apartment as described in Central Park Story, Book One. That part is purely fictional. I have read several of his letters, and was amazed by how expressive and full of life they are. Much of the writing from the 19th Century sounds […]

Is There Really a Secret Model Of Central Park Dating Back to the 1860s?

I don’t know if Olmsted and Vaux created a scaled-down version of Central Park as they developed their design. So far, I’ve only been able to locate the drawings they submitted for the original competition (their so-called ‘Greensward Plan’). Yet, the possibility of there being a secret model hidden away in an apartment was too […]

John James Audubon: Jennifer’s Hero

Audubon was a hero of mine, too. (I was once an avid birder just like Jennifer in Central Park Story Book One). Then, one day, someone told me he shot all of the birds he painted. So, that’s why all the birds in his paintings look dead! I thought. Suddenly, his ranking dropped to second […]

What’s a Swedish Cottage Doing in the Middle of Central Park?

Good question! The answer lies in a visit that Olmsted made to the US Centennial Exhibition of 1876 in Philadelphia. The Cottage was an original schoolhouse built in Sweden and brought to the US as a part of the Exhibition where it caught the eye of Olmsted and was bought (for $1500), dismantled, and installed […]

Old Croton Reservoir–the Original Reservoir That Supplied New York City With Fresh Water

In my young adult fantasy series, Central Park Story, Christopher Middleton starts to see things that aren’t really there….or are they? The answer is what you will hopefully discover for yourself when you read Book One. One of the things he ‘sees’ is the Old Croton Reservoir that used to sit in front of Belvedere […]

Indians in Central Park…Yes, and They Left a Cave Behind, too!

Most people don’t know about the Indian Cave in Central Park. First of all, it’s not that easy to find. Yes, it’s in the heart of The Ramble, but it’s also at the bottom of a series of stone steps that descend into a narrow gulley beside the lake–not exactly something that calls attention to […]

Homelessness in New York City

Over 100,000 people go homeless in NYC every single year. Of those, at least 38,000 live in shelters. This is a statistic from 2003, over ten years ago. Since then, the number of homeless in shelters and on the street has nearly doubled! I don’t know about you, but I sometimes feel more kinship with […]

Serendipity’s Shot at the World’s Most Expensive Sugar High!

Forget about Christopher’s favorite triple fudge chocolate ice cream sprinkled with Godiva chocolate bits and gummy bears. Get a load of this over-the-top dessert served at Serendipity III to the tune of $1000! (Yes, that’s a one with three zeros after it!) The description alone is worth at least a dollar or two: ‘made with […]

Bethedsa Terrace–the Heart and Soul of Central Park

It amazes me that the only formal element that Olmsted and Vaux envisioned for Central Park is the Mall that leads to the Bethesda Terrace. The rest of the park is, quite simply, devoted to nature. When I looked at thirty-odd original submissions in the competition to create America’s premier urban park, most of them […]