Buskers In Central Park: An Unexpected Treat

No blog on Central Park would be complete without mentioning the buskers that frequent the Promenade, the Terrace, and the Castle. Their talent, virtuosity, and, on occasion, genius, add a new dimension to the cultural milieu of the park. Though Olmsted and Vaux never would have imagined such performances taking place beyond the confines of […]

Boss Tweed and the Unwinding of Central Park…What a Mess!

Though the majority of the construction of Central Park was completed during the time that ‘Boss’ Tweed was in control of the city government, few people did more damage to it in such a short period of time. He handed out thousand of unnecessary jobs in park maintenance in return for political favors, resulting in […]

Summerstage, New York Marathon, Rock Concerts, Shakespeare–How Much More Can You Fit Into a City Park?

How many different free cultural activities can you fit inside a city park? If you want to know the answer, you needn’t look any further than Central Park in Manhattan. First, you have all of the free performing arts festivals such as Central Park Summerstage and the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, which take place every […]

The Cooper-Hewitt Museum: A Nice Side Trip

I always felt a close affinity to the Carnegie Mansion at 91st and Fifth, now known as the Cooper Hewitt Museum. My mother’s apartment was a few blocks uptown, and we would walk past it on our way to church or whenever I went for a jog around the reservoir. Now that I’m several decades […]

Baseball in Central Park–a Real Home Run for the Game

It was sometimes difficult for nineteenth century baseball players to enjoy their newfangled game in Central Park due to competition from cricket players, but by the 1930s, when recreation became a top priority of the Parks Commission, the game was finally embraced. In 1934, it was formally announced that the informal playing fields in Central […]

Bow Bridge: A Symphony in Stone

Bow Bridge, named for its graceful shape, is reminiscent of the bow of an archer or violinist. This handsomely designed bridge spans the Ramble Lake, linking Cherry Hill with the woodlands beyond. When the park was in its initial planning stages, the commissioners requested a suspension bridge (yikes!). Calvert Vaux, the designer of the 36 […]

The Frick Museum–What a Gem!

The Frick is one of the pre-eminent art museums in the United States, with a high-quality collection of old master paintings and fine furniture housed within the former residence of Mr. Frick himself. It also happens to be my favorite museum in the city because of  its delightful blend of a spacious home with a […]

American Museum of Natural History–More Than You Bargained For

The American Museum of Natural History that sits beside Central Park at 81st Street and Central Park West, is one of the largest museums in the world. The complex comprises 27 interconnected buildings housing 45 permanent exhibition halls, in addition to a planetarium and a library. Its collections contain over 32 million specimens of plants, […]

The Museum of the City of New York: the Forgotten Museum

Located between 103 and 104th Street on Fifth Avenue, the Museum of the City of New York sits at the northernmost end of Museum Mile, so by the time you make it there, assuming you do, you’ve probably had your fill of museums. There was talk of relocating it to the Financial District, probably to […]

Museum Mile…A Mile of Culture

The dozen or so museums located on Museum Mile represent one of the most concentrated areas of culture in the world. In my blog, I cover most of the major museums along its length, starting with the Met at 82nd Street and ending with the Museum of the City of New York at 104th Street, […]