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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 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 […]

Hansel and Gretel: an Awesome Fairy Tale!

Hansel and Gretel has to be one of the most awesome children’s stories every written. First of all,  two kids find themselves abandoned in the deep, dark woods of Germany. Scary stuff, indeed! Then they find their way out by following a trail of breadcrumbs that they purposefully left behind. Pretty neat trick! Last but […]

The Delacorte Theater in the Heart of Central Park

The Delacorte Theater is an amazing cultural venue in the heart of Central Park. Performances are free (tickets are on a first come first serve basis) and it offers a wide range of entertainment, including many of Shakespeare’s plays… Okay, I admit I’ve never actually been there myself. Not that I haven’t wanted to go. […]

The Greensward Plan: Roadmap for the Making of Central Park

If you think mowing the lawn is a pain in the butt, how about making Central Park out of what you see to the right? It makes mowing the  lawn look kind of like, well, a walk in the park. It took moving 2.5 million cubic yards of stone and earth, planting 270,ooo trees and […]