Of course the biggest and most impressive to see was Central Park. I visited early on a quiet Sunday morning when the only other park goers were enthusiastic runners (I definitely regret not bringing my trainers to run the routes!), small families, an occasional tourist and some early rising softball players. I picked the perfect day to wander round as the sun shone the entire time, with the trees providing just the right amount of shade from the heat. I, of course, had a few places I wanted to see and photograph but for the most part I let the paths lead me to quieter spots and surprise landmarks.
Amongst my favourite spots were Bow Bridge, made famous by countless rom-coms and where I spotted a newly married couple taking their wedding photos ^-^; Wagner Cove, just by Bow Bridge, it was a small little alcove with a shaded veranda by the lake; and Bestheda Fountain and Terrace, another gorgeous piece of architecture and sculpture.
As well as taking in the sunshine, by far one of my favourite moments whilst in the park was at Strawberry Fields. I was expecting a place of complete peace and quiet but as I approached the path I could hear the faint sounds of ‘I wanna hold your hand’ being played by a busker. There was quite a group gathered by the time I reached the Imagine mosaic and whilst waiting my turn to take a photo a school choir had struck up a conversation with the busker and started singing along to ‘Let It Be’ with him. It was a really touching moment and I found myself glad the so called ‘designated quiet zone’ rule wasn’t heavily enforced that day! (You can see a little clip of it on my Instagram!)
I also visit the park on a rainy day in search of a couple of literary landmarks I didn’t get to on that previous Sunday morning. I found both the Hans Christian Anderson and the Alice in Wonderland statues, and allowed myself some time to read the Lewis Carroll quotes from the novel around the statue.
Whilst Central Park is certainly the most famous park in the city, if you’re in town I’d also highly – har de har – recommend the High Line. Suspended over Chelsea, the newly renovated, formerly disused railway line was a really lovely way to spend my early afternoon, having spent some time in Chelsea Market. The whole layout and structure of the High Line feels so fresh and modern compared to a lot of the parks in New York, and it’s also a really cool way of seeing the city views. I also loved the little alcoves and wooden seating areas all along the route, seriously made me wish there were more places like this around England!
Another park I really loved was Washington Square Park. Famous for it’s tribute to the Arch De Triumph and fountains, the park is in the heart of the NYU campus – so if you visit the city during term time you can be it’s populated by cool New York Uni students! Again, my time there was totally relaxing, having spent the morning hitting some bigger tourist spots, and the long park benches were just beckoning me to sit down and chillax…at least for a minute before I let the concrete jungle swallow me up again ;)