Visiting the Harlem Meer and northern Central Park
It’s not the side of the Park that you will see in the movies or in the tour guides. It is also not the area where you would see brides being photographed for the customary New York wedding photography, much to the amusement and delight of the onlookers.
Such a slice of Central Park exists and its charming and unassuming if not glamorous and over-photographed. I’m referring to the northern side of Central Park starting at 110th Street and 5th Avenue. About a month back, in a renewed attempt to be a tourist in our own city, we took the 6 train up to 110th street and Lexington avenue, and walked 3 blocks to the north-east corner of the Park. We were greeted by a pretty lake, the Harlem Meer with a neat walking path edging it. It was great taking pictures of the lake from a distance because we could get the Swiss chalet styled cottage (which actually is the Dana Discovery Center) into the frame.
After enjoying a quick picnic of ice-cream and iced-tea at a bench near the Meer, we started walking southward only to stop for more food – this time, for hummus and falafel from a Maoz Grill kiosk close to the Meer (very average falafels by the way, from New York standards).
As we continued our journey southward, we stumbled upon a circular garden which was a total riot of colors, thanks to neatly arranged patches of tulips of different hues, all with petals unfurled in full bloom. We had inadvertently walked into the Conservatory Garden. Now, my love for gardens is only surpassed by my love for bridges and trains, and thus this was a real treat. The centerpiece of the conservancy is a sculpture/ fountain – Three Dancing Maidens, which has three ladies taking great joy in being splashed by the fountain in their midst.
Once we left the garden, moving further southwards, we chanced upon a rectangular green lawn, flanked on both sides by cherry blossoms bending due to the weight of the cluster of flowers. The western edge of this lawn was a real legitimate will-soak-you-with-it’s-spray fountain, framed by a shaded balcony. It’s all very pretty, and after a long time, I got the exhilarating feeling of being a tourist again seeing new things.
Further south, we came across yet another pretty sculpture, flanked by a tiny pond, which was covered with cherry blossom petals.
We ended our tryst with northern Central Park by lying under the shade of a cherry blossom tree, in full blossom.
The northern part of the park doesn’t get many visitors, but that is just well, because this oasis is tranquil and serene, very unlike the city within which it dwells!
- http://www.centralpark.com is an amazing website, and do spend time on this website to make the most of your time in Central Park. Since there are quite a few attractions, you can always find some treasure nearby the entrance closest to you.
- Read my earlier blog for more Central Park info (more on the western/ southern side).