Photo Essay: Spring in Central Park

Spring is in the air as the natural world awakens from its winter slumber! After a long winter that was full of gloom (and far too much snow), trees are finally in bloom in New York City, painting the full spectrum of colors among these mean streets. And there is perhaps no better place to experience that in my fantastic back yard…Central Park!

One of the most famous urban parks in the world, Central Park is a wonderful sanctuary amidst this thriving metropolis. A place to wander the paths and escape the throngs of tourists that cling to the southern end. So take a walk with me, why don’t you, as I show you just how magical Spring in Central Park is!

We start at The Pond, one of the first things you encounter at the southeastern end of the park (5th Ave and 59th Street) and a perfect introduction for things to come!

The Pond

Central Park is full of boulders-a-plenty, complete with trails that traverse them!

Family Stroll

As springtime begins, the famous Cherry Blossoms begin to open…

Young Cherry Blossoms

Proceeding north, we come across The Mall, a grandiose walkway flanked by American Elm trees and bearing sculptures of significant writers and poets throughout history.

The Mall

The Mall culminates at Bethesda Terrace, overlooking the fountain that shares its name and The Lake.

Bethesda Terrace

Walking down the stairs towards the waters edge, you come across the famous Bethesda Fountain. If anyone’s seen Angels in Ameria, this is the Angel that is referenced.

Bethesda Fountaion

Walking along the banks of The Lake takes you to Strawberry Fields, the memorial to John Lennon that sits opposite the Dakota apartments where he lived and was murdered. It’s centerpiece is the “Imagine” mosaic on the sidewalk that is a place of pilgrimage for many of his fans.

Strawberry Fields

Continuing north through the wooded Ramble reveals the Great Lawn, with its vast expanse for summertime movies or concerts. As we head east, it’s hard to miss the sheer beauty of the park.

Sun Through Trees

Along the Upper East Side we encounter Cleopatra’s Needle, an ancient Egyptian obelisk that sits outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Cleopatra's Needle

Continuing north past The Reservoir with its popular jogging track, we encounter the North Meadow, a more isolated region where few tourists dare come. The serenity (and scenery) is simply fantastic.

Gazebo

By now there are trees that are in full bloom, showing off their beautiful flowers for the world to see.

Flowers Blooming

At the northeast corner of the park sits Harlem Meer, a pond that is popular with with the locals for relaxation or even fishing, though fishermen are required to release their catches back into the water. Even the ducks seem to having a swell time on this beautiful Spring afternoon!

Ducks

And so we arrive at Central Park North, also known as 110th Street, located a full 2.5 miles (4.02 km) north of where the park began! As we re-enter civilization, it’s not hard to see that trees everywhere are in bloom!

Trees in Bloom

So thanks for coming along with me on this walk through Central Park to check out springtime in action! If you’re curious as to the route I took, check out the map below! And do note that this route is by no means all-inclusive of the wonders that Central Park has to offer!

What’s your favorite spot in Central Park?

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22 Responses to Photo Essay: Spring in Central Park

  1. Lisa @chickybus April 25, 2011 at 10:03 am #

    Nice post, Aaron…love the photos! Very cool how you led me/fellow readers through the park, too! Central Park is really lovely and no one who visits New York City should miss it. It’s a true gem!

    • Aaron April 26, 2011 at 12:42 am #

      Thanks Lisa! Glad you enjoyed the photos and the “tour” angle! There really are so many more wonderful places in the Park! Maybe I’ll need to do a sequel to cover those!

  2. Charu April 25, 2011 at 10:10 am #

    Very nice! I was going to do a Weehawken theme on Saturday. I love the Magnolia shots!

    • Aaron April 26, 2011 at 12:58 am #

      Oooh can’t wait to see what Weekawken looks like this time of year!

  3. Renee April 25, 2011 at 10:35 am #

    What beautiful pictures, Aaron. Nothing makes me feel closer to God than being in the presence of such awe-inspiring creations. I especially love the pink magnolias in the Cleopatra’s needle photo (Charu, great minds….). I agree it is indeed a sanctuary from the madness of the world only steps away from all of this peace and tranquility. It reminds me of an old saying, “In my garden, the answers come.” What better place to come to clear one’s head than this?

    • Aaron April 26, 2011 at 1:03 am #

      Thank you Renee! And I agree! Central Park is a wonderful sanctuary that many smaller parks in Manhattan simply can’t compete with! Particularly if you hit places like the North Woods, you can not only have a “hiking” experience but you can feel like you have the whole place to yourself! It’s simply wonderful!

  4. Andrew April 25, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

    What a cool look at Central Park. I haven’t been there in so many years, but I think I have hit most of those areas.
    My two favorite spots are the Alice in Wonderland Statue and the Zoo. I love the random childish whimsy in the midst of the big urban adultness.

    • Aaron April 26, 2011 at 1:08 am #

      I love examples of random childness whimsy and there are actually a whole bunch around NYC…from the 14th Street subway station on the A/C/E line to a funky playground in Tribeca. Maybe I should do a photo essay about that!

      And happy blog birthday Andrew!

  5. Andrea April 26, 2011 at 5:05 pm #

    I miss it SO much! Thanks for the beautiful photos – spring is my fav time to be in NYC

    • Aaron April 26, 2011 at 6:02 pm #

      I like to think spring is my favorite time except it’s always such a roller coaster when it comes to the weather… Once we settle into the warmer temperatures (which seems to have happened finally!) it gets so much better! Glad you liked the photos!

  6. Dustin Main - Skinny Backpacker April 27, 2011 at 3:32 am #

    Great series of pics Aaron. I’ve been shooting a ‘spring colors’ collection myself, but I need more flowers to show up here in Sweden. Soon I hope. Central park looks great.

    • Aaron April 27, 2011 at 4:20 pm #

      Thanks Dustin! Can’t wait to see your pics of Spring in Sweden once those flowers arrive!

  7. Turkey's For Life May 2, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

    Springtime does have this effect on people doesn’t it?! I’ve been out and about with my camera, too. We’ve got beautiful poppies everywhere at the moment. These photos are amazing – I didn’t know Central Park was so pretty. It looks like a real haven.
    Julia

    • Aaron May 3, 2011 at 12:08 am #

      Spring is always so beautiful and photogenic, isn’t it? Now if only the weather would stop yo-yo-ing around!

  8. Sarah Wu May 4, 2011 at 10:17 pm #

    This is why I love NY, It’s so beautiful when the winter goes away.

    • Aaron May 7, 2011 at 2:48 am #

      It sure is! Now if only the temperature would be nice after winter goes away! Alas it’s just now getting around to that!

  9. jade May 6, 2011 at 11:26 pm #

    Lovely pictures! I’ve been to NYC so many times but always in the Fall and Winter- must get there in the Spring time as this is just beautiful!

    • Aaron May 7, 2011 at 2:50 am #

      Yes! You must get here in spring time! The city is just insanely beautiful! And drop me a line the next time that happens! 😉

  10. Brett May 9, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

    I can’t believe it took me so long and so many trips to the City before I ever set foot in Central Park, but have to agree, it’s one of the best parts of the city, especially in the spring and autumn! Great photos, and loved seeing the north part of the park, which I’ve still never been to…

    • Aaron May 9, 2011 at 2:45 pm #

      You should definitely make it up to the northern end of the park! It’s MUCH less touristy as it’s almost entirely locals up there. Sure some of the more famous sites are further down, but there are some fantastic areas, like the blissful North Woods!

  11. Krista March 20, 2012 at 6:26 pm #

    Lovely post! I’ve never been to NYC in the spring, I think I’ll have to remedy that!

    • Aaron March 20, 2012 at 7:22 pm #

      NYC is great most of the year, but Spring is phenomenal for its beauty!

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