• Day18

    Midtown and Central Park New York

    May 7, 2015 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    An orchestra of sirens, horns and bouncing chassis rang through the night of the city 'that never sleeps'. But it was the sound of Michael Jackson's 'Beat It' from a truck radio that stirred Alex from a fitful sleep that we fell into after arriving late the night before.

    Our room is well equipped for its small size with our window doubling as our fire exit for our convenience. We made use of the free coffee and Dunkin' Doughnuts provided by the hostel before heading out into sunshine and a city that was then truely awake.

    Crossing up onto 7th Avenue we were greeted by the flash and buzz of Times Square, where amongst the throng of tourists entertainers dressed as cartoon characters posed for for photographs and tips. I caught Olaf, Elmo and the Cookie Monster counting dollar bills in a huddle under an array of digital billboards inviting you to not look where you are going. Yellow taxi cabs jostled with delivery vans and black sedans as human and vehicle traffic snaked through the streets converging on the square.

    Leaving the bustle behind, we strolled into the green oasis of Central Park and lay down in the carpet grass of Sheep Meadow as aeroplanes cut across the blue vault above. Every generation was out playing and sunbathing whilst buildings bordering the park stand watch over us. The Sheep's Meadow is one of the many landscaped areas of the park that include; Strawberry Fields (dedicated to John Lennon who was shot in the archway of The Dakota hotel that borders the park in 1980); The Great Lawn with its six baseball pitches (the line 'the cross is in the ball park' from Paul Simon's 'The Obvious Child' played in my head) and the great body of water, The Jackie Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, around the mile and a half border of which, Alberto Arroyo pioneered jogging. After jogging for over 50 years, Alberto died in 2010 at the age of 94. A small sign of sun bleached news cuttings commemorates his achievement of jogging for over 50 years and inspiring thousands of New York residents to do the same. He was honoured by the State Senate in 1985 and became known as 'The Mayor of Central Park'.

    With the park to our backs we headed down 5th Avenue to take in views from 'The Top of the Rock' at the Rockefeller Centre. Through polished corridors of Art Deco design, we took a lift, the ceiling of which is transparent, allowing you to watch the speed and distance of your ascent to the 67th floor as your ears pop to the quick change in altitude. The views are brilliant and we're not sure the photos even do it justice.

    An orange dusk coated the brickwork as we arrived back at our hostel, jet lagged but sun kissed from a great first day in New York City.
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    Carol Stringer

    Fond memories of your last visit in 2004?

    Chloe Gill

    Unbelievably awesome photos guys.

    Chloe Gill

    My favourite!

    Charlotte Cox

    the pictures are so good.