I have been to New York, NY more than a dozen times in last few decades. However, I have never stepped into much famed Central Park, which was featured in so many of my favorite Hollywood (and Bollywood) movies too. Central Park is an urban park in middle-upper Manhattan, within New York City. Central Park is the most visited urban park in the United States, with 40 million visitors in 2013, per Wiki.
Praveen, LN, and I drove to Manhattan yesterday noon. Despite trying for more than 30 minutes, we could not find a public parking spot. We gave up after 30 minutes, and reluctantly chose to park in private lot which said fee is $47 for 2 hours and more. We said OK, and gave the car to the lot owner with some disgruntle. However, within 60 seconds of walking out of the lot, we saw a Nigerian couple moving their vehicle out of their public parking spot, and agreed to wait for us to get our car from the private lot. Thankfully, lot owner did not park our car yet, so let us drive out.
We felt as if we won a Mega Million lottery, for getting a chance to park in a free slot for more than 4 hours, and just few blocks away from Central Park. Though $47 is not end of the world for us, but it did bothered us to pay that much for a parking spot. We walked to bike rental area, and rented our bike (which cost $25 per 2 hours per person) and spent about 2 hours driving around the park. It was an exhilarating experience driving around the park, what I believe to be a perfect day to bike in the park. Though I am not regular biker, drive was pretty effortless thanks to perfect weather, and even slope conditions in the park.
Check out the below video, pics and few highlights from Wiki for more info. We end the day with a lunch at Chai Thai (Thai Restaurant just around the park)
Fortune of finding FREE parking space near Central Park 🙂
About Central Park from Wiki:
The Park was established in 1857 on 778 acres (315 ha) of city-owned land. Central Park was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1962. It was designed in the lines of Paris’ Bois de Boulogne or London’s Hyde Park (which I did visit few years ago, and agree with it
Central Park, which has been a National Historic Landmark since 1962, was designed by landscape architect and writer Frederick Law Olmsted and the English architect Calvert Vaux in 1858 after winning a design competition. They also designed Brooklyn‘s Prospect Park. Central Park is one of the most famous sightseeing spots in New York. The park, with a perimeter of 6.1 miles (9.8 km), was opened on 770 acres (3.1 km2) of city-owned land and was expanded to 843 acres (3.41 km2; 1.317 sq mi). It is 2.5 miles (4 km) long between 59th Street (Central Park South) and 110th Street (Central Park North), and is 0.5 miles (0.8 km) wide between Fifth Avenue and Central Park West.
While planting and land form in much of the park appear natural, it is in fact almost entirely landscaped. The park contains several natural-looking lakes and ponds that have been created artificially, extensive walking tracks, bridle paths, two ice-skating rinks (one of which is a swimming pool in July and August), the Central Park Zoo, the Central Park Conservatory Garden, a wildlife sanctuary, a large area of natural woods, a 106-acre (43 ha) billion-gallon reservoir with an encircling running track, and an outdoor amphitheater, the Delacorte Theater, which hosts the “Shakespeare in the Park” summer festivals. The 6 miles (9.7 km) of drives within the park are used by joggers, cyclists, skateboarders, and inline skaters, especially when automobile traffic is prohibited, on weekends and in the evenings after 7:00 pm.