Tuesday, 13 October 2009

... New York City: Imagine

Central Park is NYC's backyard, all 843 acres of it.



There are obviously a huge plethora of physical activities but also areas of calm & tranquility, cultural fun and, in parts, a wilderness that will have you convinced you are in the middle of a huge forest not a city.


Even during Winter, New Yorker's flock there. I have friends who have been proposed to and friends who have been married there. It's a wonderful place to lose yourself for several hours be it by foot, bicycle tires or horse drawn carriage.

"Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see.
It's getting hard to be someone but it all works out.
It doesn't matter much to me."

In 1980, outside of the Dakota, John Lennon was fatefully shot four times in the back by a man for whom he had signed a copy of his Double Fantasy album for earlier in the day. Standing just across from this location is the most visited spot in Central Park. With help in the form of a $1M grant from Yoko Ono, the tear-shaped memorial garden Strawberry Fields was inaugurated on what would have been Lennon's 45th birthday, 9th October 1985 and has been maintained ever since.

There is a tiled mosaic. It says everything with just one word.


"Imagine"

Central Park is one of two amazing sites of the Upper East Side. The second is the Metropolitan Museum of Art a.k.a The Met.


In 2001, my mother & I had opted to visit the Guggenheim and whilst amazing in its own right I had always had a tiny pang of regret at having not also been to the Met. I therefore couldn't think of a more perfect way to spend my last afternoon in New York.

Represented in the permanent collection are works of art from classical antiquity and Ancient Egypt, paintings and sculptures from nearly all the European masters and an extensive collection of American & modern art. The Met also maintains extensive holdings of African, Asian, Oceanic, Byzantine, and Islamic art.

Egypt Collection
Egypt Collection
Egypt Collection
American Wing
European Wing
Arms & Armour
Central America
Africa
Greek/Roman Collection
Greek/Roman Collection
"The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living"... Tiger Shark by Damian Hirst
Van Gogh
This 17 acre wonder receives over 5 million visitors a year and it's not hard to work out why. Its size and the depth of its collections are overwhelming. I spent over 6 hours here and it still wasn't enough. It's like walking through a city and probably easier to get lost here than it is inside of Central Park.

But alas it was that time to make my way to JFK to catch my evening flight home. My itchy feet had taken a nice big bite out of the Big Apple... and it really couldn't taste any better.

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