Thursday, October 17, 2013

New York City - Day 2: Central Park

The second day of our NYC adventure found us a little tired from our late night the night before.  We took our time the following morning getting out the door, which was fine because we avoided the rush hour commute.
We got ourselves back to Manhattan and onto the subway.  Just for kicks, we rode the subway to Grand Central Station.  We wandered around Grand Central for a little while, just to see what was there.  It is immense!  Pictures can't even begin to capture the sheer size of the place.  This year happens to be the 100th anniversary of Grand Central Station, and it looks very much like it does on television. Quite impressive!
After getting back on the subway, our next stop was Central Park.  We packed lunches into a backpack that morning, so when we got ourselves to Central Park we found a nice spot on an outcrop of rock and had a lovely picnic.  After we ate, the younger two boys played on the playground while the older boys played frisbee for a while.
Then we called everyone together and decided to explore the park.  Besides the scenic arched bridges and horse-drawn carriages, there is a lot to see in the park.  The first thing we stumbled upon was an old restored covered carousel. We watched it circle around for a little while and listened to its nickelodeon music play, then wandered off to find a chess/checkers pavilion where all the boys enjoyed a friendly game of either checkers or chess.
Next we found what's known as the "literary walk", which is a wide walkway through the park with statues on either side of famous literary authors.  While along this walkway we encountered a street magician who called out two of our sons to participate in his magic act.  His trick was that he had one of our sons write his name on a playing card, and by the end of the act the card was found inside an intact banana!  It was quite impressive!
At the end of the literary walk is a clamshell pavilion where people can see "Shakespeare in the Park" during the summer months. At the end of the mall we found ourselves at Bethesda Terrace where there is a beautiful angel fountain.  Behind the fountain is the lake where people can rent rowboats, and that day there were plenty of boaters on the water! We wandered across the lake on the famous "Bow Bridge" and snapped a few pictures of the family.
On the other side of the lake is what's known as "the ramble".  As the name suggests, this is an intertwining ramble of pathways through woods - easy to get lost, which we did!  We emerged near a statue of Alice in Wonderland, then followed our map to the Belvedere Castle.
Belvedere Castle is a stone castle in Central Park that today is used as a weather station. We walked to the very top of the castle and saw a panoramic view of the turtle pond down below.
At this point, we had spent several hours at Central Park, and we only saw a small portion of the park!  But our day was done, so once again we did the subway/ferry/car and got home by dinnertime.  A successful second day!