Continuing on the grand tour of NYC, today my friend Michael and I made a trip to Central Park, Lincoln Center and to the NY Public Library. (We also wandered over to the UN and Grand Central Station.)
Sometimes you wonder why visitors to the city want to go to see Central Park, and you think-eh, it’s just a big park, trees and grass and squirrels. Same as you’d see anywhere. But you may have forgotten just how lovely Central Park is, especially this time of year and how it really is an oasis of calm and beauty in the middle of the city. Not to mention all the great things you can see and do there- the Great Lawn, Sheep’s Meadow, Shakespeare in the Park, Summer Stage, Central Park Zoo, the Carousel or even just standing on Bethesda Terrace overlooking the fountain or ice skating at Wollman Rink.
We tend to take for granted the things we see every day. I am thankful I was reminded of that today.
We only wandered around just a corner of the park, but it was enough to take our moods from stressed out sightseeing down a few notches to simple meandering and taking in the sights. A stroll versus a race to the next attraction. It was just what we needed to calm the pace.
After we stopped for lunch and rested our weary feet, we continued on to Lincoln Center. Currently the Big Apple Circus is there as is a modern sculpture exhibit in the plaza.
From there we walked down and over to the NY Public Library with a stop at the holiday market in Bryant Park. We also took a moment to watch the ice skating there as well. It’s definitely beginning to feel festive in the city now!
I had not been inside the main library itself in many years, but it is certainly a place to visit more often. This is not the lending library, but rather a permanent collection of everything from famous writings, maps, genealogical resources and more. The building is just beautiful. Dark wood paneling and stonework with inlaid murals and paintings abound. The Rose Main Reading Room on the third floor is almost as large as a football field and can seat 600 readers! There are galleries and exhibits throughout the entire library and we were lucky enough to stumble into one featuring an original Keith Haring. There is also a terrific library shop which sells book related souvenirs. toys and gifts.
The New York Public Library is more than just a building you walk by on your way to work or wherever you are traveling that day. It’s a great place to walk in to- and I plan to do that more!
I am glad I got to see these “everyday” places today and learned to appreciate them in a new light – through the eyes of a tourist.