New York greeted us with blue cloudless skies and a temperature of 31 degrees today. A perfect day for a stroll in Central Park. We caught the metro to Times Square and then a connecting train to West Central Park. There were people running, walking and biking everywhere – it was very cool.
We checked out Strawberry Fields which is a 2.5 acre (10,000 m2) landscaped section in New York City’s Central Park that is dedicated to the memory of Beatles member John Lennon. It is named after the Beatles song “Strawberry Fields Forever”.
The entrance to the memorial is located on Central Park West at West 72nd Street, directly across from the Dakota Apartments, where Lennon had lived for the later part of his life, and where he was murdered in 1980.
Central Park is an urban park in the central New York City borough of Manhattan. It was initially opened in 1857, on 778 acres (315 ha) of city-owned land (it is 843 acres (341 ha) today. In 1858, soon-to-be famed national landscapers and architects, Frederick Law Olmsted, (1822-1903), and Calvert Vaux, (1824-1895), won a design competition to improve and expand the park with a plan they titled the “Greensward Plan”. Construction began the same year, continued during the American Civil War further south, and was completed in 1873. Central Park is the most visited urban park in the United States.
They were setting up for a free concert in the park – Global Vision which was starring Jay-z and Beyonce. We could hear some music playing and it was loud so I don’t think us oldies would have coped actually being at the concert. We wandered across Bow Bridge which is the largest bridge in the park. We overheard someone saying it is the yes / no bridge – will she say yes or will she say no.
Fifth Avenue runs along the east side of Central Park so that was our next stop. Fifth Avenue is a major thoroughfare in the center of the borough of Manhattan in New York City, United States. The section of Fifth Avenue that crosses Midtown Manhattan, especially that between 49th Street and 60th Street, is lined with prestigious shops and is consistently ranked among the most expensive shopping streets in the world. In 2008, Forbes magazine ranked Fifth Avenue as being the most expensive street in the world. Some of the most coveted real estate on Fifth Avenue are the penthouses perched atop the buildings.
On our travels we saw the Rockefeller Centre – not that we knew it was the Rockefeller Centre at the time – it was only after going through my photos that I saw my system had named the photo I took of this impressive building as The Rockefeller Centre. Such novices!
After a bite of lunch we headed for the Empire State Building – it was such a perfect day so we could see for miles. Such an impressive structure given it was completed in 1931. Being that high up and being able to see New York city in all it’s glory really put how huge the city is in perspective. We got a whole new appreciation for the place. We also got some great photos.
The Empire State Building is a 103-story skyscraper located in Midtown Manhattan, at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and West 34th Street. It has a roof height of 1,250 feet (380 m), and with its antenna spire included, it stands a total of 1,454 feet (443 m) high. Its name is derived from the nickname for New York, the Empire State. It stood as the world’s tallest building for nearly 40 years, from its completion in early 1931 until the topping out of the original World Trade Center’s North Tower in late 1970. Following the September 11 attacks in 2001, the Empire State Building was again the tallest building in New York (although it was no longer the tallest in the US or the world), until One World Trade Center reached a greater height on April 30, 2012. The Empire State Building is currently the fourth-tallest completed skyscraper in the United States (after the One World Trade Center, the Willis Tower and Trump International Hotel and Tower, both in Chicago), and the 23rd-tallest in the world (the tallest now is Burj Khalifa, located in Dubai). It is also the fifth-tallest freestanding structure in the Americas.
The building is owned by the Empire State Realty Trust, for which Anthony Malkin serves as Chairman, CEO and President. In 2010, the Empire State Building underwent a $550 million renovation, with $120 million spent to transform the building into a more energy efficient and eco-friendly structure. Receiving a gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating in September 2011, the Empire State Building is the tallest LEED certified building in the United States.
After all that sightseeing we were in need of some liquid refreshment. We wandered down Fifth Avenue and saw a sign for a roof top bar – 230 on Fifth. Given that it was the most stunning afternoon we thought that sounded perfect. Steve enjoyed a couple of 34oz glasses of Becks and I enjoyed a Raspberry Mojito. It was a very popular spot as you can imagine so we were happy to get a spot looking up at the Empire State Building.
We headed to Madison Square to catch the subway back to the hotel. We came across the Flatiron building, which has been called “One of the world’s most iconic skyscrapers, and a quintessential symbol of New York City”. It anchors the south (downtown) end of Madison Square and the north (uptown) end of the Ladies’ Mile Historic District. The neighborhood around it is called the Flatiron District after it’s signature building.