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Showing posts from April, 2013

City Lawns and Island Kites: Scenes from a Pair of Walks in Brooklyn

A sunny Saturday with pleasing temperatures sent New Yorkers outdoors yesterday to collectively enjoy the spring. These pictures come from Brooklyn - specifically Prospect Park, the borough's main park, and Coney Island, the city's most popular beach destination. The two spots make a good combination for an afternoon excursion, providing counterpoints to one another in palette and tempo. While the park is an abundantly green and formal landscape, the island is wild and blue. Hitting the two spots in sequence can offer the pleasures of a moveable feast - a picnic in the park followed by a beer on the boardwalk. The subway provides the here-to-there.



With a little tactical planning, a walk in Prospect Park can begin with a dramatic prequel. Monumental Brooklyn surrounds the park's entrance near Grand Army Plaza, represented by the Soldiers and Sailors' Memorial Arch (1889-1892), Brooklyn Museum (1893-1915 by McKim, Mead & White), the sidewalks of Eastern Parkway, and…

25 Things to Do Near the Metropolitan Museum of Art

(updated) Sitting on the steps in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of those iconic things to do in New York City. On a sunny day, the wide steps can become crowded with the young and old, the tourist and the resident. It's tempting to stay awhile and soak in the sun and the sights. Everyone has reasons for lingering there, with one being the shared pleasure of people watching along this expansive stretch of Fifth Avenue, a painting come to life. Certainly, just getting off one's feet for a moment is welcome, especially if the previous hours involved walking through the entirety of art history from prehistoric to the contemporary.


The Metropolitan Museum of Art should be a singular pilgrimage, uninterrupted by feeble attempts to take in more exhibitions along Museum Mile. Pity the poor visitor who tries "to do" multiple museum exhibitions in one day, albeit ambitious, noble, and uplifting. Like the city itself, a place of too many possibilities that can …

A Walk at Sunset from the South Village to the Battery Park Esplanade, with Detours

This walk from the South Village to the Battery Park Esplanade to watch the sunset over the Hudson River is much longer than it needs to be, but sometimes diversions and meanderings are a necessary part of the journey.



In Central Park, a Leisurely Walk from the Pond to the Reservoir

This suggested 2-mile walk in Central Park, most suitable for a lazy weekend afternoon (or a weekday, for the leisure class), begins at the Pond near 59th Street and 5th Avenue and veers north, in improvisational fashion, to the Reservoir.


The stroll takes in several highlights of Central Park, including the softball fields, Sheep Meadow, the Lake, the Ramble, Shakespeare Garden, Belvedere Castle, Turtle Pond, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the west exterior), the Obelisk, and the South Gate House at the Reservoir.



I hope you like amorous turtles and curious waterfowl.


We will skip many other places on this walk - Bethesda Terrace and Central Park Zoo, for example - on the assumption that you've either been to these places or will come back another day.

We're looking for the change of seasons. I think we found it. This particular walk - and all walks are particular, in the sense that, after Heraclitus, you can't step into the same river twice - took in the last day of the…