Central Park, New York City
Central Park Attractions
The Harlem Meer
Eastside from 106th to 110th Street
The 11-acre Harlem Meer (Dutch for "Lake") and its surrounding wooded
landscape were constructed after the lower Park had been completed.
The saying "Save the best for last," comes to mind when visitors experience this
ruggedly beautiful setting. They can see swans and grebes leaving small jet wakes in the water.
They can look south and see dramatic rock outcroppings angling sharply to the water, and then,
with a simple turn of the head north, see the buildings of Harlem and watch traffic navigating
Duke Ellington Circle
110th Street and Fifth Avenue
The sculpture of Edward Kennedy Ellington at 110th Street and Fifth Avenue is the first monument in New York City dedicated to an African American and the first memorial in the United States to Ellington. A composer, orchestra conductor, and musician, "Duke" Ellington elevated jazz to perhaps the most American of art forms.On July 1, 1997, Robert Graham's "Duke Ellington Memorial" was unveiled at the northeast corner of Central Park.
The sculpture is a bronze tableau 25-feet high, with an eight-foot tall sculpture of Ellington standing next to a grand piano
East Side between 62nd and 63rd Streets
Ice Skating November through March
The Wollman Rink was a success from the day it opened in 1950. Over 300,000 skaters glided across the ice in its first year of operation.
Today over 4,000 use the Rink daily. Wollman's easy access from Grand Army Plaza (East 59th Street and Central Park South)
and its picturesque location between the Dairy to the north and the Pond to the south make it popular not only for skaters,
but also for any visitor who appreciates the romance of the New York City skyline. Spectators sitting on the outside bleachers –
or skaters confident enough to look up – can see the skyscraper outline that makes a New York view distinct in the world.
Wollman hosts skaters day and night. But nighttime is a New York City moment. Music plays across the ice as skaters find their own
rhythm circling the rink. A moon is a plus, but not required since the ice itself gives off a silver sheen. As the variety of accents testifies,
New Yorkers and tourists alike mingle on the ice. The holiday season is undoubtedly the most popular – or at least the most picturesque. Children
steal the scene: knit hats with pompoms, snowsuits inflated with useful padding and standard issue red cheeks. If those cheeks get too red,
skaters can go to an informal snack bar that serves assorted fast food, and hot and cold drinks.
Mid-Park at 65th Street
At the end of a long ride north to the new Central Park, 19th century children could enjoy a fresh, wholesome glass of milk at The Dairy.
The Dairy today serves as a general visitors center with a permanent exhibit on the history and design of the Park.
The Dairy design is a vintage Victorian hybrid: Swiss chalet meets Gothic country church.
Tavern on the Green
West Side between 66th and 67th Streets
With a half million patrons a year Tavern on the Green must be doing something right. Once home to Central Park's flock of sheep and its shepherd (see Sheep Meadow) the building was converted in the 1930s into a restaurant. But it wasn't until 1976, when Warner LeRoy became the proprietor, that the restaurant earned its current popularity.
West side, mid-Park from 66th to 69th Streets
was the first area in Central Park to be restored.
today is a 15-acre, lush, green meadow for relaxing and admiring one of New York City's greatest skyline views.