Monday, May 09, 2016

Central Park

Central Park is an urban park located in Manhattan, New York. It was the first public park to be built in the United States of America and it is also the most famous park in the country. The story of this green area is not as famous as the park itself, though, but it is worth telling. In 1850, New Yorkers, eager to find a place where they would be able to escape the city, were yearning for a green area within the city itself. In 1853, New York City was at last authorized by the state legislature to build a park on more than 700 acres in Manhattan, one of its five neighbourhoods. In 1857, Frederic Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, two landscape architects, were chosen to design and build the park, thanks to their competition-winning “Greensward Plan”. One year later they began the construction, with a first area already opening to visitors in the winter of 1859. The construction works continued during the American Civil War and ended in 1873. Central Park now covers 843 acres and counts seven artificial lakes and more than 25,000 trees.

This green centre in New York has become an icon throughout the years, a symbol of New York. Several reasons can be pointed out to explain this.

   First of all, Central Park plays the role of the lungs of the city, creating a calm atmosphere in the heart of the Big Apple. Thanks to its effective ecosystem, it provides cleaner air and water in New York. This situation allows people to live in an important city and yet to be in touch with nature.

         Secondly, no matter when people go to Central Park, it is very likely that some kind of event will be happening then, as the park hosts many different activities every day. Every sort of public can find something that is appealing to them. As a matter of fact, sportspersons, families, nature lovers – that is to say everyone – can find whatever they like. Different types of demonstrations are also organized there, related to political, social or charity events. In addition to all these, concerts and festivals often take place in the park as well.

         For a long time now, Central Park has been an inspiration source for many artists of different types. Besides, some spots of Central Park are used more often than others, in particular the Bethesda Terrace and Fountain, which can be seen in movies, series or video games. In a more general way, Central Park is often used as a set for music clips or as setting in lyrics and in literature. The park has also often been represented in paintings of different styles. Moreover, many sculptors have had the chance to expose their works in the park, either permanently or not.

Central Park is also a symbol of the American culture, both historically and artistically, as its usage in many films, books or paintings confirms. It shows both New York's magnificence and dignity.

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