A True Oasis for New Yorkers and Tourists Alike
Upon moving to New York, Noah and I wondered if Central Park would become passé. He thought maybe it was just a tourist destination that rarely saw actual New Yorkers. Since we’re living in a time when tourists are virtually non-existent, we can say that Central Park is absolutely beloved by New York natives. It is a pure escape from the city, and if offers boundless activities 365 days a year.
We’ve been to the park at least five times in the past two months, yet we’ve only seen about a third of it. Central Park, if you haven’t heard, is massive! It is 843 acres, spanning 50 blocks running north and south and five blocks running east and west. We’ve explored Strawberry Fields and Sheep Meadow on the west side, the Central Park Zoo, Balto Statue, and Alice in Wonderland on the East Side, The Ramble, The Lake, Skater’s Circle, and The Bethesda Fountain in the center, and The Carousel, The Mall and Literary Walk in the South. We haven’t ventured north past The Ramble yet…But, it’s coming!
Seriously…Check out this map and all of the attractions in the park alone!
From lazing and daydreaming in sunny Sheep Meadow, to listening to music and watching the street artists at The Mall, to joining a drum circle as the smell of Juniper lingers in the breeze at the shady and cool Strawberry Fields, there is something for every vibe and everybody in Central Park. Cultures collide, hobbyists unite, and inspiration fills the soul at every turn.
Need a drink or a snack and forgot to bring a picnic? No problem! Cart vendors are available throughout the park offering ice cream, Nathan’s hot dogs, Halal, popcorn, pretzels, sodas, smoothies, fresh pressed juices, and gourmet coffees!
What’s Changed in COVID-19?
Up until this week all of the museums were closed. But, fortunately for us, museums are now opening back up at 25%-30% capacity, social distancing, and mask enforcement. Did you know that The Met, The Frick, The Guggenheim, The Museum of the City of New York, and The Neue Galerie New York are all in or adjacent to Central Park? Crazy, right? Culture-lover’s paradise!
The zoo has been opened partially for about a month. They will be opening the indoor exhibits within the next month, too!
Central Park events such as Shakespeare in the Park, all of summer concerts, the amusement park, The Loeb Boathouse, all boat rentals, and Tavern on the Green are closed this year.
Although the park is open and invites everyone to come explore, they are attempting to keep the crowds at bay.
You can still find free entertainment everywhere, such as street artists, musicians, dancers, skaters, giant bubble blowers and comedians. Take some cash or your Venmo account to leave them a tip if you enjoyed their performances!
I love hearing the sound of jazz no matter how far into the park I roam. It’s romantic and quintessential New York.
Just outside the park, Columbus Circle and 5th Avenue sit silently…The sidewalks are nearly empty and only a few cars pass southbound. The daily commuters have disappeared, leaving just the history of what this area has always been: a vibrant, busy, bustling, and overwhelming part of the city. Will it return to its former glory? Only time will tell…
Should I Come to New York in 2020?
The answer is still, sadly, no. For more on this, check out our other posts on “Wandering and Wondering in NYC,” and “New York: Awakening from COVID-19 Slumber.” The quarantine mandates for most US states are getting stricter and stricter. New York seems to be under control (at this point). The government is doing their best to make sure it stays that way. With so many people living in such a close proximity, pandemics are especially lethal here.
Wait this one out…New York will still be here when the dust settles.
As always, don’t forget to Toast The Moon to all of your international travels by visiting our store, and make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and the ‘gram to catch all of our latest posts and adventures!
Stay in your region this year, stay safe, stay distant, and be like the NYC statues – wear your masks! We’ll see you on the other side.
Noah and Majhon