Card no. 36 - photos
Spend Sunday afternoon like a native, enjoying a bit of tame nature in the company of strangers.
Begin at Central Park West and West 81st Street (B or C train to West 81st Street). Cross Central Park West and follow the footpath as it forks to the right toward Park Drive. Beware of speeding bikers bearing down on your left and cross to the other side. At the top of the incline, the Delacorte Theater, home of Shakespeare in the Park, is on your right, the Great Lawn on your left. As you stroll the perimeter of the lawn, note the small plaques that ring it, memorials to friends and relatives who loved the park, and each representing a hefty donation to the Central Park Conservancy. Arriving back at the Delacorte, retrace your steps in the direction of the drive, turning left up the steps that lead to Belvedere Castle, the park's highest point, by way of Shakespeare Garden. From the back side of the castle, follow the path that turns left and runs alongside Turtle Pond, ending in a graceful stone terrace with a perfect view back toward where you've just been. With the mounted King of Poland statue at your left, head up the incline and walk south along East Drive to the Loeb Boathouse, which offers rentals by the hour and lunches plain or fancy. Cross the drive and make your way out of the park by way of the fanciful Alice in Wonderland statue, at the north end of the boat pond, where you can enjoy a drink or a light lunch and watch children of all ages spend their miniature boats across their miniature ocean. The steps at the south end of the pond will bring you to the Fifth Avenue and 72nd Street entrance.
From City Walks: New York: 50 Adventures on Foot by Martha Fay