Photo of the Central Park Conservancy Film Festival via Shinya Suzuki’s Flickr
Celebrate the end of summer with the 2017 Central Park Conservancy Film Festival, which kicks off Monday night with the showing of the 2014 remake of “Annie.” In addition to Central Park screenings, the film festival will include free outdoor screenings in Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park and Jacob Riis Park in the Rockaways. This year’s lineup features movies filmed in New York, including “The Wiz,” The Great Gatsby,” and “The Godfather.” All of the movie screenings are free to attend and tickets are not necessary.
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Image © Dionisio González
6sqft’s series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, Spanish artist Dionisio González presents two series of digital photos showcasing Central Park. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].
Architect and photographer Dionisio González has made a name for himself with his surrealist photo manipulations, which typically combine existing buildings and urban spaces with digitally drawn structures and landscapes. His latest two series take on Central Park and how the city’s giant “void” relates to its surrounding skyscrapers. In his “Thinking Central Park” series, González fills the space with futuristic shelters. Conversely, in the black-and-white series “Dialectical Landscape” he adds empty spaces as aerial extensions of the park for recreation and transportation.
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Camping in Central Park, photo via Downtown Traveler
Connect with nature under a Manhattan starry night with a camping trip in Central Park next Saturday, August 19th. This usually illegal activity is totally lawful through a free event hosted by the city’s Urban Park Rangers. The family camping program happens every summer at select venues, like Central Park in Manhattan, Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, Mccarren Park in Brooklyn and Fort Totten Park in Queens.
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While visiting the major, most popular attractions of New York City can be fun, it can also be stressful, overwhelming and full of selfie-taking tourists. However, the great thing about the Big Apple is that plenty of other attractions exist that are far less known or even hidden in plain sight. To go beyond the tourist-filled sites and tour the city like you’re seeing it for the very first time, check out 6sqft’s list ahead of the 20 best underground, secret spots in New York City.
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John Rink’s rejected design proposal for Central Park, via NY Historical Society
Central Park, which celebrated its 164th anniversary this month, required elaborate planning to make it what it is today: the most visited urban park in the country. New York City launched a design competition in 1857 for the development of the open space between Manhattan’s 59th and 110th Streets. Most New Yorkers know that out of 33 total entrants, the city chose Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux’s “Greensward Plan.” However, just five of the losing designs survived and can be seen at the New York Historical Society. One particularly unique design was submitted by park engineer John Rink, who planned Central Park to be highly decorated with whimsically shaped sections dominated by topiaries (h/t Slate).
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Central Park’s Belvedere Castle will undergo major renovations beginning this summer and early fall, to fix the 146-year-old structure’s cracked pavement, leaking roof and plumbing issues. While the plan to give the castle a face-lift was approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission last month, the plan to make its path handicap-accessible has not yet been approved. According to the New York Times, preservationists are concerned about the Central Park Conservancy’s proposal to build a ramp-like elevated walkway to the castle’s entrance, saying it would alter the experience of Central Park.
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© Miesha Agrippa for 6sqft
We can think of worse fates than getting lost in Central Park. With its winding pathways, lovely bridges, stunning gardens and a magical lake, it’s the most visited urban park in the United States. But a few of those visitors are bound to take a wrong turn every now and again, and if you find yourself in that predicament, Central Park’s 1,600 lampposts bear a secret code that will help you get your bearings and find your way.
Find out how to use the numbers to find out where you are
While the outside of the Belvedere Castle looks strong, the inside of the 146-year-old fortress is actually crumbling. The cracked pavement, leaking roof, and plumbing issues encouraged the Central Park Conservancy to start a 10-year $300 million campaign last summer to renovate its structures, as well as surrounding playgrounds. As DNAInfo reported, beginning at the end of this summer and early fall, the castle, the Bernard Family Playground, and the Billy Johnson Playground will be closed for reconstruction.
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If you’ve walked through Central Park on a recent weekend, you’ve likely noticed lush grass, blooming flowers, and hordes of tourists and locals alike enjoying the city’s unofficial backyard. But a closer look reveals “the debilitating effects of time and modern use,” according to the Times, which is why the Central Park Conservancy is embarking a 10-year, $300 million campaign to fund repairs and restorations in the 843-acre open space.
“Forever Green: Ensuring the Future of Central Park” will address issues such as a leaking roof at the 144-year-old Belvedere Castle, plumbing issues and cracked pavement at the Conservatory Garden, and insufficient infrastructure at the Naumburg Bandshell. It will also restore arches, bridges, gazebos, and waterways to Olmsted and Vaux’s original Adirondack- and Catskills-inspired vision.
But where will the money come from?
After being closed off to the public since the 1930s, The Hallet Nature Sanctuary on the lower east side of Central Park is once again open to all, writes The Times. The lush four-acre peninsula has for the last decades been used as a bird sanctuary, reclaimed and then tended to by the Central Park Conservancy in 2001 as part of their Woodlands Initiative. Under the project, $45 million was directed towards revitalizing and restoring the wooded areas of Central Park to their original glory.
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