New York state is home to many spectacular waterfalls that are worthy of any bucket list, but if you know where to look, there are a surprising amount of waterfalls to discover right here in the concrete jungle of New York City. They’re not all “secrets,” but they do tend to exist well off the beaten path, tucked into the more remote parts of Central Park or in small Midtown plazas. Once you’ve found one you’ll likely have a new favorite spot perfect for escaping the city’s unrelenting noise—if only for a short while.
John Giorno’s “Now at the Dawn of My Life”; all images courtesy of Apple and New Museum
Ready to experience a new dimension of Central Park? Apple has partnered with the New Museum to launch free, guided walks of the Park highlighting a series of site-specific, augmented reality artworks. Artists Nick Cave, Nathalie Djurberg, Hans Berg, Cao Fei, John Giorno, Carsten Höller and Pipilotti Rist—most of whom are working in AR for the first time—were tapped to transform the park into a virtual, interactive gallery of sorts, as part of the experiential project called Apple [AR]T Walk, which kicks off from the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue.
The original design. Photo by Tia Richards for 6sqft
Last year’s unveiling of designs for the first statue in Central Park’s 165-year history that depicts real historic women–a sculpture of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony–was met with mixed reviews: Why didn’t the statue, set to be dedicated in August of 2020, marking the 100th anniversary of nationwide women’s suffrage, include any of the many African-American women who aided in the cause? Today it was announced that a redesigned statue honoring pioneering women’s rights advocates will include Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Sojourner Truth, an escaped slave and abolitionist who joined the fight for women’s rights.
All photos in this post were taken during the Central Park Moon-In, July 20th, 1969, by Parks Photographer Daniel McPartlin. Courtesy of the NYC Parks Photo Archive.
This Saturday, July 20, will mark 50 years since Neil Armstrong made one giant leap for mankind and set foot on the lunar surface. On Earth, hundreds of millions of people held a collective worldwide breath, then let out an ecstatic whoop of awe and excitement as man met moon. Earthlings around the globe may have wished to be aboard Apollo 11, but New Yorkers knew at least one thing for sure: If they couldn’t go to the moon, they could definitely dress up as the moon, head to Central Park, and witness the out-of-this-world walk from any of three 9’ X 12’ screens, offering coverage from NBC, CBS, and ABC. So began the greatest watch party in New York’s history. Roughly 8,000 New Yorkers, dressed all in white, sprawled across the Sheep Meadow for a blowout celestial-celebration known as The Moon-In.
A Central Park squirrel, via Wiki Commons
Last October, as 6sqft reported, an organization called Squirrel Census, headed by Jamie Allen, began the multimedia, science, design, and storytelling endeavor of figuring out how many squirrels–specifically eastern gray squirrels–call the 843 acres of Central Park home, and put out a call for critter-counting volunteers. Though attempting to fathom the magnitude of the park’s squirrelscape began with some curiosity and a bit of tongue in cheek, according to Citylab, the methods used to tally the cheeky rodents–and the resulting findings–are as fun as they are fascinating.
The restored Belvedere at night, courtesy of the Central Park Conservancy
As 6sqft reported, Central Park’s Belvedere Castle is open to the public today after a comprehensive $12 million restoration effort. In addition to a restored facade, new clear-pane-glass windows, new mechanical and utility systems and a the re-creation of the wooden tower that was part of Olmsted and Vaux’s original design, the Central Park Conservancy has introduced nighttime lighting. As night falls, the Belvedere will be illuminated and visible from various locations in the park–most strikingly from across Turtle Pond.
The restored Belvedere, courtesy of the Central Park Conservancy
After a 15-month, $12 million restoration and repair project, the Belvedere will reopen to the public on Friday, June 28th. In anticipation, the Central Park Conservancy today opened the historic structure to press, revealing its restored facade, expansive views through new clear-pane-glass windows, new mechanical and utility systems, and a recreation of a wooden tower that was part of Olmsted and Vaux’s original plan 150 years ago. Though many New Yorkers refer to the site as Belvedere Castle, “Belvedere” actually means “beautiful view” in Italian and refers to the vistas from the second-highest point in Central Park. Belvedere receives approximately one million visitors each year, and starting this month, they will also be able to see the Castle illuminated at night, as the landmark will be lit for the first time ever.
Photo via PxHere
For avid runners and beginners alike, New York City offers a wide range of places to hit the pavement, from its iconic bridges to green trails nestled in the city’s parks. The scenic routes provide unbeatable views of the river and skyline that can keep you motivated to keep going when you’re ready to give up. Ahead, we round up the 10 most iconic spots to go for a run in the city, fit for regular marathoners, treadmill-devotees looking for a change of scenery, and total newbies.
This summer marks the 33rd SummerStage to take place in Central Park, but this year, NYC’s largest, free outdoor performing arts festival has a completely revamped and reconceptualized venue to the tune of $5.5 million. The event, hosted by the City Parks Foundation, is comprised of 100 performances in 17 neighborhood parks throughout the city, but the flagship venue in Central Park is certainly the headliner. After 20 years, the 5,500-person space has a new stage with 20 percent more capacity and updated technology, along with a new circulation pattern meant to enhance the guest experience, new member and VIP viewing platforms, new concession areas, and more.
All of the images in this post are included in “The Central Park: Original Designs for New York’s Greatest Treasure,” and are courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives.
There are few things as beautiful as a sunset in Central Park, standing beside the reservoir at 90th Street, looking west, and watching the sun sink behind the San Remo then glitter through the trees on the park’s horizon, and finally melt into the water, its colors unspooling there like ink. That view, one of so many available in the park, can be credited to the meticulous planning by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, whose extraordinary vision made Central Park one of the finest urban oases on earth.
“The Central Park: Original Designs for New York’s Greatest Treasure,” a new book by Cynthia S. Brenwall, out now from the NYC Department of Records, offers a closer look at that lanning process than ever before. Using more than 250 color photos, maps, plans, elevations, and designs — many published here for the very first time — the book chronicles the park’s creation, from conception to completion, and reveals the striking “completeness” of Olmsted and Vaux’s vision. “There was literally no detail too small to be considered,” Brenwall says. You’ll see the earliest sketches of familiar structures, and check out plans for unbuilt amenities (including a Paleozoic Museum!) 6sqft caught up with Brenwall to find out how the book came together, hear what it was like to cull through those incredible documents and snag a few secrets of Central Park.