There are over 8 million people living in New York City, mostly in apartments or condos without yards. Public parks are therefore an important necessity.
The parks are lush and colorful, with a power to transform the city landscape.
Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park was named after George Washington, and became a public park in 1827. Daily visitors include the rich, the poor, the homeless, NYU college students, tourists and everyone in between.
The High Line
The High Line is a fairly new park, with the first section opening in 2009. The second section opened in 2011 and the third and final section should open some time this year.
The entire park is built on abandoned freight rail line 30 feet above ground. The height and proximity to the surrounding buildings provide a unique perspective.
The walkways imitate the linear nature of railroads. Benches rise up from the slatted walkway and flower gardens grow through the crevices. In some locations, the rails are left in place, a not-so-subtle reminder of the past.
Art installations hang on the side of buildings, and mimic the materials, textures and colors from past and present construction.
The reflective panels create ever-changing abstractions.
Some reflective panels create a surprising and confusing illusion.
Another sculpture mimics the surrounding graffiti.
Lush gardens paint a beautiful foreground hiding the bustle on the street below.
Central Park is everything I imagined it would be, and even better.
I took all of these photos while walking through the park on a guided group tour.
We learned a lot about the park and its history.
A walking tour is a great way to see the park for the first time, but not really the best way to photograph it.
I hope to return someday with my camera, a tripod and lots of hours to just explore.
Now that I know there is a castle in the park, I'll definitely be returning here for some dramatic sunset shots.