What is your favorite place in the world? What makes it so meaningful to you? How often do you visit or imagine being there?
Central Park. The end. Need I really say why? OK, maybe..
People-watching. Olmsted's brilliant landscaping. Follies. Ponds. Playgrounds. Places to hide. The Ramble. Rollerbladers. The skyline. Rowboats. Model boat races. Woman in huge fur coats with tiny dogs. Dogs. Pretzels. Art museums. Sketch artists. Statues. Belvedere Terrace. The merry-go-round.
I was first brought there as a kid when, several times, my New Yorker parents drove the family down (from Massachusetts) just for the Thanksgiving Day Parade. Or other times when we'd be in Manhattan, like the time Mom I went to the Met on the way to D.C. Anyway, my parents are of the "only-the-first-five-blocks-are-safe" generation, so we usually just went from Columbus Circle up to the merry-go-round, a couple playgrounds, the ice rink, etc. It was always a magical place for me.
However, I really fell in love with it during the summer I lived in NYC interning at Entertainment Weekly. I worked on 52nd St. and discovered it wasn't too far of a walk to go during lunch. And after work. And at night. And on the weekend. Early on in the summer Time-Warner gave me a week's paid time off (ah, different times...) and during my "holiday" I went for a walk starting at like 110th St. in Harlem and going all the way to the bottom of the park. I also went across it several times, marveling in the fact I couldn't seem to get lost. It's just like being in a dream to me.
Since that summer, I've only been to NYC a few times but any chance I get, yes, gotta run into the park. I know I had a marvelous time during my 2-day holiday after Lunacon a few years ago. I went to the Met and then took a lonnng walk.