Perhaps I was the only one in the group that wanted to visit Strawberry Fields at Central Park, where a memorial was built for John Lennon. I’m glad I did. It’s veered westward from Sheep Meadow and some climbing is required. A round mosaic, decorated with the word “Imagine” in the center, basically defines the memorial. That late afternoon, as we ascended the rather hilly path, a group was gathering around the mosaic, strumming and singing to the tunes of Imagine, Hey Jude, Let It Be and other timeless songs from the Beatles.
You might find this unbelievable, but the truth is, I had a feeling that I’d meet Yoko Ono at Strawberry Fields that day. We were walking down the hill, making our way to the Lake and the Great Lawn when we crossed paths with this woman in a striking white suit, donning one of those funky hats spotted on celebrities and clubbers these days. We met face to face and naturally, gave each other a smile. Unmistakably, it was Yoko Ono. Not intimidated, but rather out of respect for one’s privacy, I’d decided not ask for a photo with her. But seeing how willing she was with an American couple, I went up to her and politely requested for one. And she obliged.
I guess my colleagues were confused as to why I wanted to have a photo taken with Yoko Ono. It was nothing about being starstruck but really, to capture this significant moment in Central Park celebrating the music and life of a great musical talent, mourning his tragic death at the nearby Dakota Apartments and meeting his wife, Yoko Ono.
And this is just one of the many fond memories of Central Park, including.....
.....resting on one of the many benches around the Bethesda Fountain
.....seeing another ancient Egyptian obelisk, Cleopatra’s Needle, after Paris and Luxor
.....soaking in the sun, just like them New Yorkers
.....the beautiful view of the Lake
.....being mesmerized by the music and passion, the joie de vivre
.....wishing I can do my regular 10 km runs here in the future
.....and meeting a fairy in the park.
For me, Central Park is New York, where life is fun, exciting and full of possibilities. To cover this area in a day seems difficult, if you plan to include the nearby Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim along Fifth Avenue, and the American Museum of Natural History on 79th Street, Central Park West. And these upper Manhattan museum.....
.....are worthy of a brand new post.