Good evening from New York on this last day of winter. Winter has been so mild, and the temperature today was more like early summer. Very odd indeed, and a perfect time to take another of those new hybrid bendy buses across the Park to meet a friend. We were going to see some art.
This is officially Asian Art Week in New York, and many East Side galleries have given their spaces over to art dealers who specialize in art from various Asian land, mostly from prior ages, and some contemporary. If you all wish to learn more about this have a look at the Asia Week site.
After seeing some beautiful Japanese woodblock prints, baskets and ceramics, it was time for lunch. After lunch and lots of catch up chatting, we visited a few more galleries, and then, it was time to head over to Central Park to see how much more was now in bloom, compared to my last walk.
You can see the clear blue sky and the pretty green that is returning to the lawns. The tips of many tree branches are now tipped with new leafing actions. The overall effect is gorgeous!
Forsythia is usually a very early spring signal, but this year all the signals are getting juggled together by Mother Nature.
Many of you might already know that Central Park is an artificial landscape designed many years ago by wise men who knew what they were doing. The Park has hills, slopes, dips, curves. There are many pathways and very few straight lines.
Most paths are for pedestrians only, sometimes they pass under roadways that allow motor vehicles and bikes and rollerblades.
The tulip magnolia trees are not waiting for the calendar to say it is spring. They are ready to go right now!
There are lots of sculptures throughout the Park. The picture above is of the Alice in Wonderland sculpture, just north of the model boat pond. The photo below is of the Hans Christian Andersen sculpture just west of the model boat pond. Children of all ages love these sculptures.
Climbing and photographing has been going on around here for many years. Dogs often wait patiently.
Abundant forsythia crowns the over/underpass shown above.
The photo below shows the boat house restaurant (where there seems to have been a recent settlement to a long standing union action against the restaurant owners. The shouting and drumming of the demonstrations have ceased, as spring comes to the lake. Anyone with money can hire a row boat.
There are many willow trees along the east side of the Lake. This makes for a very romantic setting.
The trees also create very beautiful shadows.
The Bethesda Fountain Plaza is at the southern end of the Lake. This gentleman might think that fish are available. I am not so sure. It is definitely possible to catch a sun tan/burn around here.
Even though the unseasonable warmth is encouraging tulips to join the mix, there are still many daffs putting on their show.
If you have lots of energy, like my friend and I did after our excellent lunch, you can take a walk through the wooded area at the northern end of the Lake and see parts of the Park that once upon a time might have been considered a bit risky for innocent walkers.
Now it's full of pathways full of strolling visitors, who will see areas not so manicured, and large rocks near a stream. Fun to climb, particularly for children.
It's so funny to see this sign still in place. Anyone who could have found any ice on the Lake today would deserve a grand prize.
I could not resist taking one more photo of this exuberant forsythia.
Aren't these Lake-dwelling turtles cute. They have climbed up onto a log that is submerged just below the water surface. The little turtle is hoping to hitch a ride on the back of the leader of this turtle pack.
I'm including this next photo just to show the context and scale of the little turtles against the edge of the lake.
Here's just one more glimpse of the beautiful lake and its surrounds on this lovely sunny day.
After saying bye bye to my friend, I walked home through Strawberry Fields, got over to the market for some groceries, got home and somehow refrained from taking a nap.
It will be back to work for me tomorrow, and I will be carrying with me lots of memories of this marvelous day...an unusual final day of winter 2012.