Be a Tourist and Take a Tour
We are coming to the end of the fall foliage season in New York City. By the time Thanksgiving rolls around there will be only a few leaves left hanging, much of which will fall at the slightest gust of winter wind.
I shared a lot a fall photos last year of Central Park, my favorite place to take the colors in, but thought I would share some more with a few tidbits I learned during a complimentary (for all!) walking tour hosted by the New York City boutique hotel chain, Triumph Hotels, and led by Andrew of Streetwise NYC.
I always recommend that you, dear readers, take tours when you travel and around your home town, because you will walk away with insight you didn’t have before. I learned something new almost every time I go on a tour and see my city, and others I visit, in a totally new way every time.
What things did I learn on this tour?
Well, I learned that Strawberry Fields, the memorial for John Lennon in Central Park, came as a petition from Yoko Ono to have a place where his fans would be able to honor his memory and give their respects, especially around the anniversary of his death. She wanted a place nearby that wasn’t in front of The Dakota, her home, as it distressed her and her then young son. She contributed a million dollars for landscaping and upkeep. The inland stones were a gift from Naples and the memorial opened to the public on October 9, 1985, what would have been John Lennon’s 45th birthday.
I learned that The Angel of the Waters, in the Bethesda Fountain, is by artist Emily Stebbins, who was the first woman to receive a sculptural commission in New York City for her work with this sculpture.
I was reminded that you need to always pay attention to the details. But in a tour, you can learn about those details more than you would on your own, like the meaning of the sculptures found near the steps of the Bethesda Fountain. This one below honors those things that go bump in the night, like on Halloween, a tradition brought to the states by the Irish.
The point is, I have been coming to this park for years and years, and every time I come I see something new, something different. It is with these new set of eyes that we can all learn to see our hometown. And if you are new here, or anywhere, it’s so nice to understand the culture and history behind those places you visit so that you have deeper connection with them, so that your trip becomes more meaningful.
As many of you prepare to visit New York City this holiday season, make sure to take the time for a tour or two and if you live here, go out and learn about your city more. There are so many stories that make it spectacular.
Thank you Triumph Hotels and Streetwise NYC for the fun afternoon.