Central Park was supposed to cost $1.5 million dollars to construct. Today that would be $35,135,360. But in 1859, $3.5 million had gone into it’s construction ($82 million today). As a result, the northern part of Central Park was more rugged and untamed than the southern half. As a result, it’s the location of one of Manhattan’s last original bodies of water.
Harlem Meer is fed by Montayne’s Rivulet, Central Park's secret stream
During the development of New York City, and Central Park, architects almost completely changed the landscape of the island of Manhattan. The area was formerly hilly and swampy, nothing like the orderly grid of streets that exists today. Central Park also is almost entirely man made. Most of the bodies of water are fed from city drinking water. But that’s not true of The Pool, a small body of water near the Great Hill. It was created by enlarging one of New York’s original streams, Montayne’s Rivulet. Recently “Secrets of New York” sent host Kelly Choi to Central Park to meet with Central Park Conservancy President Doug Blonsky to get a closer look at New York’s secret stream.
Wednesday, September 21st at 7pm, Rumsey Playfield will host four R&B sensations: Jagged Edge, Melanie Fiona, Chris Walker, and Force MDS. This will be the last free concert in Central Park for the year. The event is un-ticketed so you’ll want to get there early to get a good spot. We’ve put together some videos for you so you can check out some of the artists that are performing:
Jagged Edge has sold over 8 million records, won countless awards and gained impressive nominations while solidifying their place in R&B history with hit singles such as, “He Can’t Love U,” “Let’s Get Married,” “Promise,” and “Where the Party At.” With catchy lyrics and hypnotic beats; numerous albums, including A Jagged Era, J.E. Heartbreak, and Jagged Little Thrill, have held spots at the top of the Billboard charts.
Melanie Fiona shares her passion for music with her debut album, The Bridge which is a collection of soulful songs that highlights her retro sound and combines the traditions of classic soul with modern music R&B stylings. Several of her singles have climbed the charts, including “It Kills Me,” which peaked at number one on the R&B/Hip-Hop Song Chart.
Chris Walker has been active in the music industry since his days as R&B/Pop songstress Regina Belle’s musical director. During his tenure, Belle noticed his fine voice and encouraged him to produce his debut, First Time, which yielded two Top Five R&B hits, “Giving You All My Love” and “Take Time.” His follow up album, Sincerely Yours further established his career. With the recent release of his newest single, “I Got That Love,” R&B fans can be sure that Walker’s sultry, mid-tempo grooves are here to stay.
The Force M.D.s began their climb to fame by singing and dancing on Greenwich Village street corners and the Staten Island ferry. Among the first R&B vocal groups to intermix catchy doo wop-affected consonances with hip-hop beats, the Force M.D.s’ versatile mix of credible urban savvy with smooth showbiz pleases both b-boys and traditional soul fans.
SummerStage is located right off the 5th Avenue and 72nd Street entrance to Central Park in New York City. Enter at 69th and 5th Avenue. Admission to all free performances (not benefit concerts) is on a first come, first-served basis, no tickets required. Depending on the show, chairs may or may not be placed on the field. Depending on the show, bleacher seating may or may not be available. E-mail [email protected] for questions concerning specific shows. SummerStage Gates open 90 minutes prior to showtime on weekends and benefit concerts, 60 minutes prior to showtime on weekdays. Shows will not be cancelled in the event of rain. Shows will be cancelled, however, in the event of lightning for the safety of the audience and the performers. Food and beverages are available to purchase at all shows. Menu items include burgers, hot dogs, vegetarian sandwiches, Heineken, Amstel Light and wine. At the free shows, food and non-alcoholic beverages are permitted. However, glass bottles, coolers and alcohol are not permitted. And yes, the Summerstage support staff will search bags on entry. For more info, you can call (212) 360-2777.
PBS Thirteen recently produced “Olmsted and America’s Urban Parks”, a documentary about one of the founders of Central Park, Fredrick Law Olmsted. Olmsted was not an architect like the park’s other designer, Calvert Vaux. He grew up in a fairly well to do home and eventually became a journalist who wrote about working class Americans. This documentary talks about how he became New York’s first Parks Commissioner (on September 11th 1857 actually), and eventually partnered with Calvert Vaux to create Central Park. Later in his life though, Olmsted went on to create parks in cities across America including Chicago, Boston and Washington DC. PBS Thirteen has made the documentary available online and we’re happy to share it with you here:
BONUS: Came across this very interesting article that alludes to the suicide of Calvert Vaux on Ephemeral New York. Knowing this adds an interesting moment to the later part of the Olmsted documentary.
This Thursday night Andrea Bocelli will perform at the Great Lawn in Central Park (http://bocellicentralpark.com). He’ll be joined by music legends including Céline Dion, Tony Bennett, Nicola Benedetti, Chris Botti, David Foster Andrea Griminelli, Ana Marĺa Martĺnez, Bryn Terfel, Pretty Yende And The Westminster Symphonic Choir Celebrate With Internationally Acclaimed Tenor Andrea Bocelli And The New York Philharmonic, Conducted By Alan Gilbert.
Though the concert is free, tickets sold out back in July. Fans may still be able to get last minute tickets from the website or by visiting a ticket broker or stubhub.com. Ah New York! One of the few places were people will pay for tickets that were initially free. Bocelli was originally scheduled to perform in Central Park on the 10th to commemorate September 11th with concerts in other borough’s parks which would conclude with the appearance on the 15th in Central Park. But the Central Park Conservancy is characteristically concerned with the health of the Great Lawn if it hosts two concerts in the span of four days. They have good reason for concern. A Barbara Streisand concert totally destroyed Sheep Meadow in 1967 and it wasn’t restored for more than a decade.
Instead Bocelli performed last night at Avery Fischer Hall on 66th Street (a mere stone’s throw from the Park). That performance will be broadcast this evening on PBS. Bocelli’s concert on the 15th still retains a theme of expressing appreciation for New York City. He talks in a series of videos on his Youtube channel about how New York is one of his favorite places:
Performers from Broadway shows including Book of Mormon, Mamma Mia and Billy Elliot perform New York, New York in honor of September 11th. Sound issues at the beginning, hang in though, it gets good at about 1:35:
We’ve seen him several time while giving our Central Park tour. Now, Jason Schneider’s getting some well deserved attention for his Central Park comedy act. We typically see Jason in the Mall with his sign which says: $1 Jokes Laughter Guaranteed. Recently the Daily News published an article about the “unemployed joke writer” who’s making a living telling dollar jokes:
-Who did the promiscuous cow sleep with?
-What do you call Chewbacca when he’s working with clay?
Didn’t laugh? The investment in a chuckle is risk-free.
“In the beginning, sometimes people asked for their money back,” Schneider said about the jokes that faltered.
“Even now, if they don’t laugh, I make them take their money back. It keeps me on my toes.”
The young comic seems to do pretty well getting people to laugh. He says that even if they don’t ask for a refund, he’ll give them one if they don’t laugh just to keep on his toes.
The upcoming Marvel blockbuster “The Avengers” shot at Bethesda Terrace in Central Park this past weekend. It seems that the location will be used for the films final action sequence. Passersby were treated to a star studded sighting including Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Stellan Skarsgard (Professor Erik Selvig) Chris Evans (Captain America), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow) and Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner). Here’s some nice video footage courtesty of Stupid Famous People:
Central Park Zoo's Baby Lamb and Mother, Photo: Julie Larsen Maher
While the rest of the New York braced itself for the coming hurricane, the Central Park Zoo’s curators and staff found themselves with some added responsibilities. Early Saturday morning they discovered a newborn lamb cuddled calmly next to its mother Truffle in the Tish Children’s Zoo.
“On a day of great uncertainty for New York City, the lamb brought smiles and hope to all of us at the zoo,” said Susan Cardillo, an assistant curator for Central Park Zoo. “We had to name her Irene Hope. She was a big surprise. It is rare to see a lamb born in late August.”
Wildlife Conservation Society officials checked to be sure that Irene Hope, a Southdown, one of the oldest breeds of sheep, was healthy and that she was secured with her mother in their stable as the initial first day of nursing is critical for a new lamb’s health. She will continue to nurse for three to four months and can be seen in the zoo starting today.
This coming Wednesday, dog lovers can meet special guest stars of the TV reality show “Doggie Moms” at Tavern on the Green (67th Street off Central Park West) from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm (weather permitting). The show follows a group of New York City women whose lives revolve around their dogs – doggie dates, birthday parties, weddings, meet-ups, pageants, fashion shows, costume contests, fundraisers, you name it. These doggie moms are tenacious about ensuring the best for their babies, pinning all of their hopes and dreams on their four-legged, furry “children.” NYC Media will be present to issue prizes for the best dressed canine and the most decorated leash. Don’t forget to grab some Turkish tacos, dumplings or gourmet ice cream from the food trucks in Tavern’s courtyard if you get hungry.