Central Park has reopened after Hurricane Irene hit New York City this past weekend. The Central Park Conservancy, the non-profit that provides approximately 85% of the park’s budget via collected donations, is currently heading cleanup efforts. The storm took down 25 trees and about 30 more had to be cut down due to small crack that might have resulted in accidents later on. The cleanup won’t stop there however.
“Now we’re inspecting the rest of the park. Starting with all the high use areas, going to all the playgrounds, all the well used entrances. Then we will move out form there until we inspect the entire park. We have 24,000 trees to take a look at in Central Park so we’re going be busy for a while making sure people are safe,” said Central Park Conservancy President Douglas Blonsky in an interview with NY1.
In order to clean up after Hurricane Irene, The Central Park drives are closed to vehicular traffic today. Ballfields, bowling greens, and visitor centers, including Tavern on the Green, the Dairy, and North Meadow Recreation Center will also be closed today.
Bon Jovi to perform at The Great Lawn
It’s official! Bon Jovi will be performing a free concert in Central Park at the Great Lawn on July 12th at 8pm.
“We’ve gotten the chance to bookend what is the most successful tour in the world this year with a free concert for anyone in New York,” frontman Jon Bon Jovi said at a news conference alongside New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and other officials. “I just travelled the world again, and New York is still the greatest city in the world.”
Fans can start entering the Great Lawn area at 2 p.m. 60,000 tickets have been made available at the city’s ballparks. Though the event is free, concert go-ers must have tickets.
Bethesda Terrace in Central Park
Central Park has always been home to musicians and street performers but New York City’s Parks Department recently designated one of the park’s most popular spots for performers a Quiet Zone which makes it against the law to play a musical instrument or amplified sound. Police have already issued tickets and some performers feel their first amendment rights are being violated.
Vicki Karp, a spokeswoman for the Parks Department, explains that musicians can use other parts of the park but that they should get used to sharing the space.
“Parks are one of the few places you can come and hear the soothing sounds of nature — bird songs, falling water, the wind in the leaves, human conversation,” she wrote in an e-mail. “It is not that we are not allowing music or loud sound. It is that we are also allowing quiet, which isn’t automatic in this city.”
There have been some speculations that Central Park may soon have a dining area below Bethesda Terrace and that this is the reason for the sound regulation.
New York City recently passed a law that bans smoking in public parks. This includes Central Park. City officials say that they will give some leeway initially before tickets are issued. However, we wanted to warn potential park visitors against lighting up.
Lennon Tribute in Central Park
Thousands of fans from all over the world gathered Saturday in Central Park’s Strawberry Fields to sing Beatles songs on John Lennon’s 70th birthday.
“His music speaks to people of any nation, any age, and that’s why I think so many young people now who never would have known him still find him so appealing,” said Karen Kriendler Nelson, 69, who lives nearby and often visits the mosaic that spells out Lennon’s song “Imagine.”
Police put up barracades to contain the fans as they layed down flowers, sang and shared a message of peace.
“The values Lennon defended are still alive,” said Joan Acarin, a 41-year-old attorney from Barcelona. “It’s the idea that we do not have to fight wars.”
Lennon was shot across the street from Central Park in 1980. Strawberry Fields was subsequently named for and dedicated to him.
Quotes courtesy of the Associated Press.