Early Spring in Central Park

“In the Spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.”  —Mark Twain (1835-1910)

I wonder, did Mr. Twain count those “136 different kinds of weather” during a spring when he lived in New York City? As part of the Greenwich Village Walking Tour we stop at Mr. Twain’s favorite residence amongst the several he had in New York City.
General Sherman, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Grand Army Plaza, NYC

The General Sherman Monument by Augustus Saint-Gaudens in Grand Army Plaza.

I began my early spring stroll through Central Park where Walk About New York’s Central Park Walking Tour steps off, at Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ monument to General William Tecumseh Sherman. Mr. Twain would have been 29 when Sherman conducted his destructive march from Atlanta to the sea. General Sherman died in New York City in 1891.
Two features stood out during my walk in Central Park; the flowers and the musicians, and even a soft-spoken magician.
From 1935 to 1970 New York City banned busking on its streets. Mayor Fiorello LaGuadia began banning street performers in 1935; the ban went fully into effect on New Year’s Day, 1936. The public out cry over the ban was documented by the New York Times and NBC Radio. Not until 1970, when John Lindsey was mayor, was the street performance ban lifted.
Magician, Central Park, Literary Walk

A magician performs his tricks along Central Park’s Mall.

Buskers’ right to perform is protected by the First Amendment’s right to free speech. Courts across the U.S.A. have ruled that busking is a form of speech.
Today in New York City, performers must stage their shows at least five feet away from a park bench, and 50 feet from a statue within Central Park, Battery Park, the High Line and Union Square Park. The second half of this regulation was not followed by the first musical trio I enjoyed in Central Park; they were entertaining park-goers at the base of the Christopher Columbus bronze in Central Park.
For the flowers, no permit or rules are necessary. It was the crocuses and miniature daffodils that were in bloom throughout the park. I even saw some miniature irises. The flowers photos were taking Central Park’s Shakespeare Garden, one of the stops on Walk About New York’s Central Park Walking Tour.
Musicians, Central Park, Literary Walk

A trio of musicians perform at the start of Central Park’s Literary Walk.

Central Park, Shakespeare Garden, Crocuses, Blue

Blue crocuses bloom in Central Park’s Shakespeare Garden.

Saxophone, musician, Central Park, New York

A saxophone player performs along the Mall in Central Park.

Central Park, Shakespeare Garden, Crocuses, Yellow

Yellow crocuses bloom in Central Park’s Shakespeare Garden.

Central Park, Conservatory Water, Chinese erhu

A musician plays a Chinese erhu near Central Park’s Conservatory Water.

Central Park, Shakespeare Garden, Irises, Pink

Miniature pink irises bloom Central Park’s Shakespeare Garden.

Guitar, Central park, arch, bricks

A guitar player strums under one of the many arches in Central Park.

Shakespeare Garden, Central Park, Pink

I know not the name of these pink flowers in the Shakespeare Garden. Do you?

Shakespeare Garden, Central Park, white, flowers

Neither do I know the name of these white flowers in the Shakespeare Garden. Do you?

Greywacke Arch, Central Park, saxophone, Metropolitan Museum of Art

This saxophonist is a regular fixture under Central Park’s Greywacke Arch.

Harp, dulcimer, Bethesda Fountain, Central Park

A harpist and a dulcimer player sweetly entertained at Central Park’s Bethesda Fountain.

robin redbreast, Shakespeare Garden, Central Park

A robin redbreast enjoyed the Shakespeare Garden too.

Saxophone, drums, bass, Delacorte Theater

Near the Delacorte Theater a trio of musicians played cool jazz.

Saxophone, sidewalk, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Saxophones are popular busking instruments.

Cast iron, bridge, America, Central Park, Bow Bridge, Second Oldest

The Bow Bridge is America’s second oldest cast-iron bridge.



One response to “Early Spring in Central Park

  1. On Walk About New York’s Facebook page I got an answer to my question about the identity of the flowers in photo #10: “The larger pinkish flower is hellebore – native to England and parts of Europe.” and “… the hellebore is commonly known as Lenten Rose. They come in quite an assortment of colors and are usually evergreen.”

    And a bit of speculation about the flowers in photo #11: “The small white ones look like striped squill – Puschkinia spp. native to Asia and the middle East.”


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