At the top of New York’s “Museum Mile”, between 104th and 105th Street on Fifth Avenue sits Central Park’s gorgeous Conservatory Garden. Six acres of beauty, divided into 3 smaller gardens, representing Italian, French and English traditional gardens are a sight to behold.
“How deeply seated in the human heart is the liking of gardens and gardening.” Alexander Smith
The Vanderbilt family built these gardens and the majestic gates leading into them is well known as “The Vanderbilt Gate”. Made in Paris in 1894, the gates originally stood before the Vanderbilt mansion at Fifth Avenue and 58th St. A magnificent, welcoming entrance for all.
This particular gathering place in Central Park is a “Quiet Zone”. Meant to invite meditation, calm and inspiration, the various gardens evoke a special sort of spiritual energy. When traveling on my own, I always love to explore the parks and gardens that populate so many cities. They provide a respite from the noise and hustle that make up city life.
Sundays are the most perfect day of the week for these kinds of explorations. On the classic “day of rest”, I always feel free to wander and pick up on a spontaneous whim and go wherever it leads me. Like the Sunday Drive, a good long walk on a Sunday is a luxurious indulgence.
The memory of that day inspired my recent Sunday outing to the Conservatory Garden, here in New York. A late afternoon stroll was a balm to the soul. I think that we frequently overlook the things that are right in front of us. Sometimes, I try to apply my travel habits to my own home turf and set out on a Sunday afternoon as a “tourist”.
It’s the perfect way to revel in a Sunday afternoon adventure. “A Table For One”.
Copyright 2016 Marion M. O’Grady
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