I recently took a walk in Central Park in the snow and encountered these adorable snow-sculpture polar bears. Then, I continued on a visit to some of my favorite spots in the lower half of the park: Belvedere Castle, the Ramble, Bow Bridge, Bethesda Fountain and Terrace, and the Mall with the Literary Walk and the Women’s Rights Pioneers Statue. Enjoy the photos! Click on a photo to enlarge them.
Snowbanksy 2021 was the clever and cute work of artist Heidi Hatry. She created more than two dozen polar bears out of snow by the 86th street westside entrance and the east side of the reservoir. The bears were accompanied by climate crisis messages such as “Mommy, what’s a carbon footprint?” and “Let us chill”.
Belvedere Castle is situated atop Vista Rock and offers sweeping views of Central Park with the Great Lawn to the north, the Ramble to the south, and the cityscape all around. The castle also houses one of the Park’s visitor centers and a gift shop. The outdoor pavilion is a popular spot for wedding photography, and it over looks the Turtle Pond (last picture, frozen and covered with snow) and the Delacorte Theatre. Since 1919, the National Weather Service has also collected meteorological data like temperature, wind, and rainfall from the Castle.
Bow Bridge was the first cast-iron bridge in the Park. It is also the second-oldest in the United States. The bridge resembles an archer or violinist’s bow. Bow Bridge was built between 1859 and 1862 and therefore is not part of the Park’s original design. It was added to provide a direct route from Cherry Hill to the Ramble.
Bethesda Terrace overlooks the Lake and the Loeb Boathouse and stands at the end of the long, tree-lined promenade known as the Mall. There are intricate carvings on the Terrace’s ramps, balustrades, and piers with the themes of nature, art, science, and love. Some of the Terrace’s most unique and beautiful artwork remains relatively hidden from plain view under the Arcade. The Minton Tile Ceiling was handmade in the 1860s by England’s renowned Minton and Company., it features 49 panels and nearly 16,000 elaborately patterned encaustic tiles. The Arcade has the only ceiling in the world featuring Minton tiles.
Sculptor Emma Stebbins created Bethesda Fountain to commemorate the 1842 opening of the Croton Aqueduct, which brought fresh water from Westchester County into New York City and ended the cholera epidemic. The fountain was first major piece of public art in New York City commissioned from a woman. It references the gospel of John, which describes an angel blessing the Pool of Bethesda and giving it healing powers.
Sculptor Meredith Bergmann created the Women’s Rights Pioneers monument. The sculpture features Sojourner Truth speaking, Susan B. Anthony organizing, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton writing. It commemorates the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote