Journal

A Forum for Diary Entries, Essays, Observations, Poetry, News, and Reviews

The Naming of the Park

You don’t have to live in a grand English mansion on a huge country estate to name the place according to its antiquity, design distinction, prestige of its proprietors, and pleasure for visitors who appreciated the fusion of nature and art as a pinnacle of cultural tourism exemplifying the Romantic movement’s influence on landscape design. In opposition to this aristocratic attitude is the ideal of a democratic landscape such as the one you find in the heart of New York City’s borough of Manhattan. To advocate an infusion of non-urban rurality as a counterbalance to the bustling city surrounding the park Frederick Law Olmsted appropriated the epithet “rus in urbe, to denote the countryside within the city. Although no Latin linguist, I was sufficiently in accord with the characterization of the park as place where countryside fused with the city to create a landscape in which farm fields and forested lands could be incorporated into a metropolitan setting that I decided to honor Olmsted’s observation in the following sonnets. READ MORE >


Part Five: Central Park as An Outdoor Museum

Central Park is a great work of land art in its own right, which during the course of time has become a showcase for memorial statues honoring literary, cultural, and political figures famous in the public eye and other sculptures including ones of animals inspired by the park as a setting for display or famous in the popular imagination as characters in children’s stories. READ MORE >


Part Four: Bethesda Terrace, Arcade, and Fountain

Consider Central Park to be something more than New York City’s prime recreational open space but also, as is the case in this website’s current series of postings, a showplace containing works of art that have been assimilated into a landscape that is a work of art in and of itself. When we think of the various parts of the park that have acquired sculptures and other forms of focused display as well as historic preservation and restoration projects that preserve their original appearances, we inevitably turn to the heart of an American masterpiece in its own right and find the Bethesda Terrace, Arcade, and Fountain over which an Angel with outspread wings presides as a symbol of both the healing of sickness, injury, and infirmity following divine intervention and the blessing sent via the Croton Aqueduct since its opening in 1842 upon all residents and visitors to New York City who drink pure water from a supply system emanating in upstate New York. READ MORE >


Part Three: Central Park as An Outdoor Museum

Public space is often considered as a desirable receptacle for memorial monuments and artistic sculptures created for outdoor display. While being a work of art in its own right, Central Park can also be considered as an outdoor museum with four additional wings – Frederick Douglas Circle at 110th Street and Central Park West; Duke Ellington Circle at 110th Street and Fifth Avenue; The Maine Monument plaza at Columbus Circle; and Grand Army plaza at 59th Street and Fifth Avenue. READ MORE >


Part Two: Central Park as An Outdoor Museum

Historical reverence begets memorials of persons of patriotic and moral leadership, political righteousness, valor in military battle, and figures of religious influence and scientific genius. Before and after the Civil War drastically altered the social, economic, and cultural conditions of the nation, American artists, many of whom were trained in Italy, adopted individual styles in which naturalism played a role not only in sculptural portraiture but also with regard to animals, creating an entire genre of beguiling beasts in bronze. READ MORE >


Part One: Central Park as An Outdoor Museum

To be in Central Park is to enjoy one of the world’s greatest and most beautiful outdoor recreational arenas, savor the changing scenery of the four seasons of the year, observe varieties of wildlife and annual events of bird migration and botanical blooming, and take routine walks with your pet dog and stroll randomly with family members and friends. Over the years, as in the case of other regular Central Park goers you will have numerous non-living acquaintances like the ones you pass when walking down the great hallway lined with bronze sculptures by Rodin on the second floor of the Metropolitan Museum. To put things on a pedagogical level, I have begun to write about the bronze animals and monuments of deceased persons of fame to be discovered if you follow me along Literary Walk on the Mall and elsewhere within Central Park. Please allow me here to be your docent as we examine the evidence that makes Central Park an urban outdoor museum. READ MORE >


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A Forum for
Diary Entries, Essays, Observations, Poetry, News, and Reviews


JOURNAL ARCHIVE

DIARY

Venice Revisited

Wainscott: Cherishing Memories of my Former Home in a Non-Hampton Hamlet in the Hamptons

Hill Country Journal

Budding Poets in the Park

Central Park Conservancy 40th Anniversary

Nine-Eleven Remembered

ESSAY

An Analysis of the Sonnet as a Form of Poetic Expression

OBSERVATIONS

Part Five: Central Park as An Outdoor Museum

Part Four: Bethesda Terrace, Arcade, and Fountain

Part Three: Central Park as An Outdoor Museum

Part Two: Central Park as An Outdoor Museum

Part One: Central Park as An Outdoor Museum

Designing the Central Park Luminaire: Nature as Ornament

“The Gates” by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, 2005

Jacob Wrey Mould: Central Park’s Third Designer

America’s Greatest Example of Land Art

Summit Rock, the Tallest Point in Central Park as a Palimpsest of Multi-generational History

Discovering Central Park’s Above-ground Bedrock Foundations

POETRY

The Naming of the Park

The Life and Times of Garth Fergusson, Poet

NEWS

Writing the City

REVIEWS

Lee County: The Setting of Barbara Kingsolver’s Demon Copperhead and Land of my Pioneer Ancestors

The Wind in the Willows