Walking in Central Park in the rain is a magical experience.
Walking in Central Park in the rain is a magical experience. Due to intermittent downpours last Wednesday afternoon, the park was almost deserted, a rare event. On most days Central Park affords the very best people watching, but when it rains the park itself comes into focus.
Pathways wind away into swaths of trees. Classic deciduous oaks and maples and sycamores offer their orange and gold foliage as beacons in the grey sky. Without so many people draped over and around them, it is easier to take in the beauty of the park’s gateways and ironwork and fountains, the hardscape structure of Olmsted and Calvert Vaux’s lovely achievement.
I am tempted to call it Olmsted’s “crowning achievement”, but in fact it was Olmsted’s first realized landscape. Olmsted was brought into the older, more experienced Calvert Vaux’s design team when Vaux’s original partner, Andrew Jackson Downing, died. I plan to visit Brooklyn’s Prospect Park soon. It is said that Olmsted and Vaux considered Prospect Park their masterpiece. I look forward to seeing for myself, but should I wait for another rainy day…?