Central Park always wears rustic sandstone pedestrian bridges and arches. She sports wrought iron gates, fences and rails. Antique lampposts and wood benches line her winding paths, some laid with brick or cobblestone. Her most prevalent stone is granite bedrock, a gift from Manhattan Island.
When autumn arrives the park slips into rust orange, toasted yellow, chestnut brown, and fiery red leaves. The marriage of the park’s earth tones with fall colors delivers a season-long golden anniversary.
Central Park wears autumn especially well because, despite many modern touches throughout the 843-acre green, the season highlights her distinct features that step visitors back in time. Whenever I walk through the park, a retreat from the bustling metropolis made of concrete, steel and glass, I feel like I’ve entered the 19th century, when the park was created and the rustic started to give way to more and taller buildings.
While spring in the park signals life anew and a forward-looking perspective, fall beckons us back to days of centuries past, as colorful leaves wither on branches and prepare to slip off.
In an effort to capture this experience, I took these photos during three weekends in October and November, covering areas from the Pond at the southern end of the park to Harlem Meer up north. During my travels I crossed paths with a runner rounding the reservoir, birds bathing at Burnett Fountain, and shadows cast across Gothic Bridge and Glade Arch.
Enough talk. Let’s stroll through the final leg of this post.