By Javier Otazu |
New York (EFE).- The most famous park in the world thanks to the cinema “turns” sixty years old today. We are talking about Central Park in New York, which has existed since 1876 but which this year celebrates the 60th anniversary of its declaration as a “Historic Landmark” or historical monument, a character that guarantees its protection forever and ever.
It is almost a miracle that in the middle of Manhattan, one of the most expensive places on Earth and with the highest human density per square meter, these 341 hectares that represent the green lung for the Big Apple have been preserved, sheltered from real estate greed.
His image is so associated with cinema that everyone has seen the autumn leaves fall from one of the 18,000 trees that populate the park, as has watched the 2,500 squirrels that thrive on its soils run or has witnessed the freezing of the lake almost every winter.
Parks that change with the seasons can be found all over the world, but Central Park has something unique: Where else can a 3,500-year-old Egyptian obelisk, a gay wedding, a dog’s birthday, and relentless John Doe impersonators coexist? Lennon?
Woody Allen in “Madagascar”
The quintessential New York filmmaker, Woody Allen, has always joked about his aversion to “the countryside”, but he has maintained an almost marital relationship with Central Park, where he has placed numerous scenes from such emblematic films as “Manhattan”, “Hannah and her sisters” or “Bullets over Broadway”.
But Woody Allen has discovered nothing. The park’s relationship with the cinema began back in 1908, and since then there have been more than 200 films shot in the park. So many that there is already a smart company that offers paid “tours” called “Iconic Movie Places in Central Park”. ”.
Who doesn’t remember Dustin Hoffman running sweaty around the park lake in “Marathon Man”? Or the endless walks through the trees of the couple from “When Harry Met Sally”? And the animals of “Madagascar” escaping from the zoo and returning to it?
The most sought after skyscrapers
One of the biggest real estate attractions in New York is the apartments with views of Central Park. And it is no coincidence that its four sides are dotted with towering buildings that offer their tenants a movie view.
It is the southern part of the park that contains perhaps the highest number of ultra-luxury skyscrapers in New York. Among which it is worth mentioning the Central Park Tower (432 meters high) and 432 Park Avenue (426 meters). All called “pencil skyscrapers” for their extreme thinness that makes them an engineering challenge.
Gossips say that a good part of the apartments in these skyscrapers on this New York “golden mile” -there are several more in Manhattan and Brooklyn- are empty for two reasons: first, because they are uncomfortable due to their extreme exposure to the wind and its complex elevator systems, and secondly because they serve, as if they were a work of art, as the perfect vehicle for financial speculation before anything else.
In any case, they are possibly the most photogenic buildings on the planet: from the north shore of the largest lake in the park, the Jackie Kennedy Reservoir, walkers and tourists stop every day to take pictures of the calm waters of the pond in which they are reflected. the silhouette of these skyscrapers to become one of the profiles most identified with New York.
Central Park: a democratic space
In a city as elitist as New York, where inequalities are brutal, Central Park is one of the most democratic spaces. Anyone can use it to have a picnic, walk their dog, ride a bike, go bird watching or do a wedding photo shoot.
On any given Sunday, the park is filled with spontaneous artists -trios or quartets of musician friends, cartoonists or caricaturists who portray passersby-, with massive outdoor yoga or “stretching” courses, with bicycles that can circulate in only one direction. and of couples and families cruising the lake.
Oddly enough, smoking is prohibited throughout the park, but marijuana users violate it daily, just as they break the prohibition on drinking alcohol: just “wrap” your drink with a discreet brown paper and nothing happens. It is also forbidden to feed the domesticated fauna of the park, but who can resist giving a little peanuts to squirrels or breadcrumbs to fish and turtles?
The entry Central Park in New York turns 60 as a “national monument” was first published in EFE Noticias.