Friday, December 9, 2011

Unknown in New York - Belvedere Castle

I have considered myself a New Yorker for a long time. Wither this is appropriate terminology is still debatable, because it is just until now that I have truly lived within one of the boroughs of the city, earlier I have lived on towns in New Jersey that lay on the shores of the Hudson river (like Jersey City and Fort Lee). However I had always worked in the city and am therefore very protective of it as well as proud of its defiant nature. With that stated I am also ashamed about how little I know about this place despite the decades I have spent here. Point in case Belvedere Castle. I had absolutely no idea that within the confines of Central Park there was a beautiful little castle. I came to find out about it after browsing through a deck of cards for suggested city walks designed to include children (I will get to these cards on another post).

Belvedere castle is a little known gem at the heart of Central Park. It is a place that toddlers will enjoy no matter if they are girls or boys, because the boys can pretend to be knights and the girls can play princess. My daughter liked the narrow stair cases (which require parental supervision to ensure little ones do not get hurt while being silly) and the fantastic view from the top. The easiest way to get to it is to enter the park from the east at the pedestrian path just below the Metropolitan Museum below 79th street. I suggest getting yourself a map of the park via their website so that you can navigate form there. If you combine the visit with either going to the Metropolitan Museum or Central Park Zoo you will have a full day. It was a really great find and another opportunity to get to know this city I love so much. It is also a testament to the fact that you can walk up and down New York for decades and still not know every nook and cranny of it, which is why living here always feels like the greatest adventure.

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