Bethesda Terrace Arcade Time Portal

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Connecting the world famous Bethesda Fountain to the Mall is a magnificent subterranean passageway known as The Arcade, a true highlight of any visit to Bethesda Terrace. This beautiful walkway features an amazing ceiling featuring more than 15,000 tiles, beautiful archways painted to mimic centuries old marble, and the only functioning time portal in the borough of Manhattan!

How is it possible? Could it be the way the imported tiles were arranged when they were installed in 1869 by a practicing alchemist, or the configuration of the columns the original park workers lovingly dubbed “the cursed columns from an unholy world?”  Nobody knows for sure. But for many years random park visitors, while strolling through the arcade have found themselves transported to a very specific time in their past or future. Here are a few bizarre incidents recorded by park historians:

1886 – East side resident Franz Keller claims that while walking towards the Bethesda fountain, he had what he thought was a vision of New York City far into the future, where “buildings touched the sky, people travelled in metal, horseless wagons, and a man named Starbucks owned a shop on every street corner.”

1915 – While admiring the tile ceilings in the Arcade, Brian Cochran was transported back in time three years to his native Ireland the very minute his neighbor Colin O’Toole told him he had booked passage to the United States aboard the RMS Titanic. Instead of warning O’Toole not to board the doomed ocean liner, Cochran wished him good luck on his trip. Cochran was kind of a jerk.

1936 – Penniless hobo Stanley Fitzgerald found himself transported back to October 1929 – a week before the infamous Stock Market Crash.  With his knowledge of what was soon to happen, he was able to save his fortune from being lost. Fitzgerald returned to 1933 a millionaire but lost all of his money a year later producing the failed Broadway musical “Hitler On The Town!”

1965-1980 – During this 15 year period there are multiple reports in the park archives of people who swore they experienced time travel at Bethesda Arcade, but pretty much everyone in New York City was on drugs back then so these claims are unreliable.

2011 – Local fashion blogger Janette Feig was transported to her family home on Long Island in the 1980s where she encountered her 16 year old self who wore nothing but stonewashed jeans. Miss Feig never recovered from her experience.

It Happened Here! – The East Green

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April 3, 1954.

While walking through past the East Green on his way to a rehearsal of his upcoming show The Pajama Game, famed theater impresario Jerome Robbins was set upon by a young, well coiffed gang of toughs who performed an elaborately song and dance number before stealing the producer/director/choreographer’s briefcase and wallet.

Impressed by the gang’s crisp choreography and flawless vocals, Robbins began crafting a show based on the typical New York City street gang he encountered that day, and three years later the West Side Story premiered at the Winter Garden Theatre and became an instant Broadway classic.   

It happened here!

Important Announcement:

Due to the extreme heat wave that is gripping New York City, anyone visiting Central Park is advised to drink plenty of water, avoid over exertion, and wear appropriate sun protection.

You know what, just take off your clothes and walk around naked. Go right ahead. We’re totally okay with that. It is pretty friggin hot out there, so we might as well make the best of it right? So drop those pants and let it all hang out. Just put a towel down if you’re going to sit on a bench. Thanks.

 

 

The Passive Aggressive Patch

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Looking for something fun to do?

Of course you are. You’re all about having fun no matter what the cost.

Then how about heading over to the southern tip of the East Green, where the most beautiful patch of white daffodils in Central Park awaits you. Tourists and native New Yorkers flock to this area every summer to gaze upon this beautiful sea of flowers –  but hey, why do I have to tell you? This is probably something you already know since you know everything.

Think of how wonderful it would be to come to the park on a day when you’re not so busy with that low paying job you should have left years ago and relaxing on a bench with a friend you haven’t seen for the longest time because you never check your text messages. Oh that’s right, you can’t text at your job even though everyone does but you have to follow the rules of the office even though it hasn’t gotten you a promotion.

So whenever you get the chance be sure to see the beautiful white daffodils on the East Green. No rush of course. Come by when your busy schedule clears up.

And if you can’t make it this summer, don’t worry about it. They’re just flowers. They’ll just die and grow back next year.

No thanks to you.   

 

 

 

The Ravine

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Located alongside the Wildflower Meadow in the North region of Central Park,  The Ravine is one of the most serene places the park has to offer. With it’s flowing stream (known as The Loch), rugged stone steps, and winding paths, the Ravine is a perfect display of nature  at its most tranquil.

Voted “Most Tranquil place in New York City” by Tranquil Quarterly from 2003-11, the cascading waters of the Ravine is the perfect remedy for frazzled nerves.

Harried park visitors looking to relax, decompress, and have their weary spirits return to a state of relaxation not felt since childhood before the real world took a big dump in their Cheerios will have a serendipitous experience in this magical place.

And as a special bonus, beginning in April special Tranquility Counselors from the Central Park Wellness Coalition will be patrolling the Ravine to answer questions and point visitors to the areas along The Loch that have been deemed the “most mellow.”

In keeping with the overwhelmingly tranquil nature of The Ravine, visitors are advised to silence their smartphones, clear their Qi of any negative energy, and leave that friend who can’t shut up for five goddamn seconds at the ball fields.

Bethesda Fountain, aka The Fountain That Grants Wishes

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Without a doubt one of the most beautiful places in Central Park is Bethesda Terrace. This magnificent plaza of stone and brick has been featured in countless films and TV shows and is one of the most visited attractions in the entire park.

At the edge of Bethesda Terrace overlooking The Lake is the magnificent Bethesda Fountain. This beautiful fountain is topped with a sculpture known as The Angel of the Waters. The winged female figure is depicted stretching out her hand to bestow her blessings on the bubbling water below.

And if you’re lucky, perhaps The Angel of the Waters will grant you a wish!

The Bethesda Fountain has been granting random wishes to people since the first day of its construction when stone mason Rico Bertucci wished for the afternoon off and was struck on the head with a falling hammer, rendering him unconscious for the rest of the day.

For nearly a century and a half park goers and tourist have flocked to the fountain hoping their wish will be granted by the Angel of the Waters. While most have gone away empty handed, a few lucky ones have had their lives changed forever.

1880 – Local haberdasher Carlton Blummer wished to learn what his fiance was thinking. A week later he called off the engagement because his beloved Beatrice  only thoughts were about a naked President James Garfield.

1897 – A Manhattan  shipping clerk Boris Hublick wishes for wealth and fame. He is granted fabulous wealth, but the fame is on back order. When it arrives four months later, Hublick cannot accept the fame, because he has misplaced the receipt. He dies twenty years later in obscurity.

1907 – Magician and escape artist Harry Houdini wishes to pull off the hardest trick in the world. Two weeks later, he successfully hails a cab on Broadway during rush hour in a rain storm.

1948 – While visiting New York City on their honeymoon, a newlywed couple made a wish at the fountain. The bride wished for a child, and her husband Fidel Castro wished the bourgeois capitalist system controlling his homeland of Cuba to be overthrown in a bloody revolution. A few short years later, they both got their wish!

1959 – Local beatnik Sylvester Grange wishes at the fountain for inspiration to create the ultimate poem that will “tear down the walls of this nowhere society and put the fatcats and squares in their place, man!” Grange is instantly struck by lightning when he refers to the Angel of the Waters as “one groovy and far out chick.”

1976 – New York Yankees manager Billy Martin drops a coin in the Bethesda fountain and wishes for his team to win the upcoming World Series. A week later after the Yankees are swept in the series by the Cincinnati Reds, an inebriated Martin is spotted wading into the fountain to recover his coin and is dragged away by park personnel.

1982 – Struggling dancer Madonna Louise Ciccone wishes to become a successful singer and entertainer. The Angel of the Waters thought she heard the young woman say “I wish to become extremely self important and annoying in 20 or 30 years” and grants her that wish instead.

2012 – High School sophomore Miranda Trilby, not familiar with the procedures for making a wish at a fountain, texts her wish on her smartphone and tosses the device into the water.