Book Review of the Colossus of New York






Colson Whitehead provides a detailed and thrilling description of many New York locations in the book Colossus of New York. The book’s contents offer a refreshing view of different aspects of this city in a poetic and humorous way. In addition to offering a detailed account of the landscape, the author includes snippets of significant historical explanations that color the varying locations in a different light. The book generates a lot of interest in the Big Apple since the narration is quite fascinating. It is a wonderful read and presents an informative glimpse into one of the world’s most famous cities. Central Park is an outdoor recreational facility located at the heart of Manhattan. Having been designated as a national historic landmark, this park is a modest display of natural beauty that has raised the aesthetic value and profile of the Manhattan topography. The view of the surrounding skyscrapers is breathtaking especially from the Eastern side, directly across Fifth Avenue. There are trees that dot the entire park. These provide much needed shade during the summer. In addition, the chirping of birds that is not mentioned in Whitehead’s book gives the area a wild sensation. The fields are quite expansive. Hence, the wide-open spaces project a kind of freedom from the hustle and bustle of the city. Similarly, the different colored trees are pleasant to look at, more so, when the flowers begin to blossom. Importantly, there are many walking paths to ease access to any section of the park as well as make visitors enjoy the different attractions. One can easily feel the difference in air quality as a smooth breeze blows across the park. This gentle wind produces a relaxed atmosphere and thus helps to achieve one of the goals of the facility.

Walking through the park, there are many amenities present that make the place lively. For example, there are two rinks for ice-skating although one of them is always converted into a swimming pool in July and August. These rinks are fully equipped with safety gears and costumes for rentals. In particular, the Skater rink is used for swimming during the summer while the Wollman rink located close to the Central Park zoo is used for skating all year round. It is worth mentioning that birthday parties can and are held on these rinks thereby making the location popular among the youth. Most of these parties are extravagant as every organizer tries to outdo the others and the buzz generated during such events attracts a huge camaraderie among the visitors. This perspective is not captured in the above book although it forms a trendy part of most visits to the area. Likewise, the park is home to various animals found in the Central Park Zoo. This section has an admirable sea lion pool with monkeys and penguins roaming the grounds. The clock tower on the gate to the Children’s Zoo is antique in shape while pandas and parrots that wander around the enclosure cause numerous amusements. As a result, visitors are inclined to take nature walks and other exploration activities in a bid to interact with the friendly creatures that always seem happy to welcome guests to their habitat. This is yet another observation lacking in the descriptive account of the park in the book. Even, rabbits, ducks and chicken have managed to find a place to call home in this zoo. Unfortunately, the popular polar bear named Gus had to be euthanized due to a recurrent infection and his absence can be felt through the conversations of people who had become fond of him. Such adoration exemplifies the love that most New Yorkers have for one another despite the city being a cosmopolitan. Therefore, the zoo is able to bring people of different backgrounds and nationalities together in a fun-filled environment.

The Central Park Conservatory Garden is a mixture of lush green lawns and trees. The grounds cover 6 acres, and it is accessible from the Vanderbilt Gate on Fifth Avenue. However, there is no specific flower color although this garden forms a backdrop for many photo sessions including wedding festivities. The Untermeyer Fountain is a striking piece of art that is made up of three maidens in a dancing posture. The well-trimmed lawns present tranquility to the park experience, and they help visitors to have moments of reflection in a peaceful setting. Another garden, formed in concentric circles adjacent to the fountain offers an artistic impression of liberty and makes guests have a serene meditation area. The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir is another prime location within the park that offers a panoramic view of the city’s skyline. Holding over 1 billion gallons of water, the expansive reservoir projects strength and power. The sheer force of the current is not easily visible due to its large depth. A sizeable jogging track encircles the reservoir, as do several water birds. This incredible layout has led to numerous bird watching trips, an experience that has proven exhilarating to different bird enthusiasts. The Ramble is another wooden section of the park famous for hosting various species of birds especially in the fall and spring seasons. Rowboats are also available from the Loeb boathouse, which overlooks the lake. The boats and kayaks can be rented at affordable prices, and one is able to go boating across the lake, under the Bow Bridge and into the Lower Loop. While doing so, one gets a vantage point of viewing the many tall buildings surrounding the park-another nugget not clearly illustrated in Whitehead’s recollection of the city. Alternatively, there are 21 playgrounds for children to choose from and one of the largest carousels in the country. These amenities are strategically located in various sections within the park to avoid congestion in any one area.

Major sports and entertainment activities are also hosted on these grounds. For example, the Delacorte Theater is the highlight for summer plays and other theoretical productions. More dance sessions, music performances and other arts are presented during the Summerstage weekend. These are a series of fun-filled events aimed at shepherding people towards a common cause. The concerts are known to be crowd pullers, and they encourage people to appreciate the beauty of Central Park. Depending on the size of the participants, there is plenty of space available to accommodate as many people as possible without jeopardizing the safety of the fans and the park itself. On most weekends, bicycle races and inline skating contests are held. These occur in Park Drive that stretches to about 6 miles long. Additionally, tennis, volleyball and baseball are actively played on various courts and fields. This makes the park to beam with activity throughout the year thereby fulfilling the reference of New York City as the city that never sleeps. Several sculptures have been erected at different junctions, and each of them symbolizes a momentous historical fact. In total, 21 sculptures can be found within the grounds. Most of them have originated from charitable organizations while others have been donated by philanthropic individuals who are vocal on environmental conservation. These statues are not placed haphazardly either. Instead, they are carefully selected and positioned at different coordinates. Whereas some might be a display of the artist’s skill, most of them contain hidden meanings that visitors are always encouraged to find out. Some of them include Cleopatra’s Needle, Balto, and Alice in Wonderland. Sometimes, the manner in which these sculptures made their way into Central Park is mysterious. That is what fuels the speculation, which attracts more tourists to the site each year.

Rock climbing is a common activity that draws many enthusiasts to the location. This is carried out on a group of boulders that are spread in certain parts of the park. Cat Rock and Rat Rock are the most famous spots for rock climbers. These frequent adventures make the sports scene dynamic and ensure that different preferences of people are served. Similarly, horse carriages are common with most people choosing to take photographs after they have ridden them. Sunbathers can be spotted anywhere within the park, and this unpredictability is what makes the park charming. Although it is situated in the middle of a busy city, Central Park manages to offer a quiet getaway full of thrilling distractions in a healthy and calm atmosphere.

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