A Year In New York

A Daily Bite of the Big Apple

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Day 25: A Reservoir of Space

July 21st · 2 Comments

On a run in Central Park, pacing up East Drive amid the throng of sweaty joggers who seem to chug away no matter the hour or the heat, I sensed that some feature, something enormous, lay just to the west through the trees. I turned off to check it out.

Up a berm and — wow, look at all this room! I found myself at the edge of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, which I recognized instantly from a dozen half-remembered movies.

This stretch of blue is (and I quote my guidebook here) the single largest thing in the park, 10 city blocks long and encompassing 106 acres. At the south end, five water jets, one for each of the city’s boroughs, spouted into the air like a hydro-bouquet. The effect of a big lake is altogether different from running amid the park’s trees and foliage, which enclose you and makes you forget the city exists.

From this perspective the apartment buildings, rising at the park boundary at 59th Street and marching south, looked storied and remote, like something perched on a hilltop in Athens. I lost myself taking pictures for a few minutes. But the constant footsteps and heavy breathing on the path behind me finally tugged me away.

Women in lycra with strollers, shirtless men limping in pain, a teenager being pulled along by a terrier — the Reservoir is the busiest jogging track in the world, receiving 5,000 to 10,000 runners a day. I put away the camera and turned to join them.

Tags: Sights & Scenes · Sports · Why I Love This Town

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Kimberly Winston // Jul 22, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    Hi, David – I haven’t been reading in a while – sorry. I wouldn’t think of it till I already turned off my computer. About the reservoir – did you find the horseback riding trails just to the west and south of the reservoir? On the West Side of the Park? Be sure and check them ou t- especially when it is winter and the first snow falls. I swear, it is like you are by your lonesome in the country – unless it is a weekday and cars are speeding thru the park. Then you can hear them. But it is a really special place (sadly, also the place the Central Park Jogger was attacked and left for dead). And be sure and go to The Rambles. Another “secluded” and very country feeling place.

  • 2 anne // Jul 24, 2008 at 11:28 pm

    Check out the often overlooked north end
    of the park. Rustic benches, waterfalls, stone bridges, and a block house from the war of 1812.
    Take Anjali for a picnic on the Great Hill or a concert at the Harlem Meer.
    At night, pack the vino and candles (please do not wear the headlamp thing).

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