In Search of Cherry Blossoms… Central Park, Manhattan

Rewind. Back to Monday.

No choice but to push aside any notion of those so-called Monday morning blues. A chilly start gave way to a spectacular spring-like day in New York. I don’t know why I felt so unprepared; March 20th is around the corner after all.

Armed with the knowledge that Central Park’s cherry blossoms were in bloom a few weeks too early, I’d planned to walk to the Jacqueline Kennedy Reservoir from 68th Street on Central Park West, up to around 94th Street East, where I know many of the trees line its water’s edge.

An unexpected change of plans.

I had two hours to spare, yet I never made it to the Reservoir. Was I a slow walker? Did I take lose my way within the Park’s criss-cross of pathways? No, and kind of.

Entering the Park, I was immediately sidetracked. My purpose and direction had given way to inevitable distraction and intrigue. From stopping and starting to admire practically every flower in bloom – daffodils, snowdrops, crocuses; to dodging cyclists, strollers, and groups of runners; to stumbling upon a meeting of the minds with some hard-shelled creatures (who won my heart) – I was simply caught up in a seasonal change of pace.

What a far cry from the snowscapes I’d documented in the same area a couple of months ago.

Caught up in springtime musings, I only managed a walk around part of the Lake, and across to Bethesda Terrace – both spots a stone’s throw away from my where I’d started. Yet I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Such is the appeal of Central Park; so alluring is the unfurling of its changing landscape as the months go on.

That’s all wonderful, but what of those blooming pink cherry blossoms – you might be asking? Whilst I am planning on returning again soon, I saw so much more that I had anticipated during this time-out.

You’ll see what I mean.

Enjoy the stroll!


Flowers line the park’s entryways along Central Park West. The gentle hum of Spring takes over; there’s a buzz in the air. Bunches of gold daffodils make for a jovial welcoming party, as if smiling under the sun’s rays…

… heads bowed in respect of their admirers.

A solitary bouquet of snow-white white crocuses peeking out from the ground; so delicate, new, and pretty.

Early afternoon shadows: lines; asymmetry; a haphazard mosaic design.

Strands of gold form a curtain in anticipation of the big reveal – a theatrical scene. Glimpses of activity on the Lake. Can you see the rowboat?

Getting closer. Rowboat, framed.

Busy is the background scene. Ice skaters have now given way to rollerbladers; cyclists navigate a busy roadway; runners acclimatise to the sudden hike in temps, all the warmer for the lack of shade. In the midst of it all, daydreamers relax on a park benches and soak in the sun.

An inspired artist, sketching…

… and strolling iphotographers, isnapping.

Beautiful yellow blossoms add extra colour along the way….

…as do patches of snowdrops ….

… all the way to the water’s edge.

Only to find, on the other side, a congregation. A meeting of the minds. Under the bare brush and on a couple of rocks – jutting out from under the lake’s surface – a couple of birds and some reptiles have gathered to form a silent ‘council’.

Moving closer, beckoned over, perhaps? What a fine looking pair – a couple of velvety Mallards…

… and a set of statuesque turtles, perched stoically on solitary rocks. Their necks outstretched, not moving an inch. Do they dare blink?

Edging closer; the largest two wear the hardest hats. Yep, they’re obviously presiding over this mind-meeting.

Turtles – just delightful.

Alas, even meetings of the mind come to an end – unfortunately so. Time to move along.

A quick cross over the Oak Bridge, to the other side. From this part of the Lake shore, a view of the El Dorado Apartments flanked by a rowboat and a contemplative soul.

Meandering along a winding pathway and over the Bow Bridge; rowboats float under its archway – they make for a regular sight.

Rowers paddling this way, and that; gliding from this side of the water, to the other.

A garden of crocuses in all shades of purple beckon towards The Boathouse.

The Loeb Boathouse, up close

El Dorado Apartments, aglow; surrounded by an aura of gold.

A little up the hill; a splash of pink against a cloud patterned stretch of blue. Could it be?

It certainly could. A beautiful cherry blossom tree. A search, partly achieved.

Looking through these blooming pink branches; wondering, is this what it feels to stumble upon a pot of gold?

Room with a view.

A panoramic scene overlooking Bethesda Terrace and its still-dry fountain. The Loeb Boathouse is to the right; the main part of the Lake, and El Dorado Apartments – to the left. People, in between.

Turn 180 degrees; look right down the length of The Mall, punctuated by the buildings of 59th street at its end. Spot the tripod.

A monochromatic view, elongated.

Is the time up already? Westward-bound. Pedicabs, already under the eye of their owner-turned-mechanic.

A road leading to the outskirts that is Manhattan.

Departing. The scent of candy-roasted nuts lingering in the air.

Back in Manhattan. Back on Central Park West. Thanks Spring.


55 thoughts on “In Search of Cherry Blossoms… Central Park, Manhattan

  1. Wonderful walk in the park! The cherry blossoms in spring always remind me of the A.E. Houseman poem about them:
    “Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
    Is hung with bloom along the bough,
    And stands about the woodland ride
    Wearing white for Eastertide…..”

    • Thanks Steph! I thought that seeing the turtles and getting the photos of the ducks up close would be enough to make my day. And then, when I was running out of time, I saw the solo cherry blossom tree. It was so fun to just take photos of it. Like a pink pompom!

  2. Wow, so much in bloom already! Fantastic.
    I see why you were distracted with all the beauty around you Marina.
    I love the cherry trees in bloom, they are always spectacular. So many truly inspiring images.
    I believe this may double as an inspiration post! 🙂

    • Thanks so much Karen! I was so surprised to see so much in bloom too.. hence stalling too much! It’s quite intoxicating being in so much beauty like that – of course, last time I was there, it was chilly and snowy!

  3. Spring has arrived. How exciting! I love spring flowers. It’sl great to compare these photos of Central Park with those you took in the winter. Both are beautiful but I do love spring time. Hope they are still in bloom when I visit in April!

    • Hi Jenny – you’ll be in NY at the perfect time, in April. The full bloom will be achieved. Perhaps you can make it to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens – they have a cherry blossom festival. I agree with you – I love springtime too. Thank you!

  4. so jealous, cherry blossoms, and flowers already, lovely photos! and this weekend is the St. Patrick’s day parade! March is wonderful in nyc, sorry I will miss it this year. Lucky for me I get to live vicariously with your blog.

    • It is so nice to be greeted by flowers! March is a lovely time of year – warmish but not too hot. Maybe March 2013 will be the year to hit the St. Patty’s parade?! Thanks!

  5. Fabulous! Isn’t Spring just fantastic. Lovely photographs Marina and a great commentary. I really did enjoy the stroll! There is something very special about city parks and you’ve captured it marvellously. The break from the concrete and congestion, these parks are an oasis in a dessert of pavements and high rises that for me anyway made city life just about bearable. I will look forward to the cherry blossoms! 🙂

    • Thanks Adrian – you’re right.. once you step inside the perimeter of the park, it’s like you’ve entered another place. NY is lucky to have a park that is accessible to everyone in the city, and that is so smartly designed. Walking up a hill and turning a corner, you’re in yet another part of the park. Thanks for taking the stroll. I’ll need to subway it directly to the Reservoir next time!

  6. I certainly enjoyed the walk! 🙂 Those cherry blossom trees are absolutely stunning and stand out well in the park! Such beautiful pink colour!!!! I can’t believe it is the middle of March already! 🙂

    • They are so fluffy and pink; like pom poms I thought! I can’t wait to see the rows of them along the Reservoir, when I actually make it up there! Today is the middle of March – wow. Wasn’t it NYE only a few weeks ago? 😉

  7. And how jovial they are! Man, and those colours, absolutely astonishing. How utterly joyful this all seems, this glorious walk of yours…loved it, thanks!

    The pink against blue sky, hmm, very nice indeed.

  8. Ooooohhh! I am so needing a trip to NY! My husband and I were visiting my step-daughter at this time last year and the cherry blossom blooms made pink blankets under every tree. Central Park is beautiful in every season in so many different ways. Thanks for the post! Time to search for plane tickets!

  9. I hope to make it to the Reservoir or to Brooklyn Botanical Gardens to share some photos of rows of blossom trees. Blankets under each tree – that’s such a great way of putting it! I agree – Central park is really beautiful, and I am look forward to going to the Conservatory garden again to see how it has changed from winter. That is a great find. Hope you find some good tickets! Thank you!

    • The turtles were my favourite Val. First, i thought they were sculptures. But when I saw a hint of movement, I edged closer. Central Park is different everytime I visit it! The pedicabs are a way to see Central Park through the seasons, that’s for sure! Thanks!

  10. Thanks Marina for sharing these beautiful pictures. I wasn’t able to visit Central Park in person this month but I’m happy that I was able to through your blog.

  11. Pingback: Snapped: Spring in Central Park, New York | Marina Chetner

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