Central Park

Central Park interactive 360 street view at (6th) Avenue of the Americas:

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Central Park is a public park in the center of Manhattan in New York City, United States. The park initially opened in 1857, on 843 acres (3.41 km2) of city-owned land. In 1858, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux won a design competition to improve and expand the park with a plan they entitled the Greensward Plan. Construction began the same year and was completed in 1873.
Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1963, the park is currently managed by the Central Park Conservancy under contract with the city government. The Conservancy is a nonprofit organization that contributes 85% of Central Park's $25 million dollar annual budget, and employs 80% of the park's maintenance staff.

Central Park Recreation, and thigs to do:
Central Park Summer Stage
Birding: A wooded section of the park called "The Ramble" is popular among birders. Many species of woodland birds, especially warblers, may be seen in The Ramble in Spring and Fall.
Boating: Rowboats and kayaks are rented on an hourly basis at the Loeb Boathouse, which also houses a restaurant overlooking the Lake.
Carriage horses: the carriage horse industry, revived in New York City in 1935, has been featured in various films, the first female carriage driver, Maggie Cogan, appeared in a newsreel in 1967. The ethics of this tradition and the effects on horse health and well being, have been questioned by various animal rights activists.
Pedicabs: Covering three to ten times the distance of a typical Central Park horse carriage ride, pedicabs have become very popular with visitors and New Yorkers alike in the last five years.
Sports: Park Drive, just over 6 miles (9.7 km) long, is a haven for runners, joggers, bicyclists, and inline skaters. Most weekends, races take place in the park, many of which are organized by the New York Road Runners. The New York City Marathon finishes in Central Park outside Tavern on the Green. Many other professional races are run in the park, including the recent, (2008), USA Men's 8k Championships.
Rock Climbing: Central Park's glaciated rock outcroppings attract climbers, especially boulderers; Manhattan's bedrock, a glaciated schist, protrudes from the ground frequently and considerably in some parts of Central Park. The two most renowned spots for boulderers are Rat Rock and Cat Rock; others include Dog Rock, Duck Rock, Rock N' Roll Rock, and Beaver Rock, near the south end of the park.
Ice Skating: Central Park has two ice skating rinks, Wollman Rink and Lasker Rink, which converts to an outdoor swimming pool in summer.
Central Park Carousel: the current carousel, installed in 1951, is one of the largest merry-go-rounds in the United States. The fifty-eight hand-carved horses and two chariots were made by Solomon Stein and Harry Goldstein in 1908. The carousel originally was installed in Coney Island in Brooklyn.
Playgrounds: Central Park has twenty-one playgrounds for children located throughout the park, the largest, at 3 acres (12,000 m2), is Heckscher Playground named for August Heckscher.
Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre: located in the Swedish Cottage. The building was originally a model schoolhouse built in Sweden. Made of native pine and cedar, it was disassembled and rebuilt in the U.S. as Sweden's exhibit for the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. Frederick Law Olmsted moved the cottage to Central Park present site in 1877.
Central Park Zoo: The Central Park Zoo is one of four zoos, and one aquarium, managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The zoo is home to an indoor rainforest, a leafcutter ant colony, a chilled penguin house, and a Polar Bear pool.

Central Park Entertainment:
Each summer, the Public Theater presents free open-air theatre productions, often starring well-known stage and screen actors. The Delacorte Theater is the summer performing venue of the New York Shakespeare Festival. Most, although not all, of the plays presented are by William Shakespeare, and the performances are generally regarded as being of high quality since Central Park founding by Joseph Papp in 1962.
The New York Philharmonic gives an open-air concert every summer on the Great Lawn, and the Metropolitan Opera presents two operas. Many concerts have been given in the park including The Supremes, 1970; Carole King, 1973; Bob Marley & The Wailers, 1975; Elton John, 1980; the Simon and Garfunkel reunion, 1981; Diana Ross, 1983; Garth Brooks, 1997 Country Superstar Garth Brooks performed a free concert in August 1997. About 980,000 attended the event, according to the FDNY. the Dave Matthews Band, 2003, and Bon Jovi 2008. Since 1992, local singer-songwriter David Ippolito has performed almost every summer weekend to large crowds of passers-by and regulars and has become a New York icon, often simply referred to as "That guitar man from Central Park." In the summer of 1985, Bruce Springsteen planned to hold a free outdoor concert on the Great Lawn, however the idea was scrapped when it was purported that any free show held by Springsteen would bring an estimated 1.3 million people, crippling the park and the nearby neighborhoods.
Each summer, City Parks Foundation offers Central Park Summerstage, a series of free performances including music, dance, spoken word, and film presentations. SummerStage will celebrate Central Park twenty-fifth anniversary in 2010. Throughout Central Park history Summerstage has welcomed emerging artists and world renowned artists, including Celia Cruz, David Byrne, Curtis Mayfield, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, George Clinton and the P-Funk All Stars, and Nobel Laureate and Pulitzer winner Toni Morrison, Femi Kuti, Seun Kuti, Pulitzer winner Junot Diaz, Vampire Weekend, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company, and many more.
With the revival of the city and the park in the new century, Central Park has given birth to arts groups dedicated to performing in the park, notably Central Park Brass, which performs an annual concert series and the New York Classical Theatre, which produces an annual series of plays.
Central Park was home to the famed New York City restaurant Tavern on the Green which was located on the park's grounds at Central Park West and West 67th Street. Tavern on the Green had Central Park last seating on December 31, 2009 before closing.
Central Park was home to the largest concert ever on record.

Central Park Geology:
There are four different types of bedrock in Manhattan, two are exposed in various outcroppings in Central Park, Manhattan schist and Hartland schist (both are metamorphosed sedimentary rock); Fordham gneiss an older deeper layer which does not surface in the park and Inwood marble (metamorphosed limestone) which overlays the gneiss are the others.
Fordham gneiss, which consists of metamorphosed igneous rocks, was formed a billion years ago, during what is known as the Grenville orogeny that occurred during the creation of an ancient super-continent. It is the oldest rock in the Canadian Shield, the most ancient part of the North American tectonic plate.
Manhattan schist and Hartland schist were formed in the Iapetus Ocean during the Taconic orogeny in the Paleozoic era, about 450 million years ago. During that period the tectonic plates began to move toward each other, which resulted in the creation of the supercontinent, Pangaea.
Cameron's Line is a fault zone that traverses Central Park on an east-west axis.
Various glaciers have covered the area of Central Park in the past, with the most recent being the Wisconsin glacier which receded about 12,000 years ago. Evidence of past glaciers are visible throughout the park in the form of glacial erratics (large boulders dropped by the receding glacier) and north-south glacial striations visible on stone outcroppings.

Central Park Fauna:
The first official list of birds observed in Central Park was drawn up by Augustus G. Paine, Jr. at the age of 19 or 20. Paine was an avid hobby ornithologist and, together with his friend Lewis B. Woodruff, drew up a list of birds counting over 100 species. This was regarded as the first official list and was published in Forest and Stream on June 10, 1886. An article in The New Yorker on 26 August 1974 calls attention to this early list. Over a quarter of all the bird species found in the United States have been seen in Central Park. One of these species is the Red-tailed hawk, which re-established a presence in the park when a male hawk known as Pale Male for his light coloration, nested on a building on Fifth Avenue, across the street from the park. He became a local media celebrity and a prolific breeder. Over the decades the list has been updated and changed.
The park is frequented by various migratory species of birds during their Spring and Fall migration on the Atlantic Flyway.
Central Park was the site of the misguided unleashing of European starlings in North America, a native of Euroasia which has become an invasive species. In April, 1890, eighty birds were released by Eugene Schieffelin, and the following March another eighty; these one hundred and sixty birds are the progenitors of the flocks which now span the United States and parts of Canada.
In 2002 a new genus and species of centipede (Nannarrup hoffmani) was discovered in Central Park. At about four-tenths of an inch (10 mm) long, it is one of the smallest centipedes in the world.

Central Park Flora:
Central Park, home to over 25,000 trees, has a stand of 1,700 American Elms, one of the largest remaining stands of in the northeastern U.S., protected by their isolation from Dutch Elm Disease which devastated the tree throughout Central Park native range.