NY Adventures, Manhattan Edition: Central Park’s Belvedere Castle and Conservatory Water

Welcome back! I’m not sure if I’m saying that to you or to me, but I guess it works for either since I’ve been gone for a bit. When I wrote my last post I was a few days shy of beginning my second cross country trip and now here I am back in California in my house that is in the middle of being unpacked but is still somewhat functional. Somewhat. Yeah… I really need to work on that unpacking and organizing thing but it’s harder than it sounds! Well, it is for me anyways. If I was either of my sisters, especially the one that lives in Texas, it would have been done by now and the house would be in good running order. But I’m just lil’ old me and I’m not that skilled at all this stuff yet! If Mr. Envoy ends up re-enlisting though I’m sure I’ll have plenty more opportunities to get better at it, whether I want those opportunities or not.

I last left you all here, after Mr. Envoy and I had finished exploring the Shakespeare Garden in Central Park. We eventually found our way to Belvedere Castle despite GoogleMaps attempting to mislead us on multiple occasions (I blame the tall buildings surrounding us for how wonky our beloved GPS was acting). As we got closer I could hear violin music playing, but I wasn’t quite sure where it was coming from. Eventually we came across the source – a hula hooping violinist! She was playing for tips so she could continue studying music in NYC. College is not cheap, especially if you’re trying to study music at any sort of distinguished school and especially if you’re trying to study in the city, so I tipped her with what little cash I had on hand while I contemplated whether I could figure out a way to get my harp there and do the same thing. Quick hint? It’s not. Between tolls and parking fees just to even get my harp into Manhattan I probably wouldn’t even have made enough to break even, and that’s not even including the physical strain of lugging a concert grand pedal harp all the way across Central Park. And up stairs to get to Belvedere Castle. Nope. Big fat nope!

The castle itself was absolutely beautiful. It wasn’t quite as large as I had expected it to be, but then again just because it has the word ‘castle’ in it doesn’t mean it housed royalty in the middle of New York City or anything! That’d be silly. Right? Yes of course, that’d be ridiculous. *cough*

Belvedere Castle was built in 1869 as a lookout tower. Darn, no royalty secretly living in the middle of Manhattan. That’d make a great movie though, wouldn’t it? Peter Jackson, call me. I’m sure we can figure something out ;)

The views of the park and the city from Belvedere was something else. There is just something so striking about nature meeting urban.

Just a few selfies outside the castle before we headed inside to take a look around :P

Inside the castle there is one narrow (like the width of one person narrow) staircase that will take you to the top. They have a system inside that functions a lot like construction on a two-lane road: they halt everyone on one side to let the line build up while they let the opposite side use the road and then stop the side that was going to let them build up while letting the side that was just waiting go. Super fun! I know how much I love standing in lines being herded like a sheep, and I’m sure I can’t be the only one…

From the top of the castle we could see even more of Central Park and of the surrounding city. There was Turtle Pond and the Great Lawn Softball fields on the other side of it:

There was also the back of the Delacorte Theater:

And we even got a stranger to take a bunch of photos of us and only have one actually turn out:

I also demanded, much to Mr. Envoy’s disappointment, that I get a few pictures of ‘just him’. “What if your sister wants to see that you went to these cool places?” I insisted as I moved him into an opening not filled with tourists and snapped a few pictures.

After getting more than enough pictures of us and the surrounding area we got into line and waited to be herded back down the two narrow staircases so we could exit the castle and make room for more tourists. It’s still astounding to me to think of just how big Central Park. It has numerous bodies of water, a puppet theater, an actual theater, and even a castle yet there’s still tons of space for sport fields and sun bathing parks. Okay so there aren’t any specific parts of Central Park that are just for sunbathing, but it’s summer so that’s what most people used it for at any rate.

With Belvedere Castle now able to be checked off our list of things to see in Central Park, we didn’t really have anywhere else to go since our list only had Belvedere Park on it. So we found a path and just started walking. We had no idea where we were headed or what direction we were even walking, but it sure was pretty – and gosh was there a lot of green! My favorite thing I saw while wandering through the park was the old fashioned lamp posts.

We even stumbled across a large boulder! Mr. Envoy just loves boulders so even though he didn’t want his picture taken on the top of the castle he did want me to get a picture of him “lifting” the boulder. Men, I swear…

As it turned out we had ended up walking east and then south, eventually finding the Conservatory Water. You can sail model boats here which is neat, and now that I think about I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it in a movie or two as a kid although I can’t for the life of me remember which ones. Can you think of any movies where you’ve seen this place?

The Conservatory Water also has a statue of Hans Christian Andersen next to it. I waited ages hoping to get a picture of the darn thing without children climbing all over it but the mom was just sitting there as her children climbed, even though she saw me trying to get a picture. She wasn’t even trying to get a picture with her kids in it, she just didn’t care. I love people, can you tell?

Speaking of people, the Conservatory Water brought out all sorts of them. There were a couple people there making giant bubbles for the kids in the area. It was awesome to watch and the kids got really excited which was adorable.

Time for picture spam from Conservatory Water! <3

After relaxing by the water for a bit we did a quick google seach of what was nearby and found a candy store not far from us, so we hiked through Manhattan to get there. It’s Dylan’s Candy Bar and it is filled with every child’s sugarplum filled dreams as they wait for Christmas morning. I wish I had gotten some pictures of the store while we were there, but I was bit too preoccupied with buying far too many candy bars and justifying why I didn’t need to share them with Mr. Envoy. After stockpiling enough candy bars to last us halfway until Halloween we headed to the closest subway that would get us to Penn Station so we could get a train back home. You can enjoy these pictures I took of the city as we walked to Dylan’s Candy Bar though :)

This picture is for my momma. She would have been so envious of me living so close to New York City and when I saw Barneys of New York I knew she would have expected me to go in there and take pictures of everything so I could send them to her and tell her all about it. I didn’t actually go inside because I was tired and my feet hurt from stomping all over Central Park already, but I thought of her all the same when I saw this.

We even saw Madison Square Garden! Gosh New York City was such an awesome place. I miss it :(

This concludes me first trip into New York City! It had it’s ups and downs but it was a lot of fun. I wish Mr. Envoy and I had gotten to do more trips like this before we moved back home but alas, Recruiting Duty was a b*itch and worked him way too long so that when he did have time off this sort of thing was at the bottom of his want-to-do list. Oh well, I’ll always cherish these memories I have of being with him in the city that dreams are made of! Thanks for reading lovelies, check back soon for another post :)

<3 and harp strings,
Kate

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2 responses to “NY Adventures, Manhattan Edition: Central Park’s Belvedere Castle and Conservatory Water

    • Thanks Angelina! New York is amazing and I’m so sad that I don’t live out there anymore, but who knows what the future holds! Maybe I can convince my husband to go back to Long Island someday! ;)

      While I was out there I received gig requests for weddings in Central Park… I didn’t even know where to start to figure out price quotes so I just let the NYC harpists handle those and figure out the logistics of moving a harp into Central Park! Far too stressful for me! Haha

      <3 and harp strings,
      Kate

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