National Geographic : 1960 Dec
cultural centers on the perimeter: The Metro politan Museum of Art, the H. C. Frick Col lection, the gemlike Museum of the City of New York, the boldly avant-garde Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (page 808), and the American Museum of Natural History. On a warm Saturday in September, I entered the park at its southeast corner, leaving behind the hotels and apartment houses of Fifth Avenue and Central Park South. Traffic throbbed and honked along these near-by streets. Faint tremors and a faraway rumble told of subway trains on their thundering errands deep in the earth. In the solitude of Central Park these sounds blended into a drowsy, pleasant hum. The setting represented New York at its best: the suave Rolls-Royces and Mercedes Benzes ranked outside the elegant Plaza Hotel, pigeons wheeling about the Pulitzer Memorial Fountain, horse-drawn carriages clip-clopping into and out of the park with cargoes of sightseers (page 789). Under a canopy of tall elms and oaks I sauntered around the Pond, also called the 59th Street Lake, one of five such jewels that sparkle on Central Park's green bosom. Al though many thousands of people visit Cen tral Park daily, my neighbors seemed re markably few. Toddlers and pram-borne infants took the air with mothers and nurse maids; citizens walked their leashed dogs; others read or just loafed. A few bench sitters heldsheets of aluminum foil mounted on cardboard. While dreams of tropical beaches filled their heads, they let the sun's reflected and concentrated rays turn Manhattan pallor into rich outdoor bronze. Cyclists Cause Uproar at Model Pond After a while I strolled northward to the Conservatory Pond, arriving just in time to find custodian Frank Liggio dealing with a small crisis. Four boys on bicycles had dashed the length of the broad promenade fronting the pond. Children ran screaming to their moth ers. A little girl dropped an Eskimo Pie in her flight to safety. Dogs yelped in terror. The cyclists, observing the uproar caused 793 HS EKTACHROME(BELOW)AND KODACHROMEBY NATIONALGEOGRAPHICPHOTOGRAPHERROBERTF. SISSON © N.G .S .