Heaven On Earth


Catching a glimpse of Midtown Manhattan from the northern end of the Great Lawn as I was walking across Central Park, I was reminded why I’ve always loved this particular view.

Years ago, long before the Great Lawn was rehabilitated (it took way longer than 28 days!), this was the site for outdoor events great and small.  It still is.


What’s different is that in the “old” days, the stage would be set up on the southern end of the lawn, in front of Turtle Pond, with Belvedere Castle and the magnificent Midtown Manhattan skyline as a backdrop.

Great Lawn 003

Sitting on a blanket in the midst of Nature, a picnic supper, a bottle wine, and a new love at my side, listening to Beethoven’s Fidelio sung by the talented performers of the Metropolitan Opera. Enjoying one of the many concerts the NY Philharmonic Orchestra gave over the years, getting to the park early to save a place for the party that would join me later, banners and helium-filled balloons marking the spot in the days before cell phone navigation was available. Watching Diana Ross, electrifying  in her orange jumpsuit, with her hair wildly whipping about her head, seeming to be electrified by the storm that stopped that concert, and the mad dash for the park’s exits as the rain pelted down on us and we got out of the open field as quickly as possible through the flashing lightning bolts.


It was the splendor of the Midtown Manhattan skyline behind the stage that held me in thrall.  To be simultaneously in the middle of the most exciting city in the Universe (we New Yorkers are not humble when it comes to our city), held within the comforting embrace of lawn, trees, and stars is just about as perfect an integration of Heaven and Earth, Inner and Outer, Heaven on Earth, as I can experience…in public…

Great Lawn 012

After the Great Lawn rehab, the staging of events has been moved to the northern end of the Lawn.  The road access to bring in the needed heavy equipment is better. The lawn, the trees, the stars are still there; however, now, one has to crane one’s neck or turn one’s back to the performers to enjoy that place reference.  Without that skyline, one could be at just any outdoor event, anywhere.  It’s no longer Heaven on Earth…


14 thoughts on “Heaven On Earth

  1. Do you have to use some form of transportation to get to Central Park or can you just walk from home? I am so glad NYC has never given in to the demand for more land to pave over Central Park. It looks beautiful & I can understand your desire to face the skyline during concerts, etc.

    1. My first couple of decades in NYC, I lived a stone’s throw away from Central Park. It was my daughter’s playground growing up. We’ve moved further uptown and I do have to take a bus or a train to get to Central Park. However, since I’m frequently in the area for other reasons, I just piggy-back the opportunity to walk through the park as often as I can. It’s been a part of my life for so long, I think they may find strands of it in my DNA! xoxoM

  2. Now seeing Diana Ross with that backdrop would be something M! Hubby and I saw Ray Charles at Memphis Botanical Garden. It wasn’t Manhattan but RC can make any place better! I love your pics and have walked those paths although you get to anytime! Why did they have to change it? Why do people have to mess with perfection?

    1. That’s my point, dear Brigitte: the place and its reference are just as important as the performer. Ray Charles gave thousands of concerts and I’m sure they were all sublime. Merging that with the specialness of the place, ah, that makes it stand out from the rest. Suddenly, it’s not “I went to a Ray Charles concert,” but “Hubby and I saw Ray Charles at Memphis Botanical Garden.” How does it get better than that? xoxoM

  3. We flew over New York today on our way to Newark to transfer planes on our way home. We saw the Statue of Liberty in the harbor, and I thought of my blog buddies in the city like you, Brigitte, and Weebs. 🙂

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