Continuing from yesterday’s post on Heros, we are presented with the Soldier’s and Sailor’s Monument, also located in Riverside Park, Manhattan. But before getting in to that, let me get in to this:
Riverside Park is a four mile long park on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, running from 72nd Street up to 158th Street, where it ties in to Fort Tryon Park and Inwood Hill Park at Manhattan’s very north end. That’s right: Manhattan’s west side is pretty much one gigantic five-star park.
From About 80th to 100th Street is some of the nicest real estate in Manhattan, even though it is not quite as “absurdly” priced as the properties on the East side of Central Park… Let’s face it, six million dollar townhomes are a bargain when compared to the Upper East Side at $25 to $50 million dollars. Those sort of prices don’t even roll off the tongue well, let alone the wallet. Click those links- it is fun.
Anyway, Riverside Park was built by the Olmsted Group- which was a wonderful company headed by Frederick Olmsted, Sr. who has designed many parks in the region- including Central Park. I will be talking about them more in upcoming posts because they have also designed all the best parks in North Jersey, as well. The park has many winding walk/jog paths and a nice rolling landscape, which allows you to feel like you are in the countryside more than the middle of a rather affluent section of the densest megalopolis in our nation. The park is rife with monuments, history, and style.
The photo above should emphasize all of that- city parks are a place where all people, from all classes, are welcome to enjoy for the same price of admission: presence. What I mean to say is that the only thing it will cost to enjoy the parks is your time to get here- nothing more. Dogs are very welcome in NYC, and are of course free to enjoy the luxuries of this park system along with the rest of us.
The first stone of this monument was laid in January of 1900 and the monument was unveiled to the public in 1902. Initially, I had thought that this monument was dedicated to all service members, but instead it was actually constructed for the Union service members during the Civil War. The wording of the sign you see in the picture above can be found here, which explains the monument in further detail.
The American flag’s colors have specific meanings attributed to them. The blue background behind the stars stands for vigilance, perseverance, and justice. The white stripes on the flag represents purity and innocence. So it seems quite fitting here that the mighty white vertical column “stripes,” representing the soldiers and sailors, stands tall in front of the brilliant blue sky in the background.
Personally, I have been coming to Riverside Park for years. I would not say I like Riverside more than Central Park, or vice versa. They are equal in my mind, but for different reasons. If you want to explore the grandest monument to a Parks system that NYC has to offer, then I would suggest Central Park. However, if you want to experience a beautiful park that has somehow been kept secret from the majority of the residents and visitors to New York, then Riverside Park is the place to go. You can learn more about Riverside Park by clicking here.
Arriving to the Park is super easy: Take the A/C train or 1/2/3 to any stop between 72nd and 145th Street then walk a few blocks west to the Hudson River. When I say you can’t miss it… I mean just that.
This last photo is of the standard subway bench seat. If you know anything about the subway, then you would have to agree the design is flawless. It is… without flaw, Jerry. First, it is made of two inch thick boards- making it extremely robust. The small seat partitions serve two equally important purposes: They define the absolute limits of personal space for the inhabitants, and they also prevent lounging and sleeping. That second one’s purpose should not be casually overlooked. Wood is far superior to metal because it doesn’t get hot in the summer and stays warm in the winter. For some reason, they are really comfortable and I can’t even figure out why that is, based on their appearance.
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