By Elias Rodriguez
Mark Twain is attributed with stating that “Golf is a good walk spoiled.” In New York City’s Central Park, however, there is a wonderful walk that remains unspoiled and can seem like a little piece of heaven within the sprawling mega metropolis. It’s called Literary Walk and is located at the south end of the park’s great mall (66th to 72nd Streets). That’s mall as in outdoor grassy strip, not mall as in shopping center and food court!
While Central Park encompasses over 500 acres of lawns, lakes, streams and woodlands- the number of tress alone is well over 20,000- it is this peaceful shaded promenade that any pensive pedestrian would love. The mall is described by the Central Park Conservancy as the only straight line in the park.
You might ask, “What makes it Literary Walk?” The expansive pathway is lined with the statues of four eminent writers and one lost explorer. Artistic representations of Robert Burns, Fitz-Greene Halleck, Sir Walter Scott and William Shakespeare are depicted along with Christopher Columbus. Literary Walk guarantees an airy, picturesque getaway for the weary walker. The benches are plentiful and the wildlife warrants unwary watching. As someone who makes his living, in part, by writing, I’ve developed a wistful fondness for this particular canopied caminito. Come to think of it, if the City’s parks and recreation planners ever make space for one more statue, I would suggest Washington Irving, one of Gotham’s own. What’s your favorite spot in the park?