Unmarriage Until Gay Marriage Mass Ritual in Central Park

UnMarriage Until Gay Marriage

This weekend gay marriage supporters will be part of the Unmarriage Until Gay Marriage mass ritual at New York City’s Bethesda Angel in Central Park. This will mark the second year in a row that the unmarriage will be taking place, in which participants hope to pressure state leadership to legalize same-sex marriage.

The move mimics certain high-profile celebrities who have refused to get married until same-sex marriage is legalized. Most famously, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have made public their committment to non-committment until gay marriage is legal.

Bow Bridge – Central Park’s Most Romantic Place

bow_bridgeNumber one on our list of the most romantic spots in Central Park should come as no surprise – it is not only one of the most beautiful cast iron bridges in the world, but also offers some of the most breathtaking views of the park around it.  Bow Bridge stretches gracefully across the Lake, connecting the carefully crafted Cherry Hill and the natural jumble of the Ramble. The bridge is one of the finest examples of the magic that resulted from the combined vision of Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey Mould. It is one of the most popular and best known spots to meet, and has hosted numerous tender moments, both on and off the big screen. In fact, if you edited them together, you could probably construct an entire Woody Allen feature just from the scenes filmed on Bow Bridge (and despite rumors to the contrary, the bridge has always been very easy to work with and has nothing but admiration and respect for the celebrated director.) It is the romantic heart of the park, stretching across the Lake and framing one of the most iconic views in New York, that of the Dakota Apartments and the west side of Manhattan. Countless proposals have been made on the bridge, as well as hearts poured forth and troths plighted. It is, especially at sunset, the most romantic spot in Central Park.

Bethesda Fountain – the Historic Heart of Central Park

Bethesda Fountain

Bethesda Fountain

Number two in our countdown of the ten most romantic places in Central Park lies at the very heart of the park.  Bethesda Fountain rises majestically above the Terrace along the south shore of the Lake. The sculpture that tops it, Angel of the Waters, was designed by Emma Stebbins in 1873 and is one of the most recognizable icons in the entire park. It is also one of the loveliest places to share a romantic interlude. Couples can sit by the fountain and watch the row boats, and occasional gondola, glide by on the tranquil waters of the Lake. Directly across to the north, you can see the Boathouse Restaurant that stretches down to the water’s edge. It is scene that harks back to another era, the turn of the nineteenth century. You almost expect to see a parasol held by one of the ladies strolling by. It is one of the magical qualities of Central Park: it not only takes you away from the confines of a loud and busy city, but it also can transport you to another time. It is here, at Bethesda Fountain, that you can imagine your love by gaslight, waiting to accompany you to dinner at Delmonico’s. Bowlers optional.

Central Park's Most Romantic Places – Conservatory Garden

Conservatory Garden in Central Park

Conservatory Garden in Central Park

Number 5. on our countdown of  Central Park’s most romantic places – Conservatory Garden.  A tranquil oasis at the north end of the park, the Conservatory Garden offers dozens of fragrantly secluded corners and lush, leafy bowers to host an intimate tryst. The garden is divided into three sections: the English, Italian, and French. Each offers its own unique charm to the fragrant art of floricultural seduction. The French, or North Garden, is arranged concentrically around the Untermayer Fountain, whose pool is graced by Three Dancing Maidens, a beautiful statue executed in bronze by Walter Schott. The Italian, or Central Garden, features a beautiful lawn leading up to a lovely fountain. Above the fountain, there is a gorgeous wrought iron arbor that is grown over with Chinese Wisteria; it’s a lovely place for an out of the way stroll. The southernmost English Garden is probably the most popular of the three. Featuring beds of seasonally blooming flowers, it is always in season and at its center is a peaceful little pool that features the statue of a boy and girl. It is inspired by “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and was sculpted by Bessie Potter Vonnoh. The pool is covered with lily pads by mid-summer and the fragrant magnolia tree that stands nearby offers ample shade for a moment’s respite, and, perhaps, a few whispered phrases tickling your partner’s ear.

The Shakespeare Garden – One Of Central Park's Hidden Gems

The Shakespeare Garden

The Shakespeare Garden

“Away before me to sweet beds of flowers.

Love-thoughts lie rich when canopied with bowers.”

Count Orsino in Twelfth Night, Act I, Scene I

A fitting quote to introduce number six on my top ten list of most romantic places, one of Central Park’s hidden gems: the Shakespeare Garden. Nestled between Belvedere Castle and The Swedish Cottage, the Shakespeare Garden first came into existence in 1913. Known as the Garden of the Heart, it was patterned after Victorian era rock gardens. Then, in 1916, to celebrate the tercentennial of Shakespeare’s death, it was rechristened in honor of the Bard and only plants mentioned in his plays were planted there. These include columbine, primrose, wormwood, quince, lark’s heel, rue, eglantine, flax and cowslip, many of which sound as if they would be right at home boiling and bubbling in a cauldron. It is in the spring and early summer that the garden comes into its own, bursting with blooms and fragrant blossoms. The Shakespeare Garden also offers a variety of secluded rustic benches, perfect for the timeless art of canoodling.