Sunday, 18 May 2014

Sprintime in Central Park, Manhattan, New York - The 29th Annual AIDS Walk, "Cloud," and More

Today was a glorious spring day in Manhattan, New York. The sun was out after a day of heavy downpour and gloomy skies a few days ago, and as expected, people were out and about in the city. Since this was a Sunday, families, couples, and singles were out in droves at Central Park. And, I decided to join the crowd. This was going to be my first visit to the park in the spring.

Ah yes, the tourist season is beginning to go into high gear. As soon as I got off from the subway and exited on 59th St. and Central Park, the tourist buses were coming around, too.

From across the street, right away, I noticed the installed art on the south east entrance to the park.
 This work of art is entitled Clouds.

The artist is Olaf Breuning. He was born in Switzerland but is now a New York-based artist. His art installation is a cluster of clouds, much like a child's drawing, set thirty-five feet above the ground. The clouds, made out of polished aluminum and painted in different shades of blue, stand out against the background of greenery from the tall trees. They are supported by metal beams which have been stacked like asymmetrical ladders. This installed sculpture is  courtesy of the public fund for art in New York, and will be here up to August 24, 2014. 

Art designs in the park call the attention of both the children and the adults. Installed art in a public venue affords many the opportunity to be exposed and to enjoy a "sense of whimsy" in their midst.

On the main thoroughfare of the park, there was something going on. The participants of the 29th Annual AIDS Walk were coming through. 
It was estimated that more than 30,000 people had joined the walk that started from this point, in Central Park, this May 18, 2014.

 
They were led by some who were attractively dressed in fashionable ensembles, with colorfully designed head gears, that it was hard to miss them. 
Participants in the AIDS Walk

The 29th Annual AIDS Walk is expected to raise more than three million. This will be shared by forty organizations that provide housing, medication, and clothing to those living with AIDS and HIV. Part of the funds have been earmarked to educate young people about safe sex. Craig Miller is the event founder and producer of the AIDS Walk.

Janet Weinberg, the interim CEO of Gay Men's Health Crisis, in an interview with Vanessa Murdock of CBS 2, had expressed the organizers' optimism that the AIDS epidemic will no longer be considered a death sentence in the near future. “If we all do our jobs, stay determined and vigilant, HIV and AIDS, as an epidemic, can really become a thing of the past,” Craig Miller said.  2020 is the set goal to end the AIDS epidemic.

Discovering Central Park in the spring: 
 The pond and its habitat
 Japanese maple trees
rare birds that I couldn't identify
graceful geese

  One of several rock mountains - a place were kids were rock climbing, and I decided to join them.
This is the vista from the top of the rock.
 The blooming season for the tulips is over. Now, the azaleas and the rhododendrons are in bloom, providing the colorful palette in the garden.
Rides are being set up

Many artists come to the park on the weekends...
to sell their paintings...
while others sketch portraits for $10.00.
A bubble artist wows the crowd with the giant bubbles he creates - donations are requested from those who watch, please!

Mostly, the people who come here just want to chill...
to take a ride around the park or jog...

to set the children free in the  playground...
This was the most crowded area of all.
watch a game of baseball...
or, to simply while away the hours in leisure time.
Percussion group - their drum playing could be heard all over the park.

The Children's District


The Dairy

The Chess and Checkers House...
where guests play for free under a canopy of the wisteria and other trees.

 The Carousel...
a ride for both the little ones and their parents or guardians.

The Children's Zoo complex...
entrance to the Central Park Zoo.
The Arsenal



There will be many more days when the park will welcome visitors. In a city where apartment living is part of the lifestyle,  Central Park becomes the garden for the city dwellers.

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