Riverside Park

Riverside Park (101)

More than six kilometres long and just under 200 metres at its widest point, the Riverside Park stretches along the banks of the Hudson River from 72nd Street to 158 and, although originally there were train tracks here, it was soon decided to cover them over and to make the water park one of those special places where you can spend quiet time on the river, especially in the early hours of the morning or, even better, at sunset.

The construction of Riverside Park dates back to 1875 when Frederick Law Olmsted, known to have also designed Central Park, wanted to offer New Yorkers a chance to escape the hustle of the city and find a friendly and peaceful setting by the river. Unfortunately after the first stage in 1910, the project was half forgotten and not resumed until the late 30s, when Robert Moses, one of the great urban designers of New York, decided to give it the push it needed. Thus its original layout, recreational facilities for users, a tunnel under the park and other details expanded. And late last century, Donald Trump took land that extended the park further south.

In addition to renting a kayak, playing tennis, volleyball or basketball, a highly recommended idea is to ride a bike along the Riverside Park and admire the monuments along the way.

Among them, at 122nd Street there is a reproduction of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, where the remains of Ulysses Grant, commander of the feds in the Civil War and 18th President of the United States lie. It is an impressive structure with a grand staircase flanked by two eagles, Doric columns and beautiful reliefs on its capital, which is crowned with an elegant Capitol dome. Above the entrance, flanked by allegories of victory and peace, the words uttered by Ulysses Grant on accede to the presidency are engraved: "Let peace reign."

There are also other interesting works such as a monument to Eleanor Roosevelt at 72nd Street, designed by Penelope Jencks; a Monument to soldiers and sailors at 89th, a great work that simulates a cylindrical marble Corinthian temple, made by architects Charles and Arthur Stoughton in 1902; and an elegant statue of Joan of Arc at 93rd, the work of Anna Hyatt Huntington; among others.

One last thing; this park is so popular that it often appears in television series and movies. For example, on the way up to 91st Street is where the final scene of "You've Got Mail" was filmed, when Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan have their happy ending.

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