Photography by R.J. Caputo

Model Boats on Conservatory Water | Central Park, NYC

An ornamental pond was constructed as a reflecting pool for a glass conservatory, but when the plan for a structure was abandoned, the water body became the popular model boat pond, inspired by those in Parisian parks.

From April through October, children and boat enthusiasts come to navigate radio and wind-powered vessels across the shimmering waters. It’s such a popular destination that writer E.B. White set the whimsical boat scene in his children’s classic, Stuart Little, here. It was recreated in the 1999 film of the same name. Just east of the pond, visitors can rent a model boat or eat at the outdoor tables of the Kerbs Memorial Boathouse. Conservatory Water provides a serene background for a host of other activities. In the coldest winter months, the pond’s water level is frequently lowered for free public ice skating. (Via)

Cleopatra’s Needle |  Central Park, NYC

The Obelisk was built 3,500 years ago in Egypt, in honor of Pharaoh Thutmose III. Located on the east side of Central Park near 81st Street, it is the oldest outdoor monument in New York City.

Belvedere Castle 

Calvert Vaux, co-designer of Central Park, created the miniature castle in 1869 as one of its many whimsical structures intended as a lookout to the reservoir to the north (now the Great Lawn) and the Ramble to the south. Belvedere provides the best and highest views of the Park and its cityscape. It’s fitting, considering its name translates to “beautiful view” in Italian. 

"Right now, the temperature in Central Park is…" Since 1919, the National Weather Service has taken measurements onf New York’s weather from the castle’s tower with the aid of scientific instruments that measure wind speed and direction. In a fenced-in compound just south of the castle, other data such as the rainfall is recorded and sent to the weather service’s forecast office at Brookhaven National Library on Long Island. After decades of deterioration, Central Park Conservancy renovated and reopened the castle in 1983 as a visitor center. (Via)