Review by Lizzie Guilfoyle
FANCY A stroll in Central Park?
Nothing, of course can compare with the real thing but failing
that, photographer, Mick Hales and journalist, Sandee Brawarsky's
delightful book, 212 Views of Central Park is
the next best thing.
Simply turn a page and you're an ocean away, in the very heart
of New York, the city that never sleeps - in what is, undoubtedly,
a welcome refuge from the frenetic pace of city life, Central
It was in the 1850's that a team of artists and engineers, led
by American landscape designer, Frederick Law Olmsted and English
architect, Calvert Vaux executed a prime example of land regeneration
- turning scrubby brush, rocky outcroppings and stagnant swamps
into what was to become America's first landscaped urban park;
the 843 acre, rectangular-shaped Central Park that we know and
And it's all here in Hales and Brawarsky's book which, for convenience,
is divided into eight sections - none of the seasonal variety
although the seasons are prominently displayed and rightly so.
It was Henry Cleveland who, as long ago as 1870, proclaimed:
'It (Central Park) is a favourite resort at all seasons of the
year, and he who visits at each is confidant that he has seen
it in its most beautiful time'.
However, Rooted in Place which explores gardens and
landmarks, such as Bethesda Terrace, and Water Views
which clearly speaks for itself, are just two sections worthy
Each is accompanied by an essay that delves into the past, explores
the present and delivers a wealth of information that will surprise
as well as enlighten. And needless to say, the images are of a
quality readers have come to expect in a book of this nature.
Finally, the number 212 - not just any old number but the area
code for Manhatten; the district of New York in which Central
Park lies. A nice touch indeed.
So - do you fancy a stroll in Central Park?