Home Places to visit Cool Gardens: Strawberry Fields, Central Park, NYC

Cool Gardens: Strawberry Fields, Central Park, NYC

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John Lennon Imagine mosaic, Strawberry Fields, Central Park, NYC
John Lennon Imagine mosaic, Strawberry Fields, Central Park, NYC

What better way to celebrate John Lennon’s birthday?

I was flicking through some of last year’s holiday photos to the States (don’t get excited, I’m not worth burgling, it was redundancy money) when I stumbled across a few of Strawberry Fields, the John Lennon memorial in Central Park, New York.

Doing a little background research, I noticed it would have been his birthday today (October 9) and I love a happy coincidence, so here’s today’s post.

Strawberry Fields is a 2.5-acre area of Central Park that pays tribute to the late Beatle, singer, songwriter, musician and peace activist.

It’s located near Central Park West between 71st and 74th Streets, right near the Dakota Building, where Lennon was murdered on December 8, 1980.

His widow Yoko Ono still lives there and they regularly used to stroll in that area of the park and chat, resting on the benches.

Designated quiet zone

Strawberry Fields is lined with elm trees, shrubs, flowers and rocks.

As the Big Apple was a complete shock to my system, the idea of a ‘designated quiet zone’ was manna from heaven.

Every October 9, as well as on the anniversary of his death, visitors and fans from all over the world visit to pay homage to John’s legacy.

The iconic black and white Imagine mosaic was designed by a team of artists from Naples and was a gift from the city, evoking a vision for a world without war and conflict. Yoko’s windows look down on the mosaic.

There is a bronze plaque that lists more than 120 countries that planted flowers and donated money for the maintenance of the area.

Huge donation from Yoko

A $1 million donation from Yoko helped to make Strawberry Fields a reality.

It may be a designated quiet zone but I’d recommend you avoid peak times – we thought we had and it was still overrun with tourists.

However, when the crowds clear, it is a moving place to visit, sit and imagine if you’re sitting where John and Yoko used to.

I do wonder though, who puts the flowers around the mosaic every day?

There’s a really nice audio clip from her speaking about the living memorial – hear it on http://www.centralparknyc.org/things-to-see-and-do/attractions/strawberry-fields.html

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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.

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