That's my favorite place in Central Park. It's call the Bethesda Fountain. You've probably seen it in movies or on television before. It was featured prominently in the HBO production of "Angels in America."
It lies at the northern end of the most beautiful section of the park. Just behind the photographer (who is standing at the top of the grand staircase), lies the "Grande Allee" of trees which is the most "Parisienne" part of the park.
I never ceased to be amazed that the park was designed AND built at a time when the only tools they had to do the vast amount of digging that had to be done were dynamite and shovels.
The park was started in 1858 and took 20 years to complete. It was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Lowe.
When I first moved to New York, in the sexually charged 70's, there was a section of the Park which was ... well, let's just say that The Rambles after dark weren't exactly "Family Fare" and leave it at that.
But as time passed, it became clear to me that the Park served a lot of purposes other than just a place to have wild sex after-hours. There were free concerts (Simon & Garfunkel, the Philharmonic), theater (NY Shakespeare Festival) and lots of dogs, frisbies, Broadway league softball and general lollygagging around, out in the sun, or under the trees, on sultry summer afternoons.
I didn't spend nearly enough time in Central Park, as much as I liked it.
There are few things I actually miss about living in New York. But a walk in the park is definitely one of them.