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Shakespeare's Garden

Many of you will know that we (my partner and I) packed a bag and went on a trip to the other side of the Atlantic ocean in the middle of May; stopping for a week to dip our toes in the Caribbean Sea, followed by a few days exploring botanical gardens in Washington DC, sipping lemonade slushies in Philadelphia and eating our bodyweight in pastrami in New York City. There is so much to tell, but for now I wanted to share the delights of the Shakespeare Garden that we quite literally stumbled into in the middle of New York's Central Park.

The only thing I tend to research before a trip away is what to eat. Our travel preparation consisted of finding the Man vs Food eateries in each city and making sure we hit at least one a day on your trip. The irony being we left said carefully constructed list (with directions, maps and carefully edited notes) on laptops back in Blightly, and spent the eight hour flight over the Atlantic kicking ourselves for being so daft. I hadn't put any further thought into the sights we hoped to see in New York, knowing that strolling the pavements, pottering from cafe to park to rooftop restaurant would more than keep us happy. We decided upon Central Park on day four of New York, deciding that we needed a refresher from the sheer magnitude of the skyscrapers and noise from the hot city pavements. We ate salty pretzels near the zoo, stopped to shade under the cool of the Ladies Pavillion near the lake, and finally walked into the Shakespeare Garden, quite accidentally, in search of the nearest bench to rest our tired feet.

It was an oasis. I sat and drank it all in; the foxgloves bobbling in the breeze (a touch too much bobbing judging by the above), the alliums towering above sugar pink rose bushes and the iris standing steadfast in all its royal purple glory. We happened to be sitting in the midst of a NY amateur dramatics class reenacting the balcony scene from Romeo & Juliet, dressed rather typically in baseball hats and sports sweats (for reason I am yet to understand). I sat a while nursing the soles of my feet, and listened to the ebb and flow of Shakespeare's words, enjoying this moment of calm in the middle of one of the worlds busiest cities.

Five minutes later we were swept up in rush hour as we set foot outside the park. I chose hot chips laden with tomato ketchup for the walk home (sustenance) and we walked slowly back through the warm streets of the city back to our home for the week. That evening we stopped on the way to dinner in one of my (now) favourite spots in the city, Bryant's Park located between fifth and sixth avenue. Under a canopy of lush trees we drank cold beers and watermelon mojitos to cool down, and listened to the water fountains tinkling away across the park.

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