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[Opinion] Central Park

Posted January. 25, 2004 23:10,   


Do you remember the dazzling leaves which were scattered in the empty sky by Sally, who pulled her hat over her eyes in the movie, “When Harry Met Sally”? It was in Central Park, located in the middle of Manhattan, New York that provided such an iridescent colored leaf and lyrical scenery. The spacious park appeared on “Home Alone 2” where the kid, as the main character, explored the surroundings, and the backgrounds of “Hanna and Sisters,” “Fisher King,” “Ghostbusters,” and “Wall Street” are also set in Central Park. Simon & Garfunkel wrote its popular song, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” in the open concert at Central Park. The reason that the “rough” city, New York, with its high crime rate and dreary skyscrapers, can maintain its mien of cultural city cannot be easily ignored.

Central Park is the first park in the United States designed by the state government. The rich in New York were deeply impressed by the parks in Europe and ardently suggested establishing a park in the mid-nineteenth century. The 843-acres land made of marsh and gravels, which is hard to develop as land for housing, was purchased to be designed as a park. At that time, 1600 poor German and Irish immigrants and also African-Americans lived there. The full-scale construction began after kicking those people out to other regions. In the respect that the United States adopted many ideas obtained from Europe in its development, the history of Central Park resembles that of the United States.

As thick as the annual layer, Central Park is exuberant and colorful. Couples in New York enjoy having a cup of coffee, fishing, watching an open concert, and skating in Central Park. They hold an open wedding ceremony in the park. When people give birth to their child, they go out for walk around the statue of Andersen, the zoo, and 21 children exclusive parks established in Central Park. 150 different types of trees lay out totally different colors of nature in each season. 275 types of birds build nests here. We cannot ignore the wagon outings of the New York rich 150 years ago.

When the United States army camp is evacuated from Seoul, a brand-new park will be established there. The land is not marshy and filled with gravel. Its quiet and still atmosphere can finish off the scenic view of neighboring mountains and rivers. Blending the peaceful spirits of Seoul with the fascinating beauty of the land, I hope the new park will become an oasis of culture as a landmark of Seoul.

Park Sung-hee, professor of Ewha Women’s University shpark1@ewha.ac.kr