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Central Park Before-1980s-Central Park Conservancy-NYCBelvedere Castle then

Yesterday, Gothamist had a great photo series on what Central Park looked like in the 1980s (tough times) versus now. For those who have never seen anything but a glorious Central Park, the images may come as a shocker. The Central Park Conservancy was formed in 1980 and is currently celebrating its 35th Anniversary. The first thing they did back in the 80s? President Doug Blonsky tells Gothamist, “re-sodding the Sheep Meadow, restoring the Dairy, planting American Elms, getting rid of graffiti, and fixing broken benches.”

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William Shakespeare is not only one of the most widely read English authors, but also one of the most easily recognizable, with his beard, mustache, and oblong shaped head. As a result, he has been commemorated and memorialized throughout New York City. Below, we explore some of those many places where you can find references to the Bard of Stratford-Upon-Avon.

1. Shakespeare Garden, Central Park

Shakespeare's Garden Central Park-NYCImage via Wikimedia by Ingfbruno

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Burried deep inside the Ramble, a perfect spot for the tree memorializing beloved pets

Burried deep inside the Ramble, a perfect spot for the tree memorializing beloved pets

For all of us who have ever had and lost a pet, we know how big a place in our hearts they continue to occupy long after they’re gone. Last year we heard a rumor that there was a place deep within Central Park where people who lost their pets gathered to hang mementos on a tree. We could only find one article written on it, and no where could we find a hint of where in the park the tree might be. But at Untapped Cities, we do love a sleuthing challenge, so we set out to find it. It was no easy task but find it we did. This year, we heard that the ornaments started going up last week and set out to find it again this year.

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German U-Boat-Central Park-UC-5 Submarine-War Bounds-1917-NYCGerman U-Boat in Central Park. Image via Library of Congress

In the Spring of 1915, a German U-Boat (U C-5) was captured off of the east coast of England. It was then placed on exhibition on the Thames in London. In October 1917, the submarine was transported in sections to the United States, where it ended up in Central Park. The sections were transferred from “freight ship to lighters which were brought to a pier at 131st Street. Here, a powerful wrecking crane transferred these sections to heavy horse-drawn trucks. It took forty-two big draught horses to haul the heaviest section from the pier to the park.” According to The New York Times, the submarine was transferred to “the sheep pasture” (now Sheep Meadow) in Central Park via a parade that passed through Manhattan Street to 125th Street, to Seventh Avenue, to 110th Street, to Central Park Wast, to the Sixty-sixth Street entrance to Central Park.”

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The Freemasons have long been a mysterious force in both American and European history. The group in New York City however has become more open to inquisitive eyes in the last decade, reaching out for new members and becoming more active in community service. If you are looking for a little bit of Freemasonry in your explorations, there are some interesting locations you can visit in the city.

1. Grand Lodge of Masons

Masonic-hall-grand-lodge-room-nyc-untapped

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Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins-Crystal Palace-Central Park-American Museum of Natural History-NYCImage via Smithsonian

So you know about the dinosaur fossils that are in the American Museum of Natural History. But there are allegedly dinosaurs buried under Central Park (!). Some believe they are located near 106th Street, others think they are near the former convent of St. Vincent. Either way, what is known is that they aren’t real dinosaur fossils but full size models by artist Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins, who was commissioned by the comptroller of Central Park, who had seen his work on display at the 1854 Crystal Palace in London.

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