4. The Loch – The Central Park Jogger

The Loch was originally intended to be just that–’Loch,’ in Scottish, means lake. Frederick Law Olmsted, famed designer of Central Park, wanted a body of water big enough to hold, say, the Loch Ness Monster. The water course narrowed over the years and now the Loch is no bigger than a stream, placidly carrying water over waterfalls and under stone bridges to the Harlem Meer from the Pool on 101st. It goes without saying that there is no better place to take a date in Central Park.

Just don’t bring up the Loch’s history. The Central Park Jogger case brought the city to a halt when it came to trial in 1990: five teenage boys, the so-called Central Park 5, from the nearby Schomburg Plaza in Harlem, stood accused of robbing, raping, and very nearly killing an anonymous white jogger (later revealed to be Trisha Meili). She had been taking the 102 Street cut-off, popular among joggers, when they supposedly dragged her from the road and down towards the Loch. Racial tensions came to a head as the boys were handed long prison terms despite the lack of conclusive evidence.

In 2002, Matias Reyes, already serving a life sentence for an unrelated crime, told authorities that he had assaulted the Cental Park jogger, alone. In light of Reyes’ confession, the convictions of ‘the Five’ were vacated. The boys had already served their full prison terms.

Schomburg-plaza-new-york-central-parkSchomburg Plaza on 110th street