History and FactsOccupying approximately 2.5 acres in the western portion of New York City's Central Park, Strawberry Fields serves as a memorial to John Lennon. Part of the world-famous Beatles, this singer tragically lost his life just outside his luxurious residence near the park. Between 1973 and 1980, Lennon and his wife lived in the lavish Dakota Apartments that have dominated the skyline of the Upper West Side for generations. The shocking death of Lennon shook the entire music and entertainment industries on a global scale. Approximately a year after his passing, the New York City Council decided to create a memorial that would honour the beloved and charismatic musician. Several acres were chosen specifically in the area of Central Park that was literally steps away from his home. In 1967, the Beatles released "Strawberry Fields Forever", which topped music charts in multiple countries. The Central Park Conservancy decided to name Lennon's memorial based on this popular hit single. Bruce Kelley was the chief landscape architect for the green space that honours the great Beatle. Yoko Ono, Lennon's wife, contributed a million dollars to a fund that was used to develop Strawberry Fields. In 1985, the area was officially opened to the public to mark the fifth anniversary of the singer's death. The core feature of Strawberry Fields is a circular mosaic that displays "Imagine", which is the title of a famous song by Lennon. The tiles have been officially donated by municipal leaders in Naples, Italy. Since its opening, the memorial has attracted flocks of Beatles fans from all over the world. The installation has also become a notable symbol of peace and love in the Big Apple. Each year, people who make the pilgrimage to the site bring colourful flowers and other decorative items to honour Lennon's legacy. Strawberry Fields is designated a quiet zone in Central Park. Therefore, visitors are expected to be respectful and keep noise to a minimum level. This part of the park is supposed to be a place for deep reflection. Elm trees and dense shrubs insulate the memorial from the busy traffic along adjacent streets. During the spring and summer seasons, Strawberry Fields turns into one of the most colourful and beautiful spots in Central Park. In the winter and fall, some of the deciduous trees give way to clear views of the Dakota Apartments. These views create an intangible and priceless link to John Lennon and his tremendous impact on New York City and the rest of the world.
Visiting Strawberry Fields - Location and GeographyTo get to the Strawberry Fields by rapid transit, you can hop on a New York City subway train that stops at the 72nd Street station in the Upper East Side district of Manhattan. This underground rail station is served by the A, B, C and D lines that run through most of the borough. The corner of 72nd Street and Central Park West mark the entrance to the Strawberry Fields. You'll need to take a short stroll along Terrace Drive to reach the memorial. The Bridle Path and West Drive roughly define the boundaries of the landscaped section that's dedicated to the legendary John Lennon. You'll also see The Lake, which is a small pond that supports a diverse ecosystem of birds and other small animals. Reserved only for pedestrians, the iconic Bow Bridge crosses over this lake. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) operates numerous buses that conveniently stop right along Central Park West. In fact, some of the bus stops and the 72nd Street subway station overlook the historic Dakota Apartments, where Lennon lived for several years.
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