Strawberry Fields, Central Park, NYC

By Jason Ashcraft

After walking 27 New York City blocks in the world's largest human traffic jam, the Strawberry Fieldssign along the West side of Central Park came as quite a relief to see. Strawberry Fieldsis a small area in Central Park memorializing the area where John Lennon both lived and where he eventually was murdered in 1980. Before I left that big electronic concrete jungle, I had to pay my respect to one of the world's greatest musicians.

After rounding a few corners, I walked into the focal point of the memorial. It's a big stone Italian-style mosaic with "Imagine" in the center.

Imagine Memorial

There was a middle-aged bearded man nearby. Next to him was a Black Labrador wrapped in a sleeping bag, lying pretty much motionless. The man furiously sorted through a garbage bag of second-hand flowers and laying out the ones not wilted onto a small area on the cobblestone walkway. I was pretty sure the dog was getting ready to die and the man, apparently homeless, was making peace with the situation.

All the other tourists still came and took pictures of themselves around the Imaginemosaic, ignoring the man and his dying dog. Being a dog lover, ignoring that whole situation wasn't easy for me. I snapped a quick picture of the mosaic and, ppting not to visit The Dakota, >the apartment building where Lennon was murdered, I headed back up to the Upper West Side. Although not having the human traffic jam that neighboring parts of the city do, the Upper West Side doesn't have nearly as many places of business.

I still left somewhat amazed how there is a sense of solitude around Strawberry Fields>, right in the middle of one of the world's largest and most hectic human environments. Ying and Yang>is the best way to think of it.

However, Strawberry Fields>is a "must experience" >place for music history buffs and Beatle lovers alike. If you can stand the chaotic city that surrounds it, I suggest you make the trip.