One byproduct of living in New York is growing jaded from the buildings and sites that once attracted you initially to the city. I now see Times Square as a neon tourist trap and officially branded the iconic Macy’s in Herald Square as the worst department store in the city. There are a couple places, however, that I always find myself eager to visit and Strawberry Fields is one of them. When visitors come to town I inevitably find myself on the Upper West Side or in the park, both with easy access to Strawberry Fields. As one can imagine, I have happily received many visitors over the years, and I recently discovered a handful of pictures documenting the place in my photo files.
I suppose some people weren’t raised by die-hard Beatles fans, so may be unaware of Strawberry Fields and its pop culture importance. It is a memorial on the West side of Central Park for John Lennon. Strawberry Fields is a mere block away from where Lennon lived with his wife Yoko Ono at the epic apartment building, the Dakota, where Lennon was also shot and killed.
Strawberry Fields is mainly a place for people to come and pay respects to Lennon or give a public nod to the prospect of world peace. If you visit you may see an older, scraggly man giving a well-rehearsed, enthusiastic, speech about Lennon’s life and the Beatles. That man is Gary. He is the self-proclaimed Mayor of Strawberry Fields and takes it upon himself to decorate the place with whatever he finds inspirational. Though the decor is usually along the lines of flowers, typically arranged in a peace sign, he has also done up the mosaic with bagels on NYC Marathon Day as a nod to the runners.
This place must be photographed thousands of times daily—rain or shine. This is the rain version from last week.