Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Central Park: an area called Strawberry Fields harkens to an orphanage in Liverpool

On December 8th, 1980 John Lennon was shot dead as he entered his home at the Dakota Apartment, says

A long time resident of New York City, Mr. Lennon had taken many walks with his wife and young son through the friendly confines of Central Park. Long a favorite son of his adopted city, John Lennon wasn’t simply New York’s Beatle, he was, for many, the embodiment of the spirit on which city had been built. One half urbane cynic and one half romantic dreamer, he unabashedly embraced the disparate parts which, as every New Yorker knows, combine to form a uniquely gifted, passionate individual. And city.

In 1981 the city council designated an area stretching from 71st to 74th streets, as Strawberry Fields. Lennon's widow, the artist and performer Yoko Ono, later donated $1 million to the Central Park Conservancy to re-landscape and to maintain the 2.5-acre tear-drop-shaped parcel of park landscape.

It was named not only for the Beatles' well-known song, "Strawberry Fields Forever," but also for an orphanage in Liverpool, England, where as a child Lennon played with friends who lived there.