PD Smith

Green Side to the Big Apple

19 January 2008 | Central Park, cities, New York, Reviewing | Post a comment

There is something quite unique about a city park. One minute you are walking along a busy street and the next you’re strolling under trees. They are a reminder of the world beyond the city.

Central Park is one of my favourites. Perhaps because the contrast between the concrete canyons of the city and the leafy shade of the park is so great in New York. It's a wonderful place to walk.

Field Guide

But did you know that in 2002, naturalists discovered that Central Park is home to a species found nowhere else on the planet: Hoffman's dwarf centipede. And that as many as 275 bird species have been spotted there, including bufflehead ducks and hooded mergansers.

These facts are courtesy of Leslie Day's Field Guide to the Natural World of New York City, an amazing book that reveals a surprisingly green side to the Big Apple. The illustrations - such as this image of a peregrine falcon - are by Mark Klingler. I've written a review of it for today's Guardian Review, along with Abrahamson & Freedman's paean to disorder, A Perfect Mess.

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