Central Park West And New York City's Landmark, The Dakota


After my visit to Top of the Rock, I decided to take a walk through Central Park and stop by the gorgeous New York City landmark apartment building, The Dakota, to get some photographs. It's funny though because when I lived in NYC back in the 70's-80's, I simply took this iconic marker for granted. I had several friends who lived on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, so I walked past it quite often; never giving it a second glance.

The Dakota was infamous for housing many celebrities. Past celebrities include:

Film actress, Lauren Bacall
Composer, Leonard Bernstein
Singer, Rosemary Clooney
Comedian, Gilda Radner
Singer/Actress, Judy Garland

The Dakota was also the film location for Roman Polanski's chilling movie, Rosemary's Baby

Here are a few photographs from my stroll through Central Park to its West Side...


Bow Bridge at Central Park's Lake


View walking over Bow Bridge


One of the many cool-looking tunnels throughout Central Park


And speaking of John Lennon, The Dakota was where he and Yoko Ono lived...


Now


Then
Yoko Ono and John Lennon standing by The Dakota (1980)


Their apartment is outlined in the photo above


The Dakota -  the corner of 72nd Street and Central Park West


Front view
I love how "Gothic" it looks!


The entrance to The Dakota (present)

This was the location where John Lennon was shot on that tragic December 8th evening...


1980

Fans outside the gates paying their respects to John Lennon

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Before I left, I turned around to get one last glimpse of The Dakota from the other side of the street. And as I stood there looking up at this magnificent building today, I couldn't help but get an incredible sense of how much the rich history of its past has influenced this building in the present. Because it is the past that continually gives The Dakota its striking presence...


Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!
X


For a fascinating commentary about The Dakota, please check out this short Vanity Fair video clip.

24 comments

  1. Valerie DaggattFebruary 09, 2018

    Good morning, Ron. First of all, I love the Bow Bridge. I didn't get the opportunity to explore Central Park so your photographs are appreciated. The building where John and Yoko resided was televised a lot after tragedy but at that time I didn't take in the surroundings, just the awful crime. It is indeed a splendid building and especially their appartment. I always fancied living somewhere high up, with a balcony! Thank you for sharing more of my 'wish I was there' city.

    Chas and I hope you have a fab weekend. We would enjoy ours if the snow disappeared and some warmth hit us. It is absolutely freezing.... even Charlie is reluctant to go out x

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  2. I took some of those same shots at Central Park, only it was raining when we were there. Looks like you had a picture perfect day! I like how you focused on the Dakota in this post. What a beautiful building. I only knew about Lennon and not the others who have lived there.

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  3. What a magnificent old building, and how cool that so many famous folks have lived there! You know, Ron, you're lucky to visit a place with so much history.

    I'm fascinated by the Bow Bridge. I can imagine lots of wedding, engagement, and prom photos taking place right there. Am I right??

    I don't think I've ever seen a picture of John Lennon's memorial. It's beautiful, simple yet elegant. Is it mosaic?

    Thanks for letting me tag along with you to a part of the city I haven't been to yet. I enjoyed it a lot!

    Happy weekend to you! xx

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  4. I love that the Dakota is mostly unchanged over the years. Such sad history with John Lennon, but a remarkable example of architecture nonetheless. Great photos as always, Ron!

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  5. Once again Ron, FANTASTIC photographs! You really know how to capture the allure of New York City, it just jumps out of each image. The Dakota is stunning! And I like how you shared then and now in comparison. Other than the color, it looks practically the same. I do remember John Lennon living there and his death, but I didn't realize how many other celebs also lived there.

    Beautiful shot of Bow Bridge!

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  6. Hello there Valerie!

    Isn't the Bow Bridge lovely? It has such a romantic feel to it, doesn't it? I've been wanting to walk over that bridge for years, so I decided to take a nice long walk through Central Park and do it. I can't wait to go back sometime in the Spring when the trees and flowers are in bloom, I bet it's gorgeous!

    "The building where John and Yoko resided was televised a lot after tragedy but at that time I didn't take in the surroundings, just the awful crime. "

    Yes, it sure was an awful crime. And you're right, no one really took in the beauty of the building back then because his shooting was such a shock and tragedy that it's all anyone could think of. It's the same with the location where Gianni Versace was shot and killed back in 1997. He was shot right in front of his own beautiful home/mansion in Miami.

    "It is indeed a splendid building and especially their apartment."

    Yes, their apartment was faaaabulous! Top floor apartment, with high ceilings, and a gorgeous view of Central Park.

    You still have snow on the ground?!?! Wow...I didn't realize that. It's been VERY cold here as well, but we haven't had any snow in weeks. It sort of snowed/rained one day last week, but it never stuck to the ground.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, dear friend. Stay warm and cozy this weekend!

    X to you and Charllie

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  7. Isn't Central Park faaaaaaaaabulous? It's changed so much from when I lived there during the 70's-80's. Back then, it was a dangerous place to walk (especially after dark) and the grounds were literally falling apart. So much graffiti as well.

    Isn't The Dakota stunning? I love how historic it is, not to mention how many interesting people have lived there. I watched a documentary about it which mentioned that back when it was first built, it was not considered special, or even expensive to live there. Now, it's considered prime property and very expensive to live there. It's actually a co-op.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a fantastic weekend!

    X

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  8. "I love that the Dakota is mostly unchanged over the years."

    Me too, Mark! In fact, when you look at it (now) it feels as though you're stepping back in time. Almost like traveling through a time machine!

    "Such sad history with John Lennon, but a remarkable example of architecture nonetheless."

    Yes, it sure is a sad history. What a tragedy. And I believe Yoko Ono still lives there in the same apartment.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have a faaaaaaabulous weekend!

    X to you and Tara

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  9. Thank you, Candice :) New York City is such an incredible place to take pictures that it inspires me so much!

    Isn't The Dakota such a gorgeous building? I actually appreciate its beauty more now than when I lived there. Isn't it something how it's unchanged?

    I didn't realize (until many years ago) just how many celebrities had apartments there. I was shocked to know that Judy Garland lived there?!? How fabulous!

    Bow Bridge is lovely, isn't it? I want to go back sometime in the Spring/early Summer to take more photographs because it will look completely different with the trees and flowers in bloom!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a fantabulous weekend!
    X

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  10. Helloooooooo there Debbie!

    You know what's funny though, back when I first lived in New York City, I took so much of its history for granted. Now that I'm older, I actually appreciate it more. That's why I'm looking forward to moving back there at the end of the summer. Even though I loved NYC back then too, I see it through different eyes now.

    "I'm fascinated by the Bow Bridge. I can imagine lots of wedding, engagement, and prom photos taking place right there. Am I right??"

    Yes!!!! You are absolutely spot on about that. In fact, if you google photographs of the bridge, you'll see just how many weddings, engagements, etc. take place there. That bridge has such a "romantic" feel to it, so I can see why.

    Yes, John Lennon's Memorial is a mosaic, you're right. It's a memorial to a song he use to sing (Imagine), and it's in a park called "Strawberry Fields", which is directly across the street from The Dakota, inside Central Park. Tourists/fans continually stop by when they're in the city and take pictures standing around the memorial.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a fantastic weekend! And stay warm and cozy, I heard that you're area got hit with some cold weather and snow.

    X to you and Dallas

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  11. "Because it is the past that continually gives The Dakota its striking presence." I love that line! These captures are {canvas} picture-perfect. I didn't know The Dakota was the setting for Rosemary's Baby but the gothic architecture makes it a perfect fit. I especially love the Central Park tunnel shot. The Bow Bridge is lovely and would be a splendid shot in the summer. Nicely done, as usual! Thank you for sharing your trip with us. Hope the upcoming week is kind to you.

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  12. John Lennon. Sigh. Such a waste.

    I love that bridge. And the tunnel. Very cool.

    Hope you're having a great weekend, Ron!

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  13. Thank you, Lisa :)

    I have been wanting to revisit The Dakota for a while now, so I decided that during my most recent trip into NYC, I'd do it. It's been so many years since I've seen it, and I think I actually appreciate it more now than I did back then.

    " I didn't know The Dakota was the setting for Rosemary's Baby but the gothic architecture makes it a perfect fit."

    Yes, and I think that's why Roman Polanski chose The Dakota because it had such a Gothic feel, which gave the movie its sort of creepiness. However, none of the interior shots were film in the building because the owners of The Dakota had strict rules about filming inside. It was only exterior that was used. The interiors were shot in a studio.

    "The Bow Bridge is lovely and would be a splendid shot in the summer. "

    I agree! And I'll be going back during the summer months and taking pictures as well, just to capture a different look.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a grrrreat rest of your weekend!
    X

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  14. "John Lennon. Sigh. Such a waste."

    I agree, such a waste. I was still living in NYC when that happened and remembered how shocked and saddened the city was.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a great rest of your weekend!
    X

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  15. Ron, I was still living in New York when John Lennon was shot at The Dakota and I can still recall how devastating it was. My husband and I were big fans of the Beatles, so when John was killed, it seemed surreal. You pictures of The Dakota are beautiful. I can't even remember the last time I've seen that building, but it brings back some bittersweet memories. I also remember hearing that Rosemary's Baby was filmed there. What a scary film that was! Mia Farrow was so good. As was the part that Ruth Gordon played of the weird next door neighbor.

    I forgot all about Bow Bridge until I saw your photographs. What a gorgeous spot! Central Park is amazing, isn't it?

    Thanks for sharing your trip into The Big Apple with us, Ron. I enjoy seeing my city through your eyes! X

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  16. Ron, life's been so busy for me these past several months that I haven't had time to blog. But I just caught up on your past two posts about New York and really enjoyed them. You're pics at Top of the Rock are amazing. What a view! And ones of Central Park and the Dakota are so beautiful. I suddenly felt a flashback to when John Lennon was shot in front of his own apartment. That seems like eons ago, yet it also feels like it was just yesterday. Did it feel strange to be standing there in person and seeing the location?

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  17. Hey there Elaine!

    I was living at in New York at the time of the shooting and like you, feeling as though it was surreal, not comprehending that it was true.

    "I also remember hearing that Rosemary's Baby was filmed there. What a scary film that was! Mia Farrow was so good. As was the part that Ruth Gordon played of the weird next door neighbor."

    Ruth Gordon was sooooooooooo good! OMG...whenever I watch the movie, I always forget what a pivotal part she played in the storyline. She was so creeeeepy!

    "I forgot all about Bow Bridge until I saw your photographs. What a gorgeous spot! Central Park is amazing, isn't it?"

    It sure is! And whenever I visit there, I'm in AWE of how big it is and how much there is to see.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, neighbor! Hope you're having a stupendous weekend!
    X

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  18. Hello there Daniel! Oh no worries, I understand how live can get busy. Thanks so much for stopping by and catching up.

    " I suddenly felt a flashback to when John Lennon was shot in front of his own apartment. That seems like eons ago, yet it also feels like it was just yesterday. Did it feel strange to be standing there in person and seeing the location?"

    I know what you mean because it DOES feel like it was only yesterday. I was actually still living in New York at that time, which was so long ago, yet I can clearly remember how shocked and sad the city was. It was like a wave of silence. And yes, it did feel strange standing there seeing it.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by. Hope you're enjoying a super weekend!
    X

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  19. Isn't it something how as we getting older we see things differently and appreciate them more? I feel that way a lot. It's like our perspective changes with each passing year.

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  20. You are so right, Candice, our perspective does change as we get older. I appreciate many things much more at my age. And I think that's because we see things through different eyes.

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  21. http://ladyfi.wordpress.comFebruary 12, 2018

    Oooo - what lovely shots of Central Park. It's such a great place. I love the Strawberry Fields shot.

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  22. Thanks, Fiona :) Isn't Central Park great? It's a beautiful piece of nature in the middle of a massive city.

    Have a great week, my friend. And thanks so much for stopping by!
    X

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  23. Hey there Shae, it's soooooooooooo great to see you! I too am happy to hear that you are still present on the Internet and have changed up your blog to a podcast, that's sounds FABULOUS! It's funny, because I've noticed more and more bloggers offering podcasts over the past several years. Please let me know how I can listen to your podcast, okay?

    Isn't this building stunning? It's one of my favorite landmarks in NYC, so the last time I was there I stopped by and took some photographs.

    I don't know whether you know this, but I will be moving back to NYC at the end of the summer. I decided to do this last year when my apartment lease was renewed. I decided to stay until the end of lease (which is in August) and will be moving back to my favorite city. So looking forward to it!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend!!!!
    X

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  24. Ronnie! My goodness it has been too login! I am so happy to see you are still here! I have changed up my blog to a podcast but I am so excited to connect with all my old friends! This building is absolutely gorgeous and the history you shared is so fascinating. I am tempted to take an NYC weekend and see if I can follow in your photo foot steps!

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