NY -- NYC -- Central Park -- Strawberry Fields (memorial):
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- STRAW_020413_01.JPG: This is a shrine to John Lennon, who was killed in the Dakota apartments right across the street from here.
- STRAW_020413_02.JPG: October 9th marked John Lennon's 75th birthday. Thanks to John and the rest of the Beatles for all the magic they brought to our lives, collectively and as solo performers.
"Double Fantasy" had come out a month before he was killed. While the radio stations ignored all the Yoko Ono songs on the album, "Watching the Wheels", "(Just Like) Starting Over", and "I'm Losing You" were making a huge impact.
I was in my apartment in DC in December 1980 when the announcer declared that John had been killed in New York City. After awhile, they decided to play every Beatles and John Lennon song they could in a tribute marathon. They played "Happiness is a Warm Gun" and later apologized for having done so. We love you John!
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- Description of Subject Matter: Strawberry Fields is a living memorial to the world-famous singer, songwriter and peace activist, John Lennon. During his career with the Beatles and in his solo work, Lennon's music gave hope and inspiration for world peace and his memory and mission lives on in Strawberry Fields.
This tranquil section of Central Park was named after one of Lennon's favorite songs, "Strawberry Fields Forever." Recorded in 1966, the song's title comes from an orphanage in Liverpool, England where Lennon used to go to play with the children. His aunt, who raised him, disapproved but he insisted it was, "nothing to get hung about." Hence, the song's famous lyric.
Strawberry Fields was officially dedicated on October 9, 1985, the 45th anniversary of Lennon's birth. Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono Lennon, worked with landscape architect Bruce Kelly and Central Park Conservancy to create a meditative spot. The mosaic was created by Italian craftsmen and given as a gift by the city of Naples. Based on a Greco-Roman design, it bears the word of another of Lennon's songs: Imagine. A designated Quiet Zone in the Park, the memorial is shaded by stately American elms and lined with benches. In the warmer months, flowers bloom all around the area. Along the path near the mosaic, you'll find a bronze plaque that lists the 121 countries that endorse Strawberry Fields as a Garden of Peace.
The above is from http://www.centralparknyc.org/things-to-see-and-do/attractions/strawberry-fields.html
- Wikipedia Description: Strawberry Fields (memorial)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Strawberry Fields is a 2.5-acre (1.0 ha) landscaped section in New York City's Central Park that is dedicated to the memory of former Beatle John Lennon. It is named after the Beatles' song "Strawberry Fields Forever" written by Lennon.
The Central Park memorial was designed by Bruce Kelly, the chief landscape architect for the Central Park Conservancy. Strawberry Fields was dedicated on what would have been Lennon's 45th birthday, October 9, 1985, by New York Mayor Ed Koch and Lennon's widow Yoko Ono, who had underwritten the project. The entrance to the memorial is located on Central Park West at West 72nd Street, directly across from the Dakota Apartments, where Lennon had lived for the latter part of his life, and where he was murdered in 1980. The memorial is a triangular piece of land falling away on the two sides of the park, and its focal point is a circular pathway mosaic of inlaid stones, with a single word, the title of Lennon's famous song: "Imagine". This was a gift from the city of Naples, Italy. Along the borders of the area surrounding the mosaic are benches which are endowed in memory of other individuals and maintained by the Central Park Conservancy. Along a path toward the southeast, a plaque on a low glaciated outcropping of schist lists the nations which contributed to building the memorial. Yoko Ono, who still lives in The Dakota, contributed over a million dollars for the landscaping and the upkeep endowment.
The mosaic, in the style of Portuguese pavement, is at the heart of a series of open and secret glades of lawn and glacier-carved rock outcroppings, bounded by shrubs and mature trees and woodland slopes, all designated a "quiet zone". A woodland walk winds through edge plantings between the glade-like upper lawn and the steep wooded slopes; it contains native rhododendrons and hollies, Carolina allspice (Calycanthus floridus), mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia), viburnums, and jetbead. Wild shrub roses and a mature pink Magnolia × soulangeana flank the main walk. At the farthest northern tip of the upper series of lawns enclosed by woodland are three dawn redwood trees, which lose their needles but regain them every spring, an emblem of eternal renewal. The trees can be expected to reach a height of 36 metres (118 ft) within 100 years, and eventually they will be visible from great distances in the park.
The "Imagine" mosaic began to sink noticeably in 2007.
The memorial is often covered with flowers, candles in glasses, and other belongings left behind by Lennon's fans. On Lennon's birthday (October 9) and on the anniversary of his death (December 8), people gather to sing songs and pay tribute, staying late into what is often a cold night. Gatherings also take place on the anniversaries of birthdays of the other members of The Beatles. Impromptu memorial gatherings for other musicians, including Jerry Garcia and George Harrison, have occurred at the memorial. In the days following the September 11 attacks, candlelight vigils were held at the Imagine Circle to remember those killed. On weekends, musicians often play for the enjoyment of thousands of fans from around the world who visit the site.
"Mayor of Strawberry Fields"
One of its best-known visitors was Gary dos Santos, a fan of the Beatles who decorated the memorial in circles of different flowers and objects, often in the shape of a peace symbol. Born Ayrton "Gary" Ferreria dos Santos Jr., he was a performance artist who for 19 years installed flower designs around and within the "Imagine" mosaic here. His work has been documented in The New York Times. Dos Santos' income came from the tips he received from tourists as a result of his work, and the three-minute monologue he delivered to tourists describing his work and the life of John Lennon and his family. Santos was the subject of a documentary film, The Mayor of Strawberry Fields, directed by Torre Catalano and distributed by Nehst Studios.
For almost 20 years, he could be found on most days at the memorial with his girlfriend of 15 years, Lisa Page, and their dog, Mary Jane, and was well known by many long-time local residents. In September 2013 Gary was diagnosed with leukemia. After spending about nine weeks in the hospital, he died in November 2013.
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