Help me settle an argument. My friend claims there are no statues of women in Central Park. I swear I've seen a couple. Am I wrong? She could list a bunch of statues of men like Alexander Hamilton and Hans Christian Andersen, but I was having trouble coming up with even one female statue.
Jessica K., East 70s
There are statues of females in Central Park but here's the rub: they're all fictional characters. Alice of Wonderland fame sits on a mushroom near the model boat pond and Mother Goose greets visitors to Rumsey Playfield. Juliet embraces Romeo and Miranda stands with Propsero in front of the Delacorte Theater in tribute to the Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park. And the Angel of the Waters stands over the Bethesda Fountain at one of the park's most photographed spots. (Not wanting to receive any angry email, Gothamist understands that some people of certain religious faiths might not place an angel in the "fictional" category.)
When one considers the number of real men honored in the park, it's hard not to think that women are getting the short end of the stick. In addition to Hamilton and Andersen, visitors to Central Park will find statues of Simon Bolivar, Beethoven, Daniel Webster, Sir Walter Scott, Robert Burns, and other notable men. Some New York guide books consider Columbus Circle a part of Central Park, so add the man who "discovered" America to the list if you want.
Even Balto, the famed rescue dog imortalized in bronze on the east side of the park, was male. The panther that seems ready to pounce from its perch on the East Drive might be female, but Gothamist is usually too winded from running up the hill to figure it out.
Plenty of historical New York women are worthy of a scuptural tribute in Central Park. What famous New York women would you like to see honored? Jackie Kennedy? Bella Abzug? Sarah Jessica?