Central Park is one of a handful of places on earth where a person selected randomly from a crowd could be from anywhere on the planet. We put this theory to the test by asking some random Park visitors "Where are you from? And what brings you to Central Park today?"
Most of the visitors we encountered were seeing the Park for the first time. Many of them came because of the Park's reputation as a beautiful place to take it easy in the heart of New York City. Jasmine V. and Achmed B. from Denmark said they "heard about it so much, how relaxing it is, and saw it in films" that they thought they would see it in person. "It's fun," Jasmine said, "that in a big city there's a place like this." Thaddäus L. and Samuel F. from Switzerland said this was their first time in New York and they came to Central Park to "relax and hang out in the best park in the City." Takashi M. and Yoshi K. from Japan summed up what many first-time visitors seemed to be thinking: the Park is "famous and big."
Other visitors were more familiar with the Park and typically had more specific reasons for coming back. Diane C. and Jonathan O. from California called the Park a rich "historical destination" and said, "we've been here before. We love it. We came to de-stress." Two cousins, Joseph A. from Brooklyn and Angelique M. from the Bronx, came to catch up. One visitor, Mark G. from London, had an extremely specific reason for coming: "I was desperate for a coffee and air. Elixirs of life." Frederick Law Olmsted, the Park's co-designer, would have agreed. Olmsted thought the Park could provide an "antidote" to the confinement of city life. He designed the Park with the 23rd Psalm in mind: "He maketh me to lie down in green pastures and leadeth me beside the still waters, he restoreth my soul."