“Let me take you down
Cause I’m going to Strawberry fields
Nothing is real
And nothing to get hung about
– John Lennon
One of the gems of New York City’s Central Park is, undoubtedly, Strawberry Fields. Created to honor former Beatle, John Lennon –one of New York City’s most famous and beloved residents – Strawberry Fields Central Park is a living, growing memorial for quiet contemplation and communion with nature.
Strawberry Fields is, of course, named after the Beatles’ classic, “Strawberry Fields Forever.” The song was inspired by Lennon’s childhood in Liverpool, England. It was the name of a Salvation Army children’s home not far from where he lived with his aunt, and Lennon was fond of visiting when a nearby park hosted its annual garden party – an event highlighted by a show from a Salvation Army band.
Once you enter Strawberry Fields Central Park, you will notice a circular stone mosaic with the word “Imagine” in its center – another reference to a Lennon song. The peace garden, originally presented by the city of Naples, is a perfect place to sit quietly with your thoughts or a good book. It’s a park within the park, a peaceful oasis filled with benches, shady American elms and flowering plants.
Strawberry Fields is located on the western side of Central Park between 71st Street and 74th Street, not far from the famous Dakota building where John Lennon lived with wife, Yoko Ono. It’s also where he met his untimely end.
Ms. Ono worked with city officials, the Central Park Conservancy and landscape architects to solicit support for the garden from all around the world. In total, by donating either plants or funds, 121 countries contributed to the creation of Strawberry Fields . The garden was dedicated on October 9, 1985 to mark what would have been John Lennon’s 45th birthday.