Have you ever strolled through the Bethesda Arcade in Central Park?
If you have, then you know that it is one of the most beautiful places in the entire park! Designed in the 1860s by Jacob Wrey Mould, the Arcade features 15,000 stunning, colorfully patterned tiles on its ceiling that once adorned the floors of European cathedrals. In fact, this is the only place in the world where such tiles are used on the ceiling!
But the Arcade isn’t only a visual marvel; the acoustics within its tiled interior walkway that links the Central Park Mall to Bethesda Fountain are what music dreams are made of! I have spent countless hours sitting on a bench by the fountain listening to the sounds of local artists reverberating from the Arcade’s cavernous archway.
One such artist that has taken up residence in the Arcade is Carlos König, a Chilean born classical guitarist (and one of the top Mambo teachers in NYC!). As you know, for many months NYC was the epicenter of COVID in the USA, but everyday throughout the pandemic Carlos showed up at the park to play his guitar and offer something beautiful to the city during a time when people needed it the most.
And one of those people who found great comfort in his music is my dear friend, Jessica, whose wedding was the reason I made this trip to NYC. Central Park walks were Jessica’s saving grace during the height of lockdown, and each day she would venture to the Arcade to listen to Carlos play. He and his music impacted her so deeply, in fact, that she asked him to play at her wedding. A wedding that was postponed a year due to COVID, and the reason that their paths crossed at all.
After Jessica's wedding I made a point to go hear Carlos live in the Arcade, which is when I snapped this photo of him. It was a definite treat for the senses, and one I highly recommend!
📍 In the heart of Central Park at the north end of the Mall; access via East or West 72nd Street