May Day 2013: Impressions Of New York's Central Park [PHOTOS]

If Claude Monet were alive and well and living in New York, then he would have had a great time doing his Impressionistic, open-air painting thing in Central Park on May Day.

Azaleas, cherries, daffodils, daisies, irises, lavender, tulips, violets and a plethora of other plants were colorfully exploding in multinuanced shades of blue, green, red, white and yellow, with the air temperature at 65 degrees Fahrenheit and the cloudless sky as sunny as it could conceivably be at midday.

Monet is well-represented at the only world-class museum in Central Park (Metropolitan Museum of Art, home of his "Poppy Field, Argenteuil" [1875], "The Bodmer Oak, Fontainebleau Forest" [1865] and "View of Vetheuil" [1880], among other floral masterpieces), and he would have reveled in the rich choice of subject matter in that place and at that time.

As masterly as Monet is or was, however, neither he nor any other artist -- Apologies, Camille Pissarro! Sorry, Pierre-Auguste Renoir! -- could have captured the total sensory experience of May Day in New York's Central Park. With AromaRama and Smell-O-Vision both apparently dead technologies, the only way to appreciate the fragrance of the honeysuckle outside Belvedere Castle Wednesday was to have been there and then, as we are grateful to have been.

Art historians may not consider Mother Nature an Impressionist, strictly speaking, but she, like artists associated with that movement, paints with a colorful palette, as shown by the following photographs.

Impressions, May Day, 2013-01

Many New Yorkers believe the city has two seasons -- cold and hot -- and they think May Day marks the beginning of the latter, so they annually flock to Central Park on that date. IBTimes/J.J. McGrath

Impressions, May Day, 2013-02

One Central Park visitor this May Day was David Cone, a Major League Baseball superstar who pitched for both the New York Mets and the New York Yankees in the past and a Yankees analyst for the YES Network at present. During the YES cablecast of the game between the Houston Astros and the Yankees Wednesday night, Cone appreciatively mentioned his visit to the park the same day. IBTimes/J.J. McGrath

Impressions, May Day, 2013-03

Americans generally have a low opinion of journalists, but one of the first public figures to call for the creation of a large park in New York was William Cullen Bryant, the editor of the Evening Post, who did so in 1844. IBTimes/J.J. McGrath

Impressions, May Day, 2013-04

Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux designed in their Greensward plan the area we now know as Central Park, which opened in 1857. IBTimes/J.J. McGrath

Impressions, May Day, 2013-05

About 38 million people visit New York's Central Park each year, according to the Central Park Conservancy, the nonprofit organization that maintains the park under contract with the city government. IBTimes/J.J. McGrath

Impressions, May Day, 2013-06

Either daffodils or tulips planted in Central Park in Mom's name would make for a colorful gift this Mother's Day (May 12). The Central Park Conservancy has details about the planting program here: http://ow.ly/kHYbn. IBTimes/J.J. McGrath

Impressions, May Day, 2013-07

Central Park covers 843 acres, or 6 percent of Manhattan's total area, the Central Park Conservancy reports. IBTimes/J.J. McGrath

Impressions, May Day, 2013-08

There are 24,000 trees in Central Park, the Central Park Conservancy says. IBTimes/J.J. McGrath

Impressions, May Day, 2013-09

Central Park is notable for its fauna as well as its flora: Birders have sighted more than 275 species of migratory birds in the park, a major stopping point on the Atlantic Flyway, according to the Central Park Conservancy. IBTimes/J.J. McGrath

Impressions, May Day, 2013-10

Every day of every week of every year, Central Park is closed between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. ET -- and open the rest of the time. Like many New York motorists and pedestrians, however, a number of migratory birds are scofflaws: They have been seen boldly entering the park even during the hours it is closed. IBTimes/J.J. McGrath

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