The Start of the Annual First Thursday Festivals in Canton

On the first Thursday of the month during the summer, there is a free concert at the Canton Waterfront Park in Baltimore, Maryland. There are several local bands who play on the main stage and there are also food trucks and vendors selling a variety of arts, crafts, and other goods. Last year was our first time going to the festival, which can get very busy, so it was interesting to see and enjoy some of the live music. The concert goes on rain or shine and on this day, rain was in the forecast, which caused the crowds to gather later than normal, but the rain held off making it a wonderful evening. This evening is the start the 2023 edition of the concert series, so it is expected to be quite busy once again.

Main Stage
Water in the Background
Colorful Bus Used as a Stall
One of the Bands
People Sitting on the Lawn

Since the concert is located at the Waterfront Park, the backdrop to the concert is the water of the bay and the large trees of the park provide a place to find some shade. People come with blankets or chairs and sit on the lawn to listen to the variety of bands that play throughout the evening. The music starts at 6:00 pm and the bands play until almost 10:00 pm. Last year was the first year since the start of the pandemic that the concerts have been held, so the excitement in the area for their return was very obvious. We are definitely looking forward to enjoying the concerts over the next few months.

Vendors Selling Items
Crowds Gathering

Lawn Chairs on the Grass
Entering Into the Park

Bryant Park in New York City

Although everyone knows about Central Park in Manhattan, another park worth visiting is Bryant Park. It is located between 5th and 6th avenues and 40th and 42nd streets. The park offers a variety of events throughout the year, as well as a stage where performances occur on a regular basis. It is another of the many areas within New York City where people can enjoy some green scenery and relax in the otherwise hectic city. It is quite popular for a variety of reasons, so expect there to be large crowds gathering in the park, even on weekdays.

Soothing Fountain at Bryant Park
Le Carrousel at Bryant Park
People Relaxing in the Park
Statue of William Cullen Bryant

In the park, there is a large fountain located by the stage that offers a definite sense of cooling on the hot and humid day that we visited. A favorite of families is the “Le Carrousel”, which is obviously a carrousel with whimsical animals bobbing up and down as they rotate around in a circle. For those wishing a refreshing drink or some food while sitting outside and enjoying the views of the park, there is the Bryant Park Cafe. If you are looking for more formal inside dining, there is also the Bryant Park Grill with a full-service menu.

Walking Through the Park
Some of the Many Flowers
Flowered Wall Outside of the Bryant Park Grill
People Relaxing and Eating at the Bryant Park Cafe

In addition to those items, there is an area to play ping pong, as well as other areas to play chess and checkers. The park is also adjacent to the New York Public Library. The statue of William Cullen Bryant, for whom the park is named, certainly has a prime location and cannot be missed when walking through the park. There is also a statue of Gertrude Stein in Bryant Park as well. With colorful flower beds, large shade trees, and an abundance of park benches, it is a great place to sit and relax for a while. Bryant Park might not be as famous or as large as Central Park, it is still a worthwhile place to visit when spending time in Manhattan.

Statue of Gertrude Stein
Pocket Park Sign
New York City Library and Skyscrapers Behind the Park
More Colorful Flowers

Exploring More of Central Park in New York City

We have walked through Central Park during our previous trip to New York, but if you’ve been to Central Park before, you’ll know that it is huge. There is so much to see throughout the park and we saw very little of it on our first trip. We still only made it about halfway through the park this time, but we did take time to explore more and see so many interesting features, including Belvedere Castle. It was hot and sunny as we walked through the park, so the shade of the trees was very welcome and we once again went to Loeb Boathouse for a glass of wine before heading back to our hotel.

Belveder Castle
Womens Rights Pioneers Monument
Statue of Walter Scott
Chess Board at the Chess and Checkers House
Vendor Selling Paintings

There are many fascinating statues within Central Park including the Mall and Literary Walk and the Women’s Rights Pioneers Monument. We turned towards Belvedere Castle after passing by the King Jagiello Monument. Central Park truly is an oasis in the middle of such a large and vibrant city. Although our recent visit to New York was more about going to unique and different locations than the typical tourist spots, we couldn’t help but go back to the park and wonder along the many different paths.

Oasis in the City
King Jagiello Monument
Fountain by Loeb Boathouse
Near One of the Park Entrances
Tower at Belvedere Castle

With so many different trails and the sheer size of Central Park, it could be easy to get lost as you wonder around. With that said, what better way to spend an afternoon than losing oneself in this beautiful park. We spent our first afternoon after taking the train from Baltimore to New York strolling through the park and admiring all of the nature and statues.

Statue of Columbus
Adorable Squirrel
Fitz Greene Halleck Statue
Couple of Glasses of Wine
Large Shade Tree
Tunnel in the Park
Another View of Belvedere Castle
Central Park