We Buffalonians exude pride and gratitude for our historic connection to Frederick Law Olmsted and our legacy of Olmsted designed and inspired parks and parkways. My days are certainly more energetic and promising when they start with a walk through my neighborhood’s gem, Cazenovia Park (even during the winter months). And I recall fondly my young adult years when I would daringly cross Parkside Avenue during the PM rush hour to jog along Delaware Park’s ring road, enjoying the expanse of green grass, shade of the trees, and glimpses of the inhabitants of the Buffalo zoo. Generations of Queen City residents have similar positive feelings and memories for their nearby Olmsted parkland, whether it’s Front Park, MLJ, Jr. Park, Riverside Park, or South Park (and its glorious botanical gardens).
But I’m also a native of Rochester, New York, and I find it near-impossible this time of year not to be lured 75-miles eastward down the I-90 to re-visit my first Olmsted Park – Highland Park – nestled in a stunningly beautiful and hilly area of the “Flower City” [f/k/a “Flour City”]. While Highland touts its 1,200 lilac shrubs, and is in the midst of the 120th annual Lilac Festival (being held this year from May 11th through May 20th), the park’s magnolia trees made the deepest impression on me during my May 16, 2018 sojourn. And my quick trip to the city of my birth also reminded me that 2018 is the 200th anniversary of the birth of legendary social reformer Frederick Douglass – who called Rochester home for a quarter of a century.
Here are other images from my visit to Rochester’s Olmsted park:
FREDERICK DOUGLASS/HIGHLAND BOWL:
With All Due Respect,
P.S. The City of Rochester has events to commemorate the bicentennial of Frederick Douglass’ birth throughout 2018. For additional information, click here.