For well over a century, Central Park has offered refuge, recreation, and rejuvenation to New Yorkers seeking temporary haven from a city of brick and steel, concrete and glass. Weary urbanites turn to the park to enjoy its formal gardens, rustic bowers, bridle paths, and waterfalls. The park offers a retreat to an imaginary state of benevolent nature — a paradise free from the modern concrete jungle and the chaos and danger of the natural world. No wild beasts lurk behind the park’s carefully tended gardens. Yet even as it welcomes us back to a more natural state, the park is itself a technological artifact, its seemingly natural environments carefully designed, right down to the hidden pipes feeding a rustic waterfall. After two decades of sustained renovation, it now enjoys enormous popularity among natives and visitors alike, and may be in better shape than at any time in its history. This tour covers the history of the park and includes half a dozen of the specially designed environments within it: the Pond, the Mall, Sheep Meadow, Bethesda Terrace, the Lake, and the Ramble.