Strawberry Fields – Memorial to John Lennon
Strawberry Fields is located in New York City, west of Central Park at West 72nd Street. This area that takes up 2.5 acres of Central Park pays tribute to John Lennon a peace activist, musician and member of the famous band The Beatles. Adjacent to Strawberry Fields is a co-op residential complex called The Dakota. The Dakota apartments were home to Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono. Tragically, Mr. Lennon was murder is the vicinity as he was walking into his home in 1980. He was shot and left dead leaving behind his wife and his legacy.
Beatles singer, John Lennon life was commemorated by a New York City Council Member, Henry J. Stern. Mr. Stern motioned to designate the area to the memory of John Lennon because it was Lennon and his wife’s favorite spot in Central Park. The area which is now Strawberry Fields name originated from the title of a Beatles’ song “Strawberry Fields Forever.” Together with a generous donation from Yoko Ono, help from a landscape architect by the name of Brice Kelley and the Central Park Conservancy the area was reformed. Strawberry Fields features a symbolic black & white Imagine mosaic that was designed by a group of artist from Naples, Italy. The Imagine mosaic was inspired by lyrics from a song written by John Lennon. The term, “Imagine” educes an idea and hopefulness for a world without dissention, combat and conflict. The inspirational area has been endorsed as a Garden of Peace by 121 countries that have planted flowers and donated money for the sake of preserving Strawberry Fields. The 121 countries are listed on a bronze plaque that is a part of the memorial.
When visiting New York City throughout the year visitors of Central Park may run into Strawberry Fields which is regularly decorated with flowers, candles, and other symbolic items dedicated to the life of Lennon. On October 9th, Lennon’s birthday and on December 8th, the anniversary of Lennon’s death many people come together to pay tribute. Although Strawberry Fields is a quiet zone for the sake of reflection, patrons pay tribute by singing songs and praying together. Gary dos Santos, a frequent visitor of Strawberry Fields is best known for covering the memorial with various types of flowers that create a peace sign over the Imagine mosaic. In addition to celebrating on Lennon’s birthday and the anniversary of his passing, celebratory gathering remembering other members of The Beatles also take place at Strawberry Fields.