New York: Strawberry Fields … Forever

There is this something special about a building called The Dakota. If not because of an event that happened here 27 years ago, The Dakota would not have been that famous. The Dakota is a luxury apartment building and is over 120 years old. As a matter of fact, The Dakota is the first luxury apartment ever built in NYC.

The Dakota had attracted the rich and famous over the century. Famous residents have included Judy Garland, Roberta Flack, Rudolf Nureyev, Neil Sedaka, Leonard Bernstein, Lauren Bacall, Carson McCullers, Boris Karloff, Connie Chung, and Paul Simon.

But I guess the most famous tenant of all was … John Lennon.

It happened almost 30 years ago … even to this day, this apartment building remains a place of pilgrimage to many.


John Lennon was just 40 years old when he was shot and killed … at this entrance below. John and Yoko Ono had just returned from the studio one winter night … they got off their limousine and while walking into the gated apartment, four shots rang out and hit John. John Lennon, along with the dreams of a Beatles reunion, died that day.

I was just barely into my teens when John Lennon died. Even at that age, I was a fan of the Beatles. My dad was a fan of the Beatles too because I very distinctively remember that his favourite LP was the Beatles (which he refused to let me touch!).

I remembered too the moment when I found out that John Lennon was killed. I was in a church youth camp in Port Dickson. I woke up early and read about it just before breakfast.


The Dakota is located just across the street from Central Park. John and Yoko enjoyed the walks in this park and their walks had been quite documented.


This section of Central Park is called Strawberry Fields. It is dedicated to the memory of John Lennon and is named after his song … “Strawberry Fields Forever”. If you look at the map, it’s shaped in the form of a teardrop.


It’s a shady part of the park. Right in the middle of Strawberry Fields, is the memorial mosaic bearing the word “Imagine”. Flowers are arranged in the symbol of peace around the memorial mosaic.


This is perhaps the most visited part of Central Park, even though this is a small area. As expected, people were respectfully quiet here … this is after all, hallow grounds to many.


I would have expected that most visitors would be people in their 40s and older. The Beatles belong to that era.


I love the Beatles … here are a collection of Beatles songs I found on youtube. Hope you enjoy this tribute to John Lennon and the Beatles:


Leave a Reply