NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Chances are you’ve walked past them before — there are thousands of benches in Central Park with special stories to tell.
It’s part of a program that lets you get creative and support the park in the process.
They’re the benches people sit on every day in Central Park to rest, read, eat, or soak in the sun.
Keen eyed park goers also know that many of the benches have plaques inscribed with pretty poems, loving wishes, and interesting phrases like ‘the buck stops here’, ‘so far so good’ and ‘your tush here.’
“I actually like reading them. I’m interested in seeing what people have written,” Amanda Kass said.
“It costs a lot of money to do so. I would definitely be impressed and I would think it’s a really sweet gesture, romantic,” Kathy Murray added.
That’s what Suzie Aijala’s husband and son were going for when they gifted her a bench for Valentine’s Day.
They let her choose the saying so she picked ‘Carpe Diem’ her family’s motto.
She said she hopes people who sit there will take the message to heart.
“I hope that the park helps them seize the day. I mean look around this day it’s just an absolutely phenomenal day, and this park is such a part of New York City, and such a focal point in all of our lives,” she said.
Members of the Central Park Conservancy started the ‘Adopt-A-Bench’ program in 1986 as a way to help raise money for park maintenance.
Like everything else the price to adopt a bench has gone up over the years. These days it’ll cost you $10,000 to call one of the benches yours.
“The Central Park Conservancy takes care of Central Park for the city of New York. It takes us about $64-million a year to take care of Central Park and 75 percent of that we have to raise and we raise it from people who love and support and live around the park and come use the park,” Douglas Blonsky, CEO, Central Park Conservancy said.
Adopting a bench in Central Park comes with a huge price tag, but some people seemed to think it’s worth every penny.
“The parks are important so any money we can donate to them,” Alex Gold said, “I definitely think the money is going to a good cause.”
“We use it all the time and I think it’s super important for people to do that, and if they can go for it,” Kass said.
There are more than 9,000 benches in Central Park and 4,000 of them have already been adopted by park lovers who want to be remembered in one of their favorite places.
When it comes to the sayings on the benches almost anything — besides advertising and profanity — is fair game.