On December 8, 31 years ago, the world was stunned when news spread about John Lennon’s untimely demise. A musical genius and icon, he continues to be well remembered through his songs. While it’s a sad, sad day for the music industry and his fans, let’s pay him a little tribute by visiting two popular locations in New York City that have always been associated with him.
Before his tragic death in 1980, John Lennon was living a blissful life with his wife and son in New York, the city, where he has been residing in for quite some time. He lived in the very popular The Dakota on Central Park West, which is also a favorite location for a lot of movies and television shows shot in NYC; he also loved spending some quiet time in Central Park, and his favorite NYC haunt, the La Fortuna Cafe (which unfortunately, has already closed down).
Since moving to the United States in 1971, it’s said that the Beatles’ frontman fell in love with the city as it’s a place where he was able to get some normalcy back to his life given the massive fame that the Beatles’ brought him.
Already famous for being the setting of Rosemary’s Baby, The Dakota has actually been around for a long, long time having opened its doors in 1884. A very popular apartment building for those with deep pockets, John Lennon reportedly bought the whole 7th floor, and it became his residence together with Yoko and their son, Sean during his time in Manhattan. However, it is also infamous for being the place where he was gunned down.
A 2.5-acre (10,000 m2) landscaped section in New York City’s Central Park, Strawberry Fields is dedicated to the memory of John Lennon, and is named after The Beatles’ song “Strawberry Fields Forever”. It was opened on October 9, 1985 (John Lennon would have been celebrating his 45th birthday then). The entrance to Strawberry Fields is at Central Park West at West 72nd Street – directly across from The Dakota where John Lennon used to live. The memorial is shaped like a triangle with a circular pathway, and the word “Imagine” (the title of one his most popular songs) written at the center.
Probably two of the most visited NYC locations for John Lennon fans from all over the globe, The Dakota and Strawberry Fields will always have a place in our hearts as well here at Lomography.