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The Mystery Couple of Bethesda Terrace, Central Park, NY

Who are they? What were they talking about? Where were they going? Are they happy?

By Nagoh Creative (Greg)Published 29 days ago 4 min read
Top Story - June 2024
Mystery Couple of Bethesda Terrace, Central Park, NY — Photography by Author — Nagoh Creative

I love New York City, but most especially I love Central Park. It holds a special place in my life because I proposed to my wife there back in 2002.

We all know how the world changed after the events of September 11th, 2001, and it was time for us to step into the next chapter of our lives together. I proposed on Bow Bridge on a snowy February afternoon and it was perfect.

Let's fast forward a few years and reflect on March 7th, 2010 at 11:53 am EST at the Bethesda Terrace, Central Park, NY when we took a visit back to the place we got engaged.

Why so specific of a time? Well, this is the time the metadata of my camera pulled when I took this picture of a couple together as they walked through the Bethesda Terrace.

If you don't know, the Bethesda Terrace is a beautiful and well-documented architectural feature located in Central Park. It was completed in the year 1864.

I captured the image of this couple by pure chance. I wanted a shot of the terrace empty of people, but that is almost impossible as it is such a high-traffic area. I quickly embraced the idea that this couple would make a great subject for the shot, and it did.

It is a candid and off-the-hip shot. The shadows from the sun falling, and being cast at an angle, the dramatic effect of black and white contrast of the stone texture. It is an emotional picture that offers so many story possibilities.

This picture has been awarded many first-place ribbons in my photography career, it has also inspired so many other variations that I have taken over the years of other couples. Although the biggest difference is that the first image was not staged and the rest are from its inspiration.

Here are some examples of couples I have imaged for weddings & engagements:

Cowboy & His Girl — Photography by Author — Nagoh Creative
Pick Me Up — Photography by Author — Nagoh Creative
Under The Stars Together — Photography by Author — Nagoh Creative

At times I wish the internet was as powerful back in 2010 as it is now, I would love to find the couple of Bethesda Terrace, and give this print to them as a gift. Also, share the inspirational images that were born from that moment.

Their captured moment together on their walk has generated so much wonder in my mind over the years. I have so many questions for them, here are some I have thought of:

Are they married or are they just friends?

What were they talking about?

Where were they going?

Were they happy at this moment?

Are they happy now?

If I were to make up a story about them it would be something like this:

Mr. Mystery loved his wife dearly. They spent most evenings walking from their modest apartment in New York City through Central Park. This was a time they got to share and catch up. It was a time for an emotional check-in on their life journey together.

Mrs. Mystery would share her feelings of love for him but also express with gentle honesty the struggles they face as a couple. He would listen and reassure her that she has been heard and he will work on those things and always strive for her love and affection.

Their walk this particular evening was difficult, as they were in a small disagreement. This was evident in him not holding her hand on their walk through the park.

However, that changed as they made their way to the steps, he took her hand as he always did, and they walked up the steps together, assuring her in this gentle gesture that he would always be there to support her.

The conversation changed gears and they talked about their children, who are grown now. The kids are living their lives fully and in good health, both mentally and physically. Mr. & Mrs. Mystery couple laugh together, reflecting on the early days of their parenting and the struggles of those past moments, that can be laughed about now.

They head home for the evening, hand in hand, they settle in for the night as husband and wife and do so for every evening going forward and still do so today.

Writing this out for the first time brings me closure to this picture that has been filling my mind with wonder for over 14 years now. I am thankful to share it and bring both the story behind the photograph and also the fictional “what ifs” that spur my imagination and wonder to life in my mind and yours.

I will close out this with a statement that; Relationships are hard, marriage is harder. All things I can attest to as I continue in my own of 22+ years with my bride. I am thankful for her perseverance in my falls and stumbles. I am loved fiercely by her. I believe in my heart Mrs. Mystery in my Central Park Bethesda Terrace photograph loves Mr. Mystery fiercely too. They are blessed to be together, and seeing them on their walk that evening many years ago has been a blessing of love and hope for me.

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About the Creator

Nagoh Creative (Greg)

Writer, Poet, Astronomer, Photographer & Encourager. I am on a road of life recovery and sharing my journey with words and art. Most importantly, I am a forgiven Child of God, Husband, Father, & friend. All work is my own, & God's Glory.

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Comments (14)

  • Angie the Archivist 📚🪶18 days ago

    This is a beautiful Top Story with gorgeous photos.🤩 Excellent conclusion ✅.

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  • Susana's World23 days ago

    Love your photography, and the story was perfect. One of my favorite things to do is people watch and think about what they might be. Congrats 👏

  • Christy Munson23 days ago

    Congratulations on Top Story! 🥳 Cool idea for a story. Enjoyed this one so much!

  • Tiffany Gordon 25 days ago

    What a lovely photo! I enjoyed learning more about where it was taken and the narrative that you created based upon it. Congrats on your Top Story!

  • Congratulations on having your story featured as a top story on Vocal! This is a remarkable achievement, and it's clear why your work has received such recognition. Your storytelling is truly exceptional. The narrative was not only compelling but also beautifully crafted, holding my attention from start to finish. The way you developed the characters and plot was masterful, making the story both engaging and thought-provoking. Your unique voice and perspective shine through, setting your work apart. It’s evident that you poured a lot of passion and effort into this piece, and it has certainly paid off. I look forward to reading more of your incredible stories in the future. Keep up the fantastic work! Best regards, Dr. Jay

  • Also, congrats for Top Story!! Well deserved! 🎉

  • So beautiful, Greg! I always wonder about other people's stories, but never thought of taking a photo of them to inspire me to actually write it down. Really nice!

  • Hannah Moore25 days ago

    I love that this image has had such a place in your heart for so long.

  • shanmuga priya25 days ago

    Congratulations 🎉 on top story.

  • Matthew Fromm25 days ago

    And back to say well deserved top story!

  • angela hepworth25 days ago

    This is just incredible!

  • Matthew Fromm28 days ago

    this is easily one of the best pieces I've seen on here in awhile. Your photos are stunning...if you have a site, please share it here so I can peruse it.

Nagoh Creative (Greg)Written by Nagoh Creative (Greg)

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