An Ode to Common Places

Words and Photographs by Scott Rossi

Photographer Scott Rossi reflects on how public parks can create space to soothe and restore the human spirit.

Common Place is a visual meditation on Central Park. The project explores the intentions set forth by the park’s chief architect, Frederick L. Olmsted, who wanted Central Park to be a democratic space that allows all New Yorkers to escape from the distractions of urban life in Manhattan. The idea was that, by recreating the peacefulness of nature, parks would soothe and restore the human spirit.


Never has this vision been more relevant than during the Covid-19 pandemic, which has taken millions of lives even as stay-at-home regulations swept across the globe. Whether using the expansive landscape as a place to relax, to escape or to love, this project translates the power of communal spaces photographically. Common Place illustrates the importance of public parks and how New Yorkers from all walks of life have found what they needed within Central Park.

The project is now a book, co-published by Pomegranate Press and Guest Editions.

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