New York coachmen leave a touching note on Tony Bennetts

New York coachmen leave a touching note on Tony Bennett’s Central Park bench: “One more time through the park”


July 22, 2023 | 6:35 p.m

New Yorkers continue to honor legendary crooner Tony Bennett at one of his favorite spots in the city.

Notes and flowers appeared Saturday on the bench in Central Park that bears the name of Bennett, who died Friday at the age of 96.

The park’s legendary drivers left a touching note on the pole, slightly changing the lyrics to his 1953 song “Please Driver (Once Around the Park Again)” to read, “Please, Tony, one more time through the park… We can’t believe you’re gone…”

“RIP, Central Park icon, Tony Bennett,” they wrote.

Tourists were seen taking photos of the numerous bouquets and notes on the bench, which is located on Center Drive near Central Park South and Sixth Avenue.

The jazz singer frequented the park and in his later years was seen being wheeled around the beautiful vegetation.

A native of Astoria, he lived in Central Park South for 25 years.

Flowers on the Central Park bench with Tony Bennett’s name on Saturday. Robert Miller Many flowers and bouquets were left on the bench dedicated to the crooner, who died Friday at the age of 96.Robert Miller A park’s famous coachmen joined forces to leave a touching note on the bench, slightly altering the lyrics of Bennett’s 1953 song “Please Driver (Once Around the Park Again)”: “Please, Tony, one more time through the park… We can’t believe you’re gone…” Ro Bert Miller

He also sat in the park and painted his favorite spot with watercolors.

“I have a lot of places in the park that I like,” he told the New York Times in 2015. “I always paint nature. Nature is the boss.”

The Grammy winner said at the time that the park inspired his art and he sketched or painted about 800 different scenes from it, from men rowing boats to taxis driving in the rain.

He usually went to Central Park early in the morning to avoid being spotted, or met up with other friends who liked to paint.

“I live in the city but when I step into the park, I’m in the woods,” he told the outlet.

Bennett often went to the park to paint scenes in watercolor and collected around 800 paintings over the years. Luis Guerra/AKM-GSI A park bench was dedicated to him, purchased in honor of his 95th birthday in 2021. Robert Miller

Bennett painted often as a child and even learned to paint in high school at the High School of Industrial Arts on the Upper East Side. He drew Central Park for homework throughout his school years, the Times reported.

Several high-profile New Yorkers remembered the singer on Friday.

“A working class boy from Queens, Tony Bennett, sang our song to the world. Don’t let the lyrics fool you – he’s made his heart out here in New York City. May he rest in peace,” Mayor Eric Adams tweeted.

“I will always be grateful to him for his outstanding contribution to the art of contemporary music. It was a pleasure working with him. His energy and enthusiasm for the material he was performing was infectious,” wrote Long Island native Billy Joel on social media, along with several photos of the two collaborating.

“He was also one of the nicest people I’ve ever known.”

Bennett, seen in 2019, lived near Central Park and often visited. Udo Salter’s photography / BACKGRID

Bennett was a regular at the Brooklyn Diner on West 57th, just around the corner from his Manhattan home.

“He was the sweetest and nicest guy you would ever want to spend a few hours socializing with. “There couldn’t be a nicer New York guy,” restaurant owner Shelly Fireman told The Post.

“It’s sad for America; It’s sad for New York and we will miss him dearly.”

Gerard Renny, who owned Lucky’s Bar and Grill at 57th Street and Sixth Avenue, another hangout in Bennett’s neighborhood, bought one of the singer’s works—a Las Vegas cityscape—for his then-pregnant wife.

“When he found out I bought this, I show up one day and my manager hands me an envelope with a autographed photo in it, thanking me and wishing me all the best with the baby.”

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