We are lucky enough to live 2 blocks from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and I am lucky enough to work from home whenever I feel like it. On those days that I’m “working” from home and not on back-to-back conference calls, I take some time to wander over to the BBG. It’s a great place to walk around without having to watch where I’m stepping to avoid dog poo. People in NYC, especially Brooklyn, seem to think that their puppy poo gets up and walks itself to the trash can after they leave it sitting in the middle of the sidewalk. I digress. That’s another post for another day. Anyway, back to the garden.
I first learned about the Botanic Garden when I visited with some friends in 2006 for the annual Sakura Matsuri Festival. I used to live in the Washington, D.C. area and had access to one of the best cherry blossom attractions in the world, but I don’t remember it at all. The BBG reintroduced me to these delicate and beautiful sakura trees. The garden has over 200 cherry trees, most of which are found in the cherry esplanade and the Japanese Hill and Pond. The view is stunning when all of the trees are in full bloom. The Sakura Matsuri Festival is the celebration of the full bloom period. It is usually held on the last weekend of April when most of the cherry blossoms are in peak bloom. The festival is the nation’s largest event held in a public garden and attracts millions of visitors. Ok, maybe not millions, but at least tens of thousands. The two-day festival boasts over 60 events including contemporary and traditional Japanese music and dance, taiko drumming, ikebana flower arranging, Japanese DJs, presentations on the art of manga, tea ceremonies, and workshops for kids and adults. It is also heavily attended by the local cosplay community. Adults dressed like anime and manga characters. That’s all I have to say about cosplay.
Although the Sakura Matsuri Festival is fun for a first time visitor, it’s not my cup of green tea. I prefer the garden when it’s mostly empty. Going in the middle of a weekday allows me to appreciate the natural beauty and serenity of the garden without having to worry about being attacked by a Dragon Ball Z character. I didn’t mention this before but one of the reasons that I can partake of BBG beauty whenever I want is because I have free access. Cuz I’m special. But if you’re not as special as I am, then you can visit on Tuesdays when the garden is free to the huddled yearning masses.
Whether you visit on a crowded weekend or a deserted weekday, make the time to visit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden if you live in NYC. There’s a lot more to see that I didn’t mention here and there’s a nice outdoor casual dining area for a warm, sunny day. Go check it out and take some pictures of yourself with the flowers. Because there aren’t enough pictures of people standing in front of the cherry blossom trees.
Check out our other pictures Flickr.