Thursday, June 10, 2010

Day 1 of Summer Vacation: Brooklyn Botanic Garden

At the beginning of April, Vivi and I had been a little too early to catch most of the cherry blossoms at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Undeterred, we returned on June 9th with five-year-old Charlie in tow and my Mom bag laden with sketchbooks and snacks. The incredibly fast, incredibly easy 32-minute subway ride (the 2/3 to Eastern Parkway/Brooklyn Museum) made me incredibly happy, as did the fact that my New York Botanical Garden (you say Botanic, I say Botanical. Potato, potahto, Tomato, tomahto) membership got me in for free.

The last of the cherry blossoms had blown away, but here are some of the things that we did see and do:

Alexander Calder’s Le Guichet (The Box Office), which was created for Lincoln Center in 1963 and on loan to the BBG this summer in honor of its 100th anniversary

Charlie’s dreamy synopsis of the roses in their full June splendor in the Cranford Rose Garden:

“I wish this was our backyard and every day I could just come out here and stare into my imagination and draw flowers.” (this was before he stood over me critiquing my sketch of the rose garden and pointing out everything I’d left out and then stomped off in a wounded huff when I told him that everyone sees and draws things differently. Um, does the five-year-old know-it-all phase last through manhood?)

Channeling their inner Bonsai

Charlie and Vivi “staring into their imaginations and drawing flowers” in the Shakespeare Garden

The Shakespeare Garden, which apparently was past its peak and looked charming in its blowsiness and with its wonderfully whimsical and British-sounding blooms: “Apricot Faerie Queen” and Sweet Scabious and Primrose and Lamb’s Quarters and Fuller’s Teasel and Pansy-Love-in-Idleness and Lark’s Heels and, my absolute favorite, Cuckoo-Bud

A respite from “the noise, dust and confusion of the city streets”

Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 900 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11223,; Open Tuesday to Friday 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM (but come early to avoid large school groups, particularly of the sulky, belligerent, potty-mouthed middle school variety), Saturdays and Sundays 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM; Closed Mondays; Admission: $8 for non-member adults; Free for children 12 and under

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