The New York Botanic Garden has been on our list for three months. We went to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in the fall and the day after Thanksgiving, Nov. 29, finally made it to the Bronx to the NYBG. This was almost an hour via subways and buses, and it was a very cold day that we set out on this adventure. We have noticed that the Bronx area of the city seems to be the least respected in terms of neighborhoods. The garden is definitely in a marginal area but has been in existence in this location for well over 100 years.
The Haupt Conservatory is the focal point. It consists of fourteen glass and iron buildings joined together creating over a dozen habitats for plant display and study. Our first stop was the annual train show in the conservatory. It consists of model trains that run through villages composed of hundreds of New York landmarks including such as the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, Macy’s, New York Public Library, Statue of Liberty, Rockefeller Plaza…..all constructed out of natural plant materials including bark, fungus, pods, acorns, shells, berries, lichen, stems and tendrils. Many of the structures were historic mansions along the Hudson River or in New York City, some of which have been torn down and no longer exist.
The entire show takes up a couple of the conservatory domed rooms and it took well over an hour to visit the whole display. At various times one walks under specific bridges of Manhattan made from twigs and branches. This was truly an amazing thing to see.
After the train show we took the tram tour around the gardens and were amazed at the many areas of research and observation. The library is said to be the best in the world for plant research and is a stunning building. We definitely want to come back here in another season……which means we will just have to return to NY some day!
We took the subway home and got off at 59th Street so that we could walk down the avenues and see more of the Christmas store windows and decorations. The Bloomingdale windows were fun but the Bergdorf Goodman windows still win the prize. We walked into the Sony Building and visited Chartwell Booksellers, a small cozy bookstore devoted to literary works by and about Winston Churchill.
We have been by this building many, many times and inside it four or five times, and, yet, we never knew this amazing store existed. It is just another example of how very many interesting things are going on in New York.
After dinner we took a brisk walk to Beekman Place to see the lighted outdoor tree on 50th street at the East River. Aglow in lights in the background was the Queensboro Bridge…..we love our neighborhood!