Monday, April 13, 2015

Culture Corner, Brooklyn Botanical Garden

Good morning and happy spring Brooklyn College goers!

It sure has been beautiful in our Borough during the last 2 days. I, for one, am incredibly happy that I no longer have to wear multiple layers and boots when on my trek onto campus, thank goodness!

Did you all enjoy your Spring Breaks?
I had a lovely time relaxing last week, however it went far too quickly in my opinion. I wasn't ready to return to school work and midterms at all!!
Ah well, only a few weeks left until Summer break any way! Unless you're taking summer classes, in which case I feel your pain. But we got this.

Whether you're taking class or not during this summer intercession, please take some time to visit Prospect Park or Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. I'm sure you all plan on it. Some of my fondest memories in the city take place in the wooded areas of Prospect Park, or alongside the edge of Prospect Park Lake.

  Whenever I'm within Prospect Park I always come across culture after culture and the ceremonies that go along with them. The open spaces allow for families and extended families to gather and celebrate with one another.
Whether you're walking past a soccer game, a frisbee session, a drumming performance, or a guitar jam out, you're bound to feel a bit drawn in.
And often times you will be. I enjoy spending time in the open breeze, and was wondering about the cultural history of the Brooklyn Botanical gardens.

I suppose I was thinking about the Botanical gardens because we are SO close to cherry blossom season. These flowering trees are one of my absolute favorites to gaze upon. Their light pink petals scatter the ground and fill the trees like exploding pom poms.
       I remember last year around this time, I wandered into the Botanical Gardens. I saw row upon row of cherry blossom tree, lining the entire grassy, rectangular lawn near the entrance of the garden.
As I strolled, I began seeing more and more people crowding around the base of the lawn, towards the descending staircase into the rest of the Park.
Tents upon tents filled my vision, a stage was blaring beautiful tunes that sounded to be Japanese to my ears. I saw brightly costumed young and old adults, and the air was filled with the sweet, full scent of the surrounding cherry blossoms. Kimonos and wigs ordained beautiful women and small children.
           The Cherry Blossom Festival of the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. I was transfixed. I remained at the festival for the next two or three hours. And I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone in Brooklyn during April 25th- April 26th.
Check it OUT!! They'll have traditional dance, vintage kimono shows, kids workshops, manga drawings, Samauri Sword Fighting, Traditional Tea ceremonies, and even more.
AND it's FREE!!  Thank goodness. Now there's no reason to not go check it out and celebrate the beauty of nature with your fellow Brooklynites :)

Now, for a few little known facts about the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens:

In 1897, Legislators in New York State set aside a beautiful 39 acres for a Botanic Garden near the downtown area of Brooklyn.

The Garden is officially established in 1910.

The Children's Gardening Program begins in 1914, after the Native Flower section of the Garden is created a couple of years earlier. This flower bed can still be visited today.

The Volunteer Garden Auxiliary Program is founded in 1974.

in 1980, a 500 year old Chinese Stone Lantern is gifted to the Garden as a gift from the city of Tokyo

The Beautiful Magnolia Plaza is renovated in 2004.

Don't forget to check out<<<>>> for far more info about events, hours, openings, and more from Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.

I hope these tid bits and photos make you want to go bask in the beauty of the flowering trees of Spring within the Garden and the rest of Prospect Park. Grab a friend, a snack, or a great book.
And take a deep breath


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