Friday, May 11, 2012

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Walk to the right from Eataly and you'll see a slim building that is featured on the cover of one of the city tourist brochures. Called the Flatiron (as in the iron for ironing your clothes. Duh), the triangular pointy part of the building on the ground floor is where famous artists want to exhibit their work.


Not an intentional pose, but it was a windy day.

A friend who went to NYC for the first time last year came back disappointed with the city. There were many noisy demonstrations (Occupy Wall Street) and streets were packed with people. Yes I saw a couple of protests in the 9 days I was in NYC but I loved the protests! The police escorted the protesters, the mood was fun and nobody got heated up about the issues. I live in a country where the government sprays chemical-laced water at protesters so I think the freedom to protest is divine. A society that can handle difference in opinions peacefully is mature and learned. I envy that.


If I thought the subway stations in London were archaic, I was in for a shock in NYC because the subway stations there are not just old but also run down. However, gone are the graffiti and homeless people.

We stayed in Manhattan and didn't venture to Brooklyn or Queens but one day Yi wanted to see MoMA PSI in Queens (north of the mainland) while I wanted to be in Brooklyn Botanic Garden for the annual sakura festival. The park has 200 mature cherry trees and is known as one of the best parks for cherry flowers viewing outside of Japan. I took the subway by myself for the first time that afternoon. The subway system in NYC is a little bit complicated but once you figure it out, it is quite easy to take.

I asked at the entrance if the cherry trees were still in bloom, as my friend's tree in San Francisco was already putting out leaves. I was told that there was plenty of flowers so I paid the entrance fee of USD15. Big mistake, because the cherry flowers were all gone. I felt cheated. Central Park is free and I went all the way from Manhattan to Brooklyn and paid a fee to get into a park for something that's not there. The festival was still held however and the park was festive and merry.


















Despite my initial disappointment, I thoroughly enjoyed the four hours in the park. I am a plant person and walking in a park looking at the flowers and trees soothes my soul.

I had forgotten to bring my phone and we were to meet up at the Grand Central Terminal. I waited for an hour and half and Yi was no show. I was frantic.

Cupcakes in a bakery in Grand Central Terminal.

I walked all the way home from the terminal because I didn't want to figure out the interchange. It took 45 minutes, and it was a great walk because the streets of NYC are all laid out evenly in a grid. There was so much to see. People, shops, lights, window displays.

When I got to the corner outside our apartment and waited at the lights, I looked at the person on my right and it was my daughter. We hugged and cried and celebrated at Momoya, a Japanese restaurant at the corner of 7th Ave and 21 St. There was a long wait but we didn't mind.

This was a big bowl of unagidon (soy sauce eel on rice). Very delicious.

The assorted sushi and sashimi platter was very fresh and delicious. I found the food in Momoya better than the other Japanese restaurants I had been to in NYC, including the hottest restaurant in town, Momofuku.


Michelle Chin said...

how did you get a table at momofuku?!


Hi Terry

YAYYYYY!!! I finally have something to read after a long wait. And boy am I glad you wrote so much... the flowers are beautiful!

I am looking forward to more.. heh heh. When will u be back?

ck said...

Hi Terri,

Thank you for posting your experience in US. I lived in NYC for 10 years but have been living in SF bay area for 30 now. I left my heart in NYC and plan to move back when my kid goes off to college this fall. Anyway, it's a small world. I live in Palo Alto where the Stanford U is located and a friend of mind told me you had stayed with Katherine in Saratoga a week ago.

I love your sentiment here about the walking in NYC especially in contrast of what you blogged about the streets in KL when you were getting the passport. "It took 45 minutes, and it was a great walk because the streets of NYC are all laid out evenly in a grid. There was so much to see. People, shops, lights, window displays."

It's so good to see our world through your eyes. In some ways, you actually awaken me a bit and make me appreciate what we have here.

Thank you,

kelly said...

The cherry trees in the botanical gardens are beautiful. Next time if you plan to go check their website, it has a live update of their cherry trees to keep track of the blooms.

I used to not like Mexican food and I am not sure if I am a fan of the authentic kind. =) What I am talking about is the chain Chipotle. Their chicken fajita with peppers, onions, corn salsa, guacamole is the best. Their chicken meat is also hormone free, and much of their food is also organic so very healthy. My friends and family all love it.

Eil said...

You can check the status of what flowers are in bloom online.

I went in early April and the sakura were already gone due to drastic weather changes in March. I thought the gardens were still really pretty though.

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

michelle: ah, wait for my momofuku post:)

runningbrook: i am back already, dear!

connie: i left my heart in NYC too lol! oh, it's kathleen and the chongs are awesome! enjoyed every minute with them, so nice n hospitable!u shd be thankful; everybody wants to live in the states:)
kelly; the sakura festival was scheduled for tt weekend. oh, i walked into chipotle at westfields in SF one night but they were just closing. ..fated not to eat mexican, i thought. but if i knew it was good, i would've given chipotle a try:(
eli: i read about the festival in a tour guide booklet. they shd schedule the festival earlier bc end of april is rather late considering tt it's middle/late spring.

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