If you believe that home lighting should be fun and whimsical rather than predictable and ordinary, then you’ll probably appreciate the bright pink, abstract flower shades that make up Velvet Solar Star, a chandelier-type-thing by artist Jonathan Trayte.
Cherry Tree Blossoms in Brooklyn’s Greenwood Cemetery (All Photos By Gail)
Today, April 22nd, is Earth Day, so I wanted to celebrate something from the earth that adds value to my life each time I leave my house. For me right now, that means spring flowers. We didn’t get to fully enjoy the unique beauty of spring in 2020, due to the pandemic lockdown, but now many parks and botanical gardens are reopened and in full bloom. On the weekends especially, I try to spend as much time outside as possible, and flowers are my favorite subject to photograph. Please enjoy this carefully-curated selection of ten beautiful flowers taken during my recent adventures in and around the NYC area.
As soon as weather turns from winter to spring, you are going to see a full spectrum of jewel-hued tulips pop up all over NYC. These guys were hanging out in a public planter in the Flatiron District.
This rose bush grows in a planter bed out front of my apartment building, and it somehow manages to stay alive nearly all year long. This photo was taken in early December of 2017, and I can’t believe I got such a great shot of these tiny Pink Blossoms, and one still-tight bud, covered in a light snowfall. The roses are actually taking a break right now as there’s at least two feet of accumulated snow in the bed, but this photo is a reminder that they’ll be back in the spring.
Say you were creating a miniature holiday diorama, and you were in need of something to represent a Pink Christmas Tree. Wouldn’t this flower, which is a variety of Cockscomb, be just the thing? These little pink blooms have been spotted in the public flower beds around First Avenue and 16th Street during the transition into early fall, although the bright pink color fades as they come to the end of their lifecycle.
Purple Crocus’ on the High Line (All Photos By Gail)
In the Covid Life, I’m fortunate to be able to work from home, be in good health, have enough food, cable TV, and everything needed to make the lock-down more comfortable. I really can’t complain. I can get by for a few months without going shopping, eating in my favorite restaurant, or seeing a movie in the theater. The one thing I do get a bit wistful about is not being able to fully enjoy the beauty of Spring.
In an email I received from them this morning, the Museum of Modern Art was quick to remind me that, “Five hundred tulips are blooming in the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden right now, and no one is there to enjoy them.” Thanks for the reminder! Spring, the season of renewal, is happening all around us while we are being advised to stay inside. It kills me. In a normal year, I would have at the very least attended Sakura Matsuri, the Cherry Blossom Festival hosted by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden — which is such a terrific way to usher in the season. Even the NYBG’s Orchid Show closed prematurely. Beauty is still out there, so I preserve it on my walks. If you’re struggling with Cabin Fever, please enjoy a little bit of spring in this week’s edition of my East Village Life.
Tompkins Square Park is the closest park to my home; being located between Avenues A and B, and between East 7th and East 9th Streets. There have been a few outstanding flowering cherry trees there this spring. Check them out!
As much as I wish we could have trees that look like this year-round, they surely would not be appreciated if their beauty was not so ephemeral.
Here’s a closer look at that same tree. When I checked the Instagram accounts of my neighbors on this particular afternoon, everyone was posting their own photos of . . . that same tree. It was just too perfect.
Different tree, same park.
These were across the street from my apartment, on 14th Street outside Stuyvesant Town. I love the side-by-side contrast of the trees against the blue sky, and then the red brick building.
I took this photo very late in the afternoon, which is apparent by the light, or lack thereof. This tree enjoys its life inside one of the East Village’s community gardens that add so much value to this neighborhood.
When I posted this photo on Instagram it got twice the usual number of likes. I think that has something to do with the visual appeal of the white flowering tree next to the white building. This is First Avenue just south of 14th Street.
A cool thing about Cherry Blossoms is that you don’t have to get the entire tree to capture a great photo; in fact, a small cluster of flowers, or even a single bloom, can convey so much more about the beauty of spring. This photo was taken on the High Line in early March, one week before lock-down.
Also, the pink color is like a magnet, attracting me to the tree.
While Covid Life keeps us physically apart, The Museum of Art and Photography (MAP) in India is working to bring us together — digitally. MAP Founder Abhishek Poddar requests your participation in a collaborative digital art project to create the world’s largest digital flower Bouquet of Hope.
Here’s a bit of backstory on the inspiration for this engaging project. In honor of his parents 25th Wedding Anniversary back in 1989, Abhishek surprised them with an art installation made up of 25 flowers. Well-known artists from India created a single flower, one for each year of his parents married life together, in the artist’s own unique style; each image reminding them of a fond moment. “At times like these, we hold on to precious memories – of family times, of challenges we managed to overcome, of personal journeys we ventured on” said Abhishek. Flowers are a celebration of hope, love, and courage – something the world needs now more than ever!
Right now, anyone and everyone is invited to join MAP in creating this Bouquet of Hope. Paint, draw or sketch a flower, snap a picture from your garden or balcony, or even create a flower motif from objects or textiles in your home (food, toilet paper, shoes, pillows). The possibilities are endless.
Images can be submitted to, and viewed at www.bouquetofhope.in. I’ve already contributed a few images of Orchids that I took while visiting the NYBG Orchid Show in February. Remember to use #BouquetofHope and tag @MAPBangalore when posting on social media channels. Enjoy!
When I check the calendar on my iPhone, it’s easy to isolate March 7th, the day I visited the Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden, as the last time I attended a public event at any cultural institution. Maybe ten days later, the NYBG, like every other art museum, gallery and event space in NYC, closed for an indeterminate period of time as part of the Covid-19 shelter-in-place order. The new normal for many of us living in the city means life with little or no contact with nature and art: which is just unacceptable. For this reason, Worleygig.com brings you Art in the Time of Covid. Today we are going to revisit NYBG Orchid Show!
While the Garden is thankfully being tended to by groundskeepers during its closure, the Orchid Show, originally scheduled to run through April 19th, will not reopen this year. If you missed it, you at can least peruse a selection of photos I took during my visit to make you feel as if you were there (#livethroughme)
Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope Orchid Show (Click Image to Enlarge for Detail)
This year’s 18th annual Orchid Show, entitled Kaleidoscope, was created by Jeff Leatham, famed artistic director of the Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris. Leatham’s bold and colorful vision unfolded through captivating installations and designs, transforming each gallery of the exhibition in the historic glass Enid A. Haupt Conservatory into a different color experience and visual effect, like the turn of a kaleidoscope.
Enid A. Haupt Conservatory
Thousands of orchids provided bursts of forms and colors — in purples, reds, oranges, and hot pink — revealed through overhead arches, vine-inspired ribbons, mirrored sculpture, dramatic lighting, and other artistic embellishments.
I didn’t make note of the majority the names of these species, so I will just post for the enjoyment of how lovely they are. All flowers will be presented in the order in which they were seen by me as I travelled through the conservatory!
I believe that there is no better way to improve your skills as a photographer than to take photos of flowers. Who agrees?
This is one of my favorites. Do you wonder why there are so many different types of orchids? Different orchid species evolved to attract specific animal pollinators. Sometimes a flower’s color can hint at its unique pollination mechanism.
Some white and light-colored orchids attract nocturnal moths. Their pale coloration reflects moonlight and makes them visible to moths that can only distinguish between light and dark.
The NYBG Orchid Show Continues, With Many More Photos, After the Jump!