You can see this colorful mural of the Sith Lord Vader (by Street Artist Huetek) in First Street Green Cultural Park, which is located on the north side of E. Houston Street, between 1st and 2nd Avenues in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan. You can also enter at 33 East 1st Street, which is the official address. The murals change frequently, so if you want to see this one, don’t wait too long!
It was a complete accident that Geoffrey and I ended up making a pit stop at the gorgeous Brooklyn Botanic Garden as part of a recent trip to visit the Brooklyn Museum. It wasn’t until we were on the train that I noticed (for the first time, ever) that the Eastern Parkway Stop off the 2 and 3 is also the stop for the BBG, so I suggested to Geoffrey that we “See how far away it is from the museum” once we got out of the subway. What we discovered, much to our ecstatic delight, is that the Garden is literally right next to the Museum. It could not possibly have been more conveniently located. Even better, Geoffrey’s work ID card got us in for free, and since we had no strict agenda to follow, we spent over an hour exploring nature as a prelude to some hardcore, art-viewing action. It was an amazing day!
Make sure you pick up a map of the grounds at the entrance because, while it is fun to just wander freely, the place is massive, and you might find that there are certain areas you want to make sure you see before you need to head out.
Sunscreen is recommended on a bright sunny day, but even if you are looking to get a tan, there are plenty of shady areas to walk, such as this trellis-covered path that took us to our first stop, the Native Flora Garden.
The Native Flora Garden feels like being on a forest path, where you can see hundreds of plants that are native the New York Metropolitan area. It is flat terrain, but it is still a nice hike.
Y0u can also spot birds and other small wildlife.
Limestone Ledge. All of Manhattan used to look like this.
There are lots of wild flowers as well. Most have identifying signs near them so you know what you are looking at. Educational!
The people who created this fountain are truly outdoor fountain pros. I wanted to jump into this fountain to cool off, but it is not allowed.
Next, we headed over to the Cranford Rose Garden.
There must be thousands of Rose bushes, plus other flowers and flowering plants in this garden.
Looking at all of these beautiful rose bushes made me feel extremely nostalgic for my late Grandmother, who had an incredible green thumb and was always so proud of her rose garden.
You could take a million pictures. I nearly did!
Remember that flowers mean that there will be bees buzzing about, doing their thing. If you are allergic, please use caution, but never swat at a bee! Bees make our food. Please let them live.
Looking for a shady place to sit and rest, our next stop was the Cherry Esplanade.
The Cherry Esplanade is rows and rows of Cherry trees that are no longer flowering by Summer, but which provide a gorgeous green shade just the same.
At the end of the Esplanade is the Rose Arc Pool. More Flowers! More Bees! More Sun! Nature is Awesome!
If you walk up to that building and take a left, you’ll end up at the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden.
The pond is a bit green, to say the least, but you can see fish and turtles swimming in it. The Red Archway in the water is called a Torii. It is commonly found at the entrance to a Shinto temple or shrine.
Japanese Maple Tree.
We stopped by the gift shop for quick a browse before making our way back over to the Museum, where we had an excellent time before returning to the city for dinner. I can’t wait to go back to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to see everything we missed on our first trip!
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is Located at 150 Eastern Parkway, with entrances also at 455 Flatbush Avenue, and also at 990 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11225. Take the 2 or 3 to Eastern Parkway if that train is near you! Otherwise, get other directions, plus more information to help plan your visit at This Link!