On Sunday I took a trip to the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx. It doesn’t open until 10am which is a problem for a pasty white person, as in the summer months I prefer to go anywhere outside during early morning hours when the sun isn’t as strong so I don’t fry to a crisp. I took the D train there and Metro North back (the station is right in front of the gardens). People, believe me when I tell you, the park is HUGE. And poorly planned. Most garden trails don’t lead to other garden trails, which is odd. And while there is shade in some gardens, the main path is very wide and therefore shadeless. After two hours and what felt like six miles of walking yet only seeing half the park, my 80 SPF sunscreen failed and I ended up with the ever enchanting forehead burn. Yes, mom, I will buy a hat for next time.
There is a Bronx River (who knew?) that runs through the entire park, but I was not made aware of the wooded trail that runs the length of the park along the river until I reached the far end of the park (stupid map). Did I mention that it’s shaded? Phooey. I may go back just for that trail. Otherwise, I much preferred the Brooklyn Botanic Garden as it felt more organically designed. I also didn’t find the Bronx gardens as inspiring as the Brooklyn gardens.
However, here are some of the things I did like:
Is it weird that I have a nature sounds app on my phone and on weekends when hanging out in the apartment with Monkey I play birdsong to drown out the traffic noise? I long to live in the country: fresh air, growing my own vegetables, falling asleep to the sound of crickets, waking to the sound of birds, cursing at deer for snacking on my flowers, hosting dinner parties under the stars in my backyard, drinking coffee on the porch on Sunday mornings as the sun comes up, driving to the farmer’s market in my well-loved pickup truck to sell eggs from my brood of hens.
Instead, each morning I cram myself onto a subway train where someone’s backpack digs into my ribcage, the person in front of me clearly forgot to brush their teeth, and the a/c isn’t working. People look each other over until they are caught staring then quickly avert their eyes. Then it’s up ten thousand flights of stairs out of the subway to the office, where I sit on my ass for 8+ hours straight. WHY! Oh, yeah…a paycheck.
There is respite from city life, and I just found it at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. I went on a Friday morning when there were very few people about. The Japanese Garden was so serene and smelled like soft pine and cool earth. There were dusty green turtles sunning themselves by a waterfall and a variety of colored koi. It was utterly calming. I’m not a fan of store-bought roses because they don’t actually smell anymore, but the Rose Garden was lush with all kinds of beautiful roses and flowers that smelled heavenly. I wish there was a way to bottle up those scents and transport them home with me.
Here are some pics from my visit:
There are more pics on my Instagram feed @lorrainehuntnyc