Seeing the cherry blossoms at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens is an NYC must, so last weekend, I headed there hoping that a few blossoms had defied the unseasonably cold weather to make an appearance.
Thankfully, one or two had. Yes, they were few and far between – but ooh, they were lovely.
Last weekend was the annual Sakura Matsuri festival, where Japanese musicians, dancers, artists and characters swarm the beautiful grounds to entertain visitors as they wander beneath the pink-dusted branches.
It means lots of great costumes, lots of Taikoza drums and lots and lots of people.
If I’m honest, and I don’t say this often, but I wasn’t really a fan. I know this is New York City and I should expect to be overrun with people pretty much wherever I go – particularly at a festival – but this was out of control.
It was busy. Obnoxiously busy. I’d be taking a photograph and someone would whip out their selfie stick and put it in the line of my camera. I started to lose it very quickly.
Last time I went to the Gardens, I came away singing its praises after a leisurely stroll through the grounds. And I really believe this is the way the gardens are best enjoyed – quietly and at your own pace – rather than having to fight off selfie sticks.
Of course, I saw the great side of the festival and loved seeing families enjoying picnics while learning about Japanese culture – but for me, it was more frustration than fun. So in a bid to escape the madness, I headed far away from the blossoms and took in the other flowers instead.
If you want to catch the blossoms this year, my advice is to go on a weekday if you can – and definitely wait another week because most of those blossoms are still hiding from the cold! You can stay up-to-date with how many trees are in bloom at this link.
And if it’s the very serene experience you want from the gardens, avoid this month altogether. I will definitely be heading back… but it’ll be on a warm, quiet afternoon when I can actually see the flowers.
Still, I managed to tick off another thing from my 30 Before 30 list!
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is currently celebrating cherry blossom season and has a nifty map here showing how many trees are in bloom. It’s closed on Monday but open 8am-6pm Tues-Fri and 10am-6pm at the weekends, and it costs $12 for adults… but it’s FREE every Tuesday and between 10-12 every Saturday.