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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Brooklyn, NY 11238