CITY OF STARS

Where New York - - Contents -

To quote Robin Wil­liams, “Spring is na­ture’s way of say­ing, ’Let’s party!’”

All the signs are say­ing that spring is fi­nally here. The last of the snow has melted; the trees lin­ing the side­walks are slowly re­gain­ing color on their branches; New York­ers are reemerg­ing from their heated apart­ments with­out mul­ti­ple layers of out­er­wear; and there’s nary a lost mit­ten in sight. Now that na­ture has given us the go-ahead, flower-re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties are pop­ping up all over the cal­en­dar, bring­ing you blos­somy fun ap­pro­pri­ate for any oc­ca­sion and au­di­ence.

For starters, a trip to the New York Botan­i­cal Gar­den, in the Bronx, is most def­i­nitely worth the ef­fort. You can catch the tail end of the gar­den’s 15th year of pre­sent­ing stun­ning orchids in “The Or­chid Show: Thai­land” (thru April 9). Thai­land to­day is the biggest ex­porter of trop­i­cal orchids in the world, and this ex­hibit takes full ad­van­tage of that fact, with dis­plays of ele­phant top­i­aries, walk­ways and lush gar­dens planted and filled with Vanda, Den­dro­bium and Paphio­pe­dilum orchids, all daz­zling in color and de­sign. Also this month: In­te­grat­ing nat­u­ral beauty with artis­tic mas­tery, the New York Botan­i­cal Gar­den’s Dale Chi­huly ex­hibit fea­tures glass work and draw­ings from Chi­huly’s mul­ti­decade ca­reer as a glass artist, in­clud­ing new pieces and mod­ern in­ter­pre­ta­tions of his older cre­ations. Be­gin­ning on April 22 and run­ning through the fall, the ex­hibit also ush­ers in a va­ri­ety of events for kids and adults alike to in­ter­act with and be in­spired by Chi­huly’s visions. Join the NYBG on the 22nd and 23rd for the open­ing week­end of its Earth Day Cel­e­bra­tion, or at­tend “Chi­huly Nights,” a weekly op­por­tu­nity for vis­i­tors to en­joy the in­stal­la­tions ac­com­pa­nied by live mu­sic, food and spe­cialty cock­tails.

Else­where in the Bronx, Wave Hill, the

If you think New York is all about con­crete and steel, think again. Our spring is ac­tu­ally an an­thophile’s par­adise. By Sonia Weiser

28-acre pub­lic gar­den, has flow­ers aplenty as well as guided walks on Satur­days, Sun­days and Tues­days, and pro­gram­ming through­out the year. This April, visit the gar­den for Ar­bor Week­end from the 28th through the 30th for fam­ily-friendly ac­tiv­i­ties and demon­stra­tions, and look out for sea­sonal flo­ral fa­vorites like lilacs, aza­leas and Vir­ginia blue­bells. From 10 am to 4 pm, find fresh, lo­cally sourced snacks and meals at The Café, in­clud­ing veg­e­tar­ian, ve­gan and gluten-free options. If you’re crav­ing some­thing ex­tra-re­fined, make reser­va­tions for af­ter­noon tea on Tues­days through Fri­days at 2 and 2:30 pm.

If Brook­lyn is more your thing, you can cel­e­brate the cherry blos­som sea­son at Brook­lyn Botanic Gar­den’s Sakura Mat­suri, April 29–30. Im­merse your­self in new and tra­di­tional Ja­panese dance, mu­sic, food and art through per­for­mances, work­shops and other in­ter­ac­tive events. Be­fore you leave, pay a visit to the other plants in bloom through­out the cam­pus’ many gar­dens, such as tulips, marigolds and daf­fodils, and pick up a sou­venir at the Gar­den Shop. If you can’t make it to the week­end’s fes­tiv­i­ties, BBG is open weekly from Tues­day through Sun­day.

The The­ater Dis­trict—and more specif­i­cally, Times Square—isn’t known for its flora, but this month, that’s all go­ing to change as “Sound of Ikebana (Spring)” takes over the elec­tronic bill­boards in Mid­town. Cre­ated by artist and Ja­pan Cul­tural En­voy 2016, Naoko Tosa, the video, filmed at 2,000 frames per sec­ond, cap­tures the or­ganic move­ment of liq­uid paints as they’re ma­nip­u­lated through sound vi­bra­tion. The ex­pres­sive dis­play of merg­ing col­ors and tex­tures is a mod­ern trans­la­tion of the Ja­panese art of flo­ral ar­rang­ing (ikebana) and while that may be hard to imag­ine, the re­sem­blance is noth­ing short of mag­nif­i­cent. Make sure to stop and ad­mire be­fore or af­ter a Broad­way show—or go to check it out on its own.

Even long­time New York­ers will tell you that Cen­tral Park in the springtime never gets old. If an af­ter­noon away from honk­ing cars and mas­sive crowds of of­fice work­ers strikes your fancy, stroll along all (or some) of the 58 miles of tree-lined path­ways through the gar­dens and breathe in the fresh air. While you’re at it, pay a visit to the cherry blos­soms on the east side of the Reser­voir, the tulips and spi­raea at East 90th Street, or the red­buds span­ning West 86th Street to West 90th. If that’s not enough, check out the Cen­tral Park web­site’s Bloom Guide, which lists all of the Park’s sea­sonal beau­ties and their lo­ca­tions. And if you’re a film buff, stop by the quickly-turn­ing-green Sheep Meadow, where parts of “Wall Street” were filmed; the 40-foot-wide Mall and Lit­er­ary Walk, flanked by rows of Amer­i­can elm trees, where a young Justin Henry ran from Dustin Hoff­man into the arms of his es­tranged mother, Meryl Streep, in “Kramer vs. Kramer;” and Cen­tral Park’s Bow Bridge, where Peter Parker courted Mary Jane Wat­son with a bou­quet of flow­ers in “Spi­derMan 3.”

Whether it’s your first time vis­it­ing the High Line, or walk­ing on the el­e­vated park is an­other part of your New York rou­tine when in town, there’s al­ways some­thing new to dis­cover along this West Side oa­sis. The well-cu­rated gar­dens are full of flow­ers, shrubs and trees like hy­acinths, sas­safras and wild gera­ni­ums. Un­ex­pected species pop up to de­light, like a gor­geous growth called Vin­tage Wine cone­flow­ers, adding vi­brancy to the old freight rails. For a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of ev­ery­thing the High Line has to dis­cover, join a free tour and learn more about the park’s his­tory and de­sign or just sit on one of the many benches, watch all the peo­ple go by and see if you can spot some spec­tac­u­lar new wild­flower. You never know what you might see.

The Mall and Lit­er­ary Walk in Cen­tral Park, flanked by Amer­i­can elm trees, is where parts of “Kramer vs. Kramer” were filmed.

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