Cherry Blossoms at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (2015)

Tomorrow is “Sakura Matsuri” at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. I probably would go this weekend if I wasn’t working! But I had a day off today, so I avoided the crowds and the higher admission fee (and also the live events set for the highly anticipated annual festival).

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Admission:

Adults $12
Seniors (65 and over) $6
Students with a valid ID $6
Children under 12 Free
Special pricing for Sakura Matsuri

Parking:

Time Weekday Rate
1st hour $5
each additional hour $2
maximum to closing $15

 

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Most trees were still pre-bloom. It’s been a cold Spring so far, so that’s to be expected.

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I love the contrast of the different trees in different stages of life.

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A lot of kids were here on school field trips.

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They do have a small cafe that serves sandwiches, salads, soups and coffee. It definitely pales in comparison to the New York Botanical Garden. 

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Look at all these signs!

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The gift shop was small; they sold plants, apparel, books, trinkets, etc.

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When I visited last year in May, the cherry blossoms were at peak bloom — the splendor of the pink rows of cherry blossoms is still etched in my mind. They will probably bloom next week but for now, enjoy the magnolias and tulips as they are blooming quite beautifully.

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The Orchid Show: Chandeliers At The New York Botanical Garden

It was a perfect day at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, NY. It was supposed to be below 60 degrees, but I didn’t need my coat because it was sunny. Most of the exhibitions are indoors anyway. The theme of the annual Orchid Show this year (February 28–April 19) is Chandeliers.

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Note: Definitely buy your tickets ahead of time online and print them at home. The All-Garden pass for adults on weekdays is $20. AAA has a 20% discount and Mastercard users get 10% discount. For 2 of us, the total came out to be about $30. They do have a parking lot, and it’s normally $12 (again, if you use your Mastercard, it’s $10!).

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We went to their cafe for a light lunch.

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For $10, you can get half a sandwich + half salad/soup. They also serve pizza and coffee.

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We took the tram tour, which lasted about half an hour and is included in the All-Garden Pass. There are 9 stops along the way and you can hop on/off at any of them.

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A bunch of parents with kids hopped off at this stop to play around in dirt.

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We saw some Magnolias that started to bloom.

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The tram took us around for a leisurely tour — most flowers were still not in bloom yet, but it was nice to see what they have to offer in the late Spring/Summer.

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The Shop had so many things I wanted to purchase. I ended up with a cactus plant for $13.50. Other than plants, they also sell pens, journals, books, perfumes and candles, terrarium kits, and much more.

Take your mom out for a lovely day at the New York Botanical Garden!

New York Botanical Garden
2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY

Travelogue: San Francisco (Day 3 of 4)

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One of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had — Taylor Street Coffee Shop! Highly recommended. I can’t rave enough about their Sailor’s Hash: Hash browns topped with an omelette with shrimp, crab, bacon, jalapeno peppers, and a heaping portion of smoked salmon on top. My mom had the french toast and she liked it, which is rare (she’s more critical than I am)!

We took 2 buses to get to the Japanese Tea Garden. Mom is very much into tea, Japanese anything, and flowers. This was perfect. It was free admission because we got there before 10am (every Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays 9-10am!)

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You can reserve a tea ceremony for $25 on Wednesdays and Fridays. I tried to do that but nobody picked up when I called… so instead, I sat near them and sort of experienced it…

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We got our own mochi and tea. They offer other food items as well. Check out the gift shop before you leave!

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Right next door was the SF Botanical Garden. How convenient.

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Next up on our itinerary was Japan Town — we took 2 buses again to get there.

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Japan town had 4 main buildings that house a whole bunch of restaurants, stores, supermarkets. The streets adjacent to them were lined with residential apartments that had a Japanese flair.

It was time to go. We walked to the cable car station and took the least popular one — California-Van Ness line.

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It was a short ride, we didn’t really have to take it but hey, why not?

After we rested up at the hotel, I asked mom what she wanted for our last dinner in SF. She said “seafood”, so I Yelped a restaurant nearby with great reviews — Kim Thanh (Vietnamese), it was AMAZING.

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Sugar cane shrimp — first, you place the shrimp in the middle of the rice paper, then vermicelli noodles and veggies, and then you roll it up yourself. Shrimp was perfectly fried and full of flavor!

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What they were known for was their salt baked crab, which lived up to the hype! Seasoned with salt and pepper, fresh and meaty!

This was a day of good food.