Posts Tagged ‘New York Botanical Garden’

You Still Have Time to See the Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden

You have just one more week to see The Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, and this year you can get closer to it than ever because of the show’s layout in a new space while the Palm Dome is undergoing restoration. The 28th version of the Holiday Train Show® at The New York Botanical Garden showcases Central Park, the most popular urban park in America, along with some of the city’s favorite landmarks. The beloved holiday event continues through January 26 and is a don’t-miss for architecture fans, city fans and train fans of all ages.

Central Park, designed in 1858 by landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, occupies not only the middle of Manhattan but also a special place in the hearts of New Yorkers and in the American imagination. Visited by more people than any other urban park in the United States, it has been featured in hundreds of movies. Perhaps even more important, Olmsted and Vaux’s “Greensward Plan” inspired cities across the country to set aside large open spaces as public parks. A striking feature of their design was the wide variety of buildings and architectural elements they included to complement the natural setting.

The miniature Central Park wonderland at the Holiday Train Show is made of natural materials including birch bark, lotus ponds, twigs, stems, fruit, seeds, fungus, pine cones, acorns and cinnamon sticks with mind-boggling creations of buildings, bridges, landscapes and train tracks, artistically crafted by founding visionary Paul Busse’s team at Applied Imagination. Model trains zip through an enchanting display of more than 175 New York landmarks.

New replicas of Central Park’s iconic architectural features include Belvedere Castle, the Dairy, the Old Bandstand, the Angel of the Waters sculpture atop the Bethesda Fountain, and two graceful pedestrian bridges. You’ll also see famous New York buildings that are either adjacent to the park or just inside it including the Plaza Hotel, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Rose Center for Earth and Space, part of the American Museum of Natural History.

In addition to the Central Park area, emphasis this year is on representing buildings that haven’t been highlighted in previous displays or in other ways in the city. Painstakingly recreated from old photos and records, many buildings long gone from the city’s landscape are presented. It warrants considerable time to ruminate on New York past and the architectural wonders that have been replaced by today’s skyscrapers and you’ll have a chance to view them virtually side-by-side with the city’s newest icons like The Oculus, looking almost like a mini-bug with its winged architecture. Plan on spending at least two hours to thoroughly enjoy the displays of each borough, the iconic city buildings, and watch the trains meandering throughout the exhibit.

Train lovers will enjoy more than 25 G-scale model trains and trolleys that hum along nearly a half-mile of track past re-creations of iconic sites from all five boroughs of New York City, the Hudson River Valley, and other locations in New York State. American steam engines, streetcars from the late 1800s, and modern freight and passenger trains travel underneath overhead trestles, through tunnels, across rustic bridges, and past waterfalls that cascade into flowing creeks. Thomas the Tank Engine™ and other beloved trains disguised as large colorful insects add additional fun to the displays.

The New York Botanical Garden is a museum of plants located in the Bronx. The Holiday Train Show is very busy, so buy your timed tickets in advance at www.nybg.org .  The New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, New York.

New Year’s Day Fun in New York City

The evening’s festivities are over; here are some activities to consider for the first day of 2018.

Are you a daredevil?  The weather promises to be freezing on New Year’s Day, but that doesn’t deter these folks from plunging into the icy cold water at Coney Island in Brooklyn. The Coney Island Polar Bear Club New Year’s Day Plunge is free with and begins at 1pm at the Stillwell Avenue boardwalk entrance. Participants get free admission to the New York Aquarium and a post-dip warm up at Coney Island Brewing Company and Steeplechase Beer Garden. A $25 donation is suggested to benefit local Coney Island organizations including the New York Aquarium and the Alliance for Coney Island.

Train lovers still have time to catch the annual Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx where model trains travel through a miniature landscape of 150+ iconic city structures. This year’s version spotlights Midtown Manhattan, with a new Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, General Electric Building and more on view through January 15. Advance reservations are strongly recommended as tickets do sell out. https://www.nybg.org/event/holiday-train-show/.

In Queens, the 2018 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®—hockey’s highest profile regular-season game—will be held at Citi Field on New Year’s Day.  January 1, 2018 will mark the first time the game is held in New York City. Even if you don’t have a ticket, there will still be fun activities outside of the stadium starting at 9am including a DJ, giveaways, refreshments and more.

If you plan to ice skate at Rockefeller Center, 5th Avenue between 49t5h and 50th streets, here’s what you need to know to book a reservations through VIP igloo if you’d like to avoid the lines and also get complimentary skate rentals (although general admission does not require a reservation.)  https://therinkatrockcenter.com/vip-skate-rink-reservations https://therinkatrockcenter.com/reservations.  Hours are 8:30am until midnight daily.

Warm up after with Maison du Chocolat’s fabulously, thick and perfectly sweet chocolat at 30 Rockefeller Plaza and also on the Upper East Side at 1018 Madison Avenue. http://www.lamaisonduchocolat.us/en_us/ Or at Jacques Torres, aka Mr. Chocolate, also at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. http://www.mrchocolate.com/

And no matter where or what the New Year’s celebrations have been, the potato powered FryGuys, www.fryguysnyc.com will be ready to soothe your hunger or hangover  with their new boat load of OG twice fried frys, topped with scrambled eggs, bacon an cheese, then crowned with a fried egg and fried chicken. Dubbed the Brunch so Hard, this will satisfy your hunger as you enter the New Year.  FryGuys, 150 2nd St.

For more NYC info, check out https://www.nycgo.com/.

Dale Chihuly Exhibit at New York Botanical Garden: Now through October 29

Glass artist Dale Chihuly has taken over the New York Botanical Garden once again. With his new exhibit designed to complement the Botanical Garden’s landscape and architecture, Chihuly again shows his masterful use of color and material with glass sculptures intermingled among plants, near trees, and adjacent to buildings.

On exhibit outdoors through October 29, the myriad glass sculptures transform into neon spectacles at night. This is Dale Chihuly’s first outdoor exhibit in New York in a decade and one which you shouldn’t miss.  Twenty pieces including a greenish yellow tree, tangles of colored neon, and red logs are scattered among the 250 acres of the gardens, looking perfectly in place against the foliage and flowers. Overhead, hanging chandeliers, a Chihuly signature, fascinate with their twists and curls.

Also displayed (indoors) are sketches from earlier in Chihuly’s career as well as some of his earlier art glass pieces.

For an artist as familiar as Dale Chihuly has become (his pieces are in hotels worldwide, in office buildings, and a permanent part of the NYBG collection), it’s a revelation to see these works sited outdoors, glass that’s impervious to the elements and makes a statement of color and design along the paths of green that fill the gardens.

Before the end of the month, the leaves will begin to turn, undoubtedly creating another feeling and expression of the art.  See the pieces now when everything is pure green, but definitely return by month’s end both to witness the change in environment and to bid a fond farewell to a beautiful exhibit.

Dining Tip: Enjoy a diverse and creative menu of paninis, pizzas, salads and desserts among the trees at the Pine Tree Café at the NYBG.  https://www.nybg.org/visit/dining/pine-tree-cafe/

New York Botanical Garden, https://www.nybg.org , 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY, 718-817-8700. Tickets start at $23 for adults and vary by day.  Closed on Monday except for Columbus Day.

Fall and Winter Happenings in the Bronx

The Bronx, named after Jonas Bronck who settled there in 1639, is often overlooked as a destination for a day trip. Yet, it’s a pretty quick subway ride, with, perhaps an Uber connection if your feet get tired. And you can fill a day or two, easily, exploring the borough.

Bronx ZooNot Just for Kids: The Bronx Zoo has something for everyone no matter the season.  Go “Boo at the Zoo” in the fall, feed the penguins any time of the year, or duck into the World of Reptiles to escape the cold and marvel at the gigantic pythons and the tiny dart frogs. Other faves are Jungle World, an Asian-themed warm-climate space where otters, gibbons and 800 other animals roam; Tiger Mountain and the Congo Gorilla Forest.  General admission tickets are $16, with reduced rates for children. The park is open daily from 10am-5pm. 2300 Southern Boulevard, 718-220-5100; http://bronxzoo.com /

Botantical GardenssStop and Smell the Chrysanthemums: No trip to the Bronx is complete without a visit to The New York Botanical Gardens. Year-round exhibits and programs encompass more than 50 landscapes and gardens within the 250-acre space. With more than a million plants, the diverse collection draws large crowds at this time of year for the Holiday Train Show and the Orchid Show in February. Fall walks in the forests and gardens are particularly invigorating. Tuesday through Sunday, 10am–6pm. Check the website for ticket pricing. Bronx River Parkway at Fordham Road, 718-817-8700; http://nybg.org/

SammysEat, Eat, Eat: A surprise to both NYC residents and visitors alike, City Island is a 1½- mile strip of land that offers a variety of seafood restaurants in a boat-friendly residential area. If you close your eyes, you just might think you’ve arrived in a New England fishing village. Well, almost. Try Sammy’s Fish Box Lobster House, a fixture since 1966, with a menu as large as the portions. 41 City Island Avenue, City Island 718-885-0920; https://sammysfishbox.com/

arthur_avenue_cafe_restaurantArthur Avenue is the real Italian neighborhood of New York City, a thriving hub of Italian food and culture. Distinctive from Manhattan’s Little Italy where Albanians and Chinese have taken over the formerly Italian residences and restaurants, this area is populated by generations of Italians with deep roots to the mother land. Arthur Avenue is considered more “authentic” throughout and the place where Italian restaurateurs and local families shop. Check out the many food stores and the indoor retail market building with vendors selling breads, pasta, gelato, sauces and fresh meats from Italy. Restaurants are family-friendly and serve copious portions Many, like the ever-popular Dominick’s, have no menus – just ask for your favorite dish or let the server surprise you with the evening’s specialty. A definite go-to is Mike’s Deli where you can stock up on items to prepare at home or put together a meal to eat on the spot with cured meats, sweets, olive oil and other Italian specialties. 2334 and 2344 Arthur Avenue, Bronx http://arthuravenue.com/

Holiday Activities from Trains to Dining — For the Whole Family

The New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show If your kids love trains or any type of transportation, this show is an absolute don’t-miss.  Model trains and trolleys travel along a landscape of scale models of more than 140 New York landmarks instantly recognizable to any NYC fan.  The kick is that these buildings are made of fruits, twigs, seeds and other materials.  You’ll see the Empire State Building, Yankee Stadium, Penn Station, among others, all in this twinkling wonderland. The New York Botanical Garden,  200th Street and Kazimiroff Boulevard, The Bronx. 718-817-8700. NYBG.org/Holiday-Train-Show.  Through January 13.  Tickets online or at the park.
More on Holiday Activities from Trains to Dining — For the Whole Family

Enjoy the Bronx and a Baseball Fancation: Yankee Stadium – Part I

In this three-part article about how to turn a baseball game stop into a vacation, Fancation, we take you to the Bronx, Yankee Stadium, and the adjacent exciting borough of Manhattan.  Enjoy the ride!

More on Enjoy the Bronx and a Baseball Fancation: Yankee Stadium – Part I

Planning a trip to NYC?