on June 26, 2007
My girlfriend, our friend and I went to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden (www.bbg.org) not too long ago for the Cherry Blossom Festival (www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/cms/index.php?id=390). The garden is usually a free admission park but because of the festival, the cost of the park was $8 (or $5 for students). The festival is an Asian influenced festival that celebrates the blossoming of the Cherry Blossom trees. On any given day, the Brooklyn Botanical Garden is a great place to visit to see wide open fields, gather some fresh air and see some great waterfront (man made ponds) views. When we exited the subway stop (which is only a block or so away from the entrance) there was an ever increasing line because of the large cultural draw. We ran to get on line as fast as possible and beat as much of the crowd as possible, if only at least in the beginning. After paying the decreased admission fare (using our student ID’s) we entered the world of wonder that the Cherry Blossom Festival had to offer. The first part of the garden was as normal as could be, with blossoming flowers and fully robust trees. But as we made our way down towards the pond area, we started to feel the true effect of the festival. With hundreds of people dressed in traditional Asian influenced dresses and the giant tent in the center offering different workshops and shows, the day was really coming together. One of the first things that we did was explore the indoor exhibits which consisted of ice sculptures and ice flower pots. This sounds a lot cooler than it really was. There were a total of three ice sculptures and one ice flower pot and they were melting fast. We then proceeded to get lost for a little while only to end up near the pond where they were giving guided tours of the park. The lines and wait for these tours were way too long, so we just walked over to the tent to see what was happening there. There was a sound of drums emanating from the tent and crowds were swarming like moths to a flame. As we situated ourselves just under the tent, the show was just starting. This was a drum ensemble with an Asian dance team doing ancient dance styles with swords and the like. This was the coolest thing and the drummers (who a lot were not Asian) were amazing. As the show went on, the dancers acted out a battle scene through their dance and it was great and awe inspiring. After a day of flowers, dancing, workshops, and allergies (bring Claritin with you, you’ll need it) we had had enough. It was time to head home, shower and take a nap. The festival was exhausting. But, if you have a chance, it up the Brooklyn Botanical Garden because it is a phenomenal paradise in a metropolitan region.
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