The Day NYC Stood Still & The Country Vegetables Came Out in Protest. That is, after July 4th.

Now, what do vegetables,  New York City standing still and July 4th have to do with New York Botanical Garden celebrating its 125th anniversary?


There I was entering the New York Botanical Garden after a much anticipated July 4th weekend. It was on a Wednesday, where all who care to enter can come in for free. Oh so I thought would be the case for me.

As I moved to the left, I saw the Farmer’s Market sign. There they were, the most humongous beets I had ever seen from Acevedo’s Farm. On the side were tangerine sized radishes & the other side carrots ready to be torpedoed into the sky.

Why did this particular Farmer’s Market catch my eye? First of all I was not ready for it and secondly, just last week I was looking for some vegetables to buy and all I could think was, “what a sad bunch of produce.” I managed to grab three measly beets all the while saying, “at least I can saute the tall fan like leaves for some vitamins.” Radishes are not a typical buy for me & I already had some carrots  trapped in some plastic in the fridge drawer. By the way, at checkout I didn’t purchase the beets. So these vegetables at the entrance of The New York Botanical Garden really caught my eye.

In a city that has been accoladed  for fast movement, fast food, fast thinking – grab and go. Here I was at the entrance of a treasured refuge. My feet felt light, soft and my steps slowed down. I wanted to embrace the moment. NYC really stood still. Green everywhere. If you can stand some lawnmowers, trimmers and sounds from blowers on a Wednesday then come on down for free. I was feeling alright.

Since the air was a little hot, I happened to sit down at a Tram Stop. I wasn’t in the mood for sweating or feeling tired. I walked back to the entrance and brought a ticket. I decided to hop on the Tram. I did so three times and discovered alot about The NY Botanical Garden. I then walked over to the Conservatory and was wowed as I walked through it twice. The building itself gleaming white, glass enclosed, with countless types of foliage to ooh and aah about. Lastly, I walked across to the grand library and enjoyed Impressionist Art. All for just $18. You get $2 off if you provide an e-mail. Since, I have 4 e-mails…..oh well not really.

NY Botanical Garden was inspired by Nathiel Lord Britton and his wife Elizabeth. Both were botanists who visited the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew located near the city of London. When they came back to NY, they campaigned for a Garden in NYC. From 1888 they campaigned until 1891 when The N.Y. Botanical Garden was chartered by New York State. (see Mission and History | NYBG – New York Botanical Garden on Google)

From the history lesson on the Tram (I strongly suggest a ride earlier in the day before the crowds come in and you can’t hear a thing) I learned that there was an outcry against  the hustle and bustle of the Industrial Age.  Gardens were created to slow down the rapid change in the environment from city building in the 18th & 19th centuries. Little do we realize that gardens are needed much more now then ever. As many people look down and into their phones, life goes by much more quicker as we scan rapid images and words. No one hardly looks to and out at natural space. Actually at a humanly pace.

You really need to put that phone away. 125 years of garden bliss changes one perspective. We just celebrated a day of Independence. Yet, for how many years now have we been dependent on the cell phone that limits our view? Being present in the moment that exists now is what we’ve lost.  Come to NY Botanical Garden and NYC will have no choice but to stand still. I dare you to experience the difference.

In a note back to those vegetables, it took that day at NY Botanical Garden to understand what conservationists have been rallying about. We’re so use to seeing sub par food in our supermarkets that when we bump into the contrast, we realize that something has gone terribly wrong in the environment at large. Or rather our rushed methods don’t produce much in quality.

It was truly an enjoyable day. The smell alone was refreshing. I did get assaulted by a teenager and a child as they passed by. Sad but true. The teenager (I’ll translate the slang) stated rather loudly and continuously, “What a horrible smell.” And the child kept saying yuck, yuck, yuck! All the while the child’s  guardian kept saying to them, “You have to get use to the smell.” I could understand if manure or fish compost was freshly laid on the ground, but all I could smell was freshly cut grass. I guess if all you know is pollution then of course fresh air would be a problem.

As I dragged my feet out of NY Botanical Garden, all I could say was, “I’ll be back.” The guy in charge of the Tram ride tried to get me back on but I had to decline as I wanted to miss rush hour.

P.S. Go for yourself and tell me if pollution smells better? You should be able to walk in and out knowing the difference.

New York Botanical Garden – 125 years celebrating nature right in New York City.

PPS. At the Farmer’s Market I had a vegan pumpkin muffin from Meredith’s Bread that was absolutely delicious.

Regine Baptiste




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s