Story and photos by Barbara Angelakis
New York Botanical Garden
2900 Southern Boulevard
Bronx, New York 10548
Anytime of the year; summer, winter, spring or fall, you can count on the New York Botanical Garden to present colorful, creative, and all-age, crowd-pleasing programs and exhibits. In addition to the perennial garlanded paths and walkways of flowering trees and plants that change according to season and their continuing educational programs, tours and classes, I have enjoyed viewing and sharing with you, our readers, their spectacular annual Orchid Show; their awesome Holiday Train Show and their special artist’s exhibits – who could forget the 2018 Georgia O’Keeffe’s Garden of Delights?
A festive program introduced during this challenging year - when we all could use a bit of cheer to end 2020 on a hopeful note - is their new panoply of light and color titled NYBG Glow. NYBG Glow is a limited afterhours sound and light extravaganza to light up the darkest time of the year. The exhibit is open between 5 P.M. and 10:00 P.M., during special nights between Friday, November 27, 2020 and Saturday, January 16, 2021; the garden welcomes guests entry until 9 P.M. Timed reservations are required to control crowding.
Entering the Garden through the main entrance on Southern Boulevard, you pass the Levy Visitor Center and the Pine Tree Café - a good place to take note of for a bit of warmth and sustenance when you need a break from the night chill. Next is a stunning light display outside the wonderful NYBG Shop, while just opposite is the Reflecting Pool, with its brightly decorated tree and huge speakers blaring out the well-known Nutcracker Suite by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Periodically dancers will spontaneously perform solos from The Hip Hop Nutcracker, an award-winning contemporary reimagining of the famous ballet set to Tchaikovsky’s beloved score.
We happened to be there the night of the last full moon of 2020 and it vied successfully for attention, holding its own against the artificial lights.
Further along the path the garden’s ancient grouping of trees were bejeweled in blue, green and red; while pitch black pathways were lit up with snowflake lights to guide you safely around the garden. They guide you towards great balls of lights scattered on the broad lawn in front of the glowing Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, the stunning glass building that enchants all visitors to the garden.
Further on the Home Gardening Center is bedecked in a blaze of led lights, oh’s and ah’s could be heard as we continued on our way towards the massive ice sculpture being carved in front of our eyes by an artist wielding a power saw. Next we encountered the warmth of the firepits – fire and ice, perfect for the time of year, all that was missing was a white coating of snow. All the while the music followed us as we passed the Hudson Garden Grill, and another opportunity for a snack or warm beverage.
It was a bit too cold to linger so we ended the evening exploring the gift shop and stocking up on gifts for upcoming events. The Botanical Garden is only 20 minutes by car from Manhattan with ample parking facilities, but even better if you want to avoid the drive, catch the Metro-North Harlem local line from Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan to the Botanical Garden Station. A short walk across Southern Boulevard and you will arrive at the Garden’s Mosholu entrance and you can do the walk in reverse.
For information and ticketing visit www.nybg.org/event/nybg-glow/
Happy New Year to All
Happy New Year – Bonne Année – ¡Feliz Año Nuevo! – Blwyddyn Newydd Dda – Buon anno – Frohes Neues Jahr – Gelukkig Nieuwjaar – Gleðilegt nýtt ár -Voorspoedige Nuwe Jaar - Eutychismenos o Kainourgios Chronos -Hauoli Makahiki Hou - Shana Tova - Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu - guò nián hão - saehae bog manhi badeuseyo - Novym Godom - Gott nytt år - Jabulela Unyaka Omusha - Naya Saal Mubaarak Ho - Mutlu yıllar - Hyvää Uutta Vuotta - lang may yer lum reek.
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