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Day Trips in the City Living in New York City

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden (Photo Galleries)

Brooklyn Botanic Gardens Map
Brooklyn Botanic Gardens Map

Last month on the 29th my wife and I went to the Brooklyn Museum. Since we were there, we decided we should take a look at the Botanic Gardens, which are right next door. It wasn’t really the season for it. The place is supposed to be a lot nicer when all of the flowers and trees are all in bloom, but it was still a nice place to stop and look around. It’s quiet there. You can almost forget you’re in a city for a while. Some of the roses were still in bloom, which was nice, but I think my favorite part of the trip, which I unfortunately have no pictures of, is the Fragrance Garden. You get to walk around and touch different plants, each of which naturally produces strong fragrances like lemon and spearmint. The odor sticks to your fingers. It’s a great spot for kids and probably for blind people as well, and they had that in mind, because most of the signs in that area are in braille.

Grilled Squash and Zucchini Sandwich with Hummus
Grilled Squash and Zucchini Sandwich with Hummus
Butternut Squash Soup
Butternut Squash Soup

The food at the Botanic Garden was surprisingly good, even the butternut squash soup. It tasted real, if you know what I mean. Not that it necessarily was, but it was thick and was spiced just right. Expensive, though, just like all museum/park cafes. The next time we go, we want to take a picnic lunch to eat on the lawn under the trees. I’m not sure if it’s allowed, but this is one of those things where I don’t think I’d feel bad about it unless I got caught.

Now, for some photo galleries:

The Japanese Garden

The Cranford Rose Garden:

The Bonsai Trees:

Other parts of the Gardens:

Categories
Living in Singapore

Singapore is Blooming!

Over the weekend while my wife and I were on the MRT green line we noticed that the trees are starting to bloom with large white and pink blossoms.  You can see it especially well between Pasir Ris and Tampines MRT stations.  It’s definitely no sakura blossom viewing event, but it’s still attractive.  I wasn’t able to get my camera out in time to take photos of the trees along the train line, but I did take photos of some of the trees around my neighborhood.

This photo was taken on a different day from the first two.  Those are the same two trees, but from across the street.  You can see Loyang Secondary School behind them, as well as two women below them taking photos of the trees just like I was the day before.

These trees are planted down the middle of some of the roadways here in Pasir Ris.  It’s really nice to look at.  I’m going to take a walk down to Pasir Ris Park sometime this week, if I have time, to see if the trees there are blooming and to try to get some better photos.

Categories
Living in Singapore

Orchard Road’s Birds

A post about birds doesn’t sound exciting, but when I say there are birds in the trees, I mean there are birds in the trees on the scale of Alfred Hitchcock’s old movie, The Birds.

“Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds in 1:40”

As you walk down Orchard Road you can hear them up there.  It sounds as if there are hundreds, if not a thousand or more of them, roosting in the trees, squawking continuously at each other.  I suppose for citizens and long-time residents it sounds like background noise.  The first time I was down there, by Cineleisure Orchard, I thought something weird was going on.  They were so loud, and if you sit and watch long enough you’ll see them moving from tree to tree in groups of a dozen or more.

The most bizarre part of it all is that despite there being so many trees, and so many birds in those trees, I have yet to see a sizable quantity of bird crap on the sidewalks or road.  Orchard Road is a tourist area though, so it wouldn’t surprise me if there are workers out there at night spraying the area clean.  That’s probably a good idea regardless.  An excessive amount of bird feces could be hazardous to your health.  That reminds me of a story from when I was in Iraq, but that can wait til another time.

If you’re reading this from outside Singapore and you happen to find yourself on Orchard Road, especially in the Cineleisure Orchard area, keep your ears peeled and you’re sure to hear them.  After being in Singapore for a while those birds feel more like part of the scenery and make the area more interesting.  I can’t imagine being down there and not hearing them chirping en masse.