Tagsibol! (Spring!) at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden’s Sakura

Tuesday May 1, 2018

It is with much anticipation, albeit may well be induced, that New Yorkers await to usher in spring after a long thaw. Come to think about it, sunny days are “technically over” after the Labor Day weekend with days increasingly getting shorter and temperatures progressively dipping down such that by February (the coldest month), everyone is psyched up for a change in season. From this April’s last snow still showing its presence after a day’s tease of spring-like weather, patience lost its bearing and the clamor for the hope of rebirth becomes inevitable, more aptly prescriptive. Last weekend (April 28-29) marked the Garden’s 37th yearly Hanami , “cherry blossom viewing”. This is marked by an exodus of locals and beyond in this Prospect Park, Brooklyn neighborhood with the queue piling hours before the opening at 10 AM ($30 admission). Families play together with fathers carrying their kids up to sniff through the flowers’ subtle fragrance. Also on view are different individuals in their anime costumes, some even in Japanese kimonos, with a few of the men donning their styles for the day. Cultural shows also included traditional dances and a more familiar “Taiko” (drum) dancing using age old trees to create “Wadaiko” drums. The Cherry Esplanade consists of two rows of cherry trees, landscaped in grass, with seating areas on the side. This was where the weeklong Sakura Matsuri celebration occurred. This event is by all means a celebration of all things Japanese with wares offered to guests in a flea style market with vintage kimonos for both genders, tenugui, which are elaborately printed and brightly colored traditional rectangular towels, the use of which evolved beyond hand drying and aproning; dark chocolate cakes, pins, and preserved fruits and jellies. With only very few cherry trees...... Read more on Full Issue!

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