2024.04.19 Brooklyn Botanical Garden and Whitney Museum

Our morning started with Stephanie and I riding the subway to Mallory’s apartment.  And even though we are perfectly capable of navigating our way around the city on our own, Mallory still texted us the directions and which train to take.  (Thanks Mallory!)

We hung out for a few minutes at the apartment.  Ellen even left us a note on the community whiteboard.  (Thanks Ellen!)

Welcome King Family

We had breakfast at Mallory’s favorite spot, Konditori.  When we were in town last December on her birthday, Mallory had bought the breakfast bagels at Konditori, so we already knew we were in for a treat. The “Everything Egg” bagel was legit.


Our first appointment of the day was the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens (BBG), at Prospect Park.  It was a decent sized walk, but the weather was nice and it’s fun to walk in the city.  Mallory got us free community tickets (Thanks BBG!) but it would have been worth whatever the price of admission was.

As we were preparing to walk in, Mallory asked us, “How many species of plants do you think the Botanical Gardens have?”

Steve: 300

Stephanie: 2,000

Mallory: Over 12,000!

The first exhibit we walked through upon entering was the tulip garden.  So many tulips!  Most every type of flower and tree had a clear label on it so we always knew what we were looking at.

Just Try Not To Stick Your Nose In There
Never Ending Tulips

We shortly got to the main event at the BBG – the Cherry Blossoms.  These trees are still in the blooming stage right now, and the many Cherry Blossom trees on the grounds were in full display.

Cherry Blossoms
Mallory and Stephanie Showing Off

During a stroll around the main pond, we were mesmerized by a gigantic Blue Heron perched on top of the Japanese pagoda.  It was a perfect combination of Bird and Architecture.

Mallory and Steve View a Blue Heron
Blue Heron On A Pagoda

Continuing our tour of BBG, we visited the Bonsai Garden.  This room was packed with varying styles of Bonsai trees.  We learned that there is not a specific type of tree that is Bonsai, any tree can be.  It just needs to be carefully pruned and cared for over time to keep it miniature in size.  These were fascinating and was one of the favorite parts of the Gardens for me.

The Bonsai Garden

Editorial Note: The most disgusting thing about the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens was their open admittance that they use dogs to chase away the geese.  Am I the only one around here that loves geese?  Leave ‘em alone!    The exact message was “To control the overwhelming number of geese on the grounds, BBG is using a highly trained dog goose-herding service.  According to the Humane Society, this is the most effective way to chase away the geese.”  The BBG is about to get canceled!

Editorial Note Part 2: On the flip side, Stephanie hates geese and loves the BBG dog policy. (What is even happening now?!)

BBG Hates Geese

Once satisfied we had seen enough flowers and trees, we walked back to Mallory’s apartment, cutting through Prospect Park on the way.  Mallory made sure our walk took us past her church, which was cool to see in person.

Walking Through Prospect Park

After all the walking, we were ready for a snack.  Today we visited the Greek restaurant that occupies the first floor of Mallory’s apartment!  This was her first time to eat there, and I bet not the last.  We shared a Spread Platter with pita bread and a selection of spreads, plus olives.  We were all big fans.

Post-snack, we hung out in Mallory’s apartment for a while, recharged our phones, and caught our breath.  We had dinner plans at 7pm, and decided to go to visit the REI SoHo store beforehand because, well, it is a place we visit on every trip to see Mallory.  Although the shopping was fun this time, nobody bought anything, and we made our way to the Meatpacking District for dinner.

Every Friday night, Mallory has dinner with her friends in what has been termed “Friday Mexican”.  I have learned that “Friday Mexican” can be metaphorical, and more of a state of mind. But tonight, we are truly meeting for Mexican food at Dos Caminos.

Stephanie and I were so delighted to be invited to this sacred event, and meet some of her friends.  The cast of characters, outside of our three, included:

Morgan – A roommate of Mallory’s during her first year in Brooklyn.  Morgan hails from Perry Oklahoma…Long Live Noble County!

Isabella – Went to High School with Mallory’s roommate, Ellen.  Isabella just returned from Coachella, where she bravely received a tooth gem that may or may not be attached permanently for a year.

Maddie – A roommate of Morgan’s this year.  Maddie works at Mount Sinai and has more energy than I’ve ever dreamed of having.

Peter – Went to High School with Mallory.  Peter is a wunderkind who studied overseas and now works in the Empire State Building.

Please excuse the lame descriptions of the dinner guests.  Rest assured these are all high achieving young professionals, and it was a delight to spend a few hours at the same table as them.

Friday Mexican Crew (photo cred: Mallory)
The glamorous Isabella with her Tooth Gem!

We finished our evening with a short walk to the Whitney Museum.  This museum focuses on contemporary and modern art.  The Whitney offers free Friday Nights, so heck yeah we are in.

The museum was featuring a theme of “Even Better Than The Real Thing”.  The first exhibit we walked up to was the Harold Cohen Drawing Machine, which was originally developed in the 1970s and it is essentially a machine creating art.  It had quite a crowd amassed.

Harold Cohen Drawing Machine

The museum closed at 10pm, so we got maybe 45 minutes max to walk through several floors.  Mallory was pretty engaged, but Stephanie and I’s artistic tastes may run more classical.  It was difficult to understand what you were looking at, even after reading the descriptions.  Hey, we tried.

Free Friday Nights

We had the opportunity to step out on the terrace on some of the higher floors of the museum.  It provided wonderful views of the skyline, including the top of the Empire State Building.

Empire State Building
New Yorker With Cape

On our way leaving the museum and heading for the subway, we ended up following a young couple, and we all noticed the man was wearing a cape. Yesterday, we witnessed somebody slip on a banana peel, and today we see a cape.  New York City is delivering. (Thanks NYC!)

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