Cherry Blossoms Are in Bloom at the Botanic Gardens

I’ve written about my visits to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden before, but I just wanted to offer a refresher since the Sakura Matsuri festival is this weekend (May 2nd and 3rd). If you’re free and in the area (yes, Manhattan counts as “in the area”), you should check out the cherry blossoms in full bloom. Just look how happy I am about it. It kind of looks like I photoshopped myself into that picture, doesn’t it? It’s true. I only have one picture of myself smiling and I just superimpose it whenever I can.

Since the festival is a special event, there isn’t free admission between 10 AM and 12 PM on Saturday like usual. If you can’t go this weekend, the Garden is also free on Tuesdays, which is what I did. No, you don’t have to lose your job to go. You could take the day off…? Luckily, this past Tuesday was sunny and warm, but relatively uncrowded since many people do still have jobs (yes, even during a recession). The tulips have started to bloom, the ducks are out on the pond, and the rose garden will be open within the next couple of weeks. Speaking of cheap things to do in Brooklyn, I also found out that the Coney Island aquarium is free from 3 PM to 5 PM on Fridays.

Some shots from the Gardens:

After walking around the Botanic Garden, I headed over to Cheryl’s Global Soul, which I recommended for brunch in a previous post. If you go to the BBG, Cheryl’s is less than two blocks away, and by the time the BBG closes (6 PM), you’ll avoid the dinner crowd and have the restaurant to yourself. We sat by the front entrance, which was opened up completely because of the weather, and it was like sitting outside but without people on the sidewalk gawking at your food. (The backyard garden section of the restaurant will be open by next week and it is absolutely lovely; it is lined with lights and is sandwiched between some beautiful brownstones.) Cheryl was working the front of the house like last time, and may or may not have commented when I took a picture or two. HEY, I’m not a tourist, I’m just running a really important blog.

Our waiter brought grilled bread and olive oil as we waited for our appetizers, and just something as simple as that can completely influence the rest of the dining experience. For the main entree, I ordered an 8-ounce cheeseburger and fries (because I’m nothing if not an insatiable burger fan in search of the best New York burger) which was $14, and my friend ordered a pork chop with mango chutney on top, garlic green beans, and roasted potatoes ($18). I would’ve gotten dessert there, but we decided to roam the streets of my neighborhood for an hour in search of Mr. Softee instead. He’s never there when you’re looking for him, the jerk, but Ben & Jerry never disappoint.