So I know sometimes you hear me complaining about not having a backyard. Le petit a.p.t. overlooks a sunless interior courtyard that tries (and fails) desperately to grow some cheerful vegetation. There are a few shrubs, some rotting wood "outdoor" furniture, and a sad little garden pagoda. The pigeons totally love it. Whomp whomp.
What I have completely failed to mention is our fabulous front yard. Directly across the street lies one of the most beautiful gems of N.Y.C., The Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Those of you who consider yourselves New Yorkers and haven't visited this gorgeous oasis, shame on you! And those of you who plan on visiting NYC in the near future (you are likely staying on the island of Manhattan), I highly recommend you bump this to the top of your touristy to-do list. Suck it up and get on the 2/3 express! You'll be there in no time, and you'll probably even get a free street dancer performance as the train hurdles from Wall Street to Clark Street.
Better yet, take one of those "Hop On, Hop Off" Tours. I constantly see those giant double-decker buses chugging around our neighborhood. I'll be outside, with Avery in the baby-carrier and Bear in tow, bending over and gingerly picking up dog poop off the sidewalk. All of the sudden I look up and there is a busload of witnesses, some are taking pictures, some pointing. I feel like I'm behind glass, like we are tiny people on display at the museum.
Speaking of tiny people, last week, I took Miss Avery Etta on an excursion all the way across the street to our front yard. It was a little hot and muggy, but I didn't care. I thought I had died and gone to heaven when I was greeted by the graceful wisteria and the delicious aroma of the blooming lilacs. I'm pretty sure I was a florist or at least a gardening enthusiast in a previous life.
I sauntered around, drank my $5 iced-tea from the cafe, got scolded by the hyper-vigilant security guards for drinking said iced-tea outside of cafe perimeters, and marveled at the beauty surrounding me while tiny human napped in her stroller. It was then that I realized, "I am a tourist in my own city!" And I was so glad for that. How I had taken this gift for granted.
Admission is free - yes f.r.e.e. all day on Tuesdays and 10-12 on Saturdays. So y'all have no excuse! I don't either. Don't let "life" get in the way of living. This day, I fought my urge to make excuses and say "it's always there, I'll get to it another day..." Because I got to thinking - what if "another day" never comes?
I'm making a note that whenever I feel like my head is roaring with the city noise and my mind feels cluttered to just get out, get some fresh air, and simply cross the street. There's always something blooming, or at least something to see (yes, even in the winter!). I don't know about you, but coming back to nature and taking the time to appreciate it makes me feel more centered in this insane world.
So, there I was, slightly melting and pushing around the Uppababy, camera in hand, snapping away. Since I find design everywhere, I couldn't help but fall in love with the juxtaposition of the architecture and flora all over again, and feel thankful for the fact that this is literally a stones-throw away from my home. I felt recharged and inspired, and I want to share that here with you.
Avery found this all quite riveting!
Total snoozefest, ma.
Awhile back, my aunt came across this postcard from my paternal grandmother Lillian to a relative. We now have it hanging in a glass frame, preserved by the front door of our apartment. It's postmarked February 5th (Avery's due date!), 1945.
Although I never had the opportunity to know her, it comforts me to know that she was once standing across the street, gazing at the Lily Pool Terrace. I imagine that in some way she was with Avery and I during this journey last week, and always.