Jelani had been talking and listing about going to the Botanic Gardens in Brooklyn for a while, and yesterday the planets aligned and made for the perfect sunny day for us to finally make the trip. We had the added benefit of going during Matsuri festival, which is the Japanese way of ringing in the Spring and celebrating the blooming of the amazing sakura cherry trees. Small problem though—the cherries had all bloomed a couple weeks ago, because they were impatient to get over the winter. They shot their proverbial wad a bit early.
Nevertheless, our crew wandered the pathways of the gardens and had a great time eating, talking, and looking at flowers and people. The flowers were one thing, but the people were quite another. Apparently, this Matsuri festival is code for “Cosplayers unite!” because there were hundreds of elaborately dressed characters running around the gardens. Some were gothic lolitas, others were anime characters, and still others were insects. A few may just have very well been oddly dressed people. Either way, the characters walking around there were almost more interesting to me than the scenery, gorgeous as it was. I felt massively underdressed and unimpressive, because I wasn’t in some kind of ninja regalia. The fashion of some of these people was on point, so it was an interesting opportunity to photograph a little recognized community here in New York.
On the floral side of things, the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens has so many gorgeous flowers, you’d have to keep coming back through the spring and summer to see them all. It seemed as if many flowers had already bloomed, and were ready for round two. There were peonies the size of dinner plates, and azalea bushes the size of my studio apartment. The Japanese gardens and pond full of koi were quite marvelous. I would have to say though, that the wisteria that covered trellises all over the grounds were my favorite part of going there. They reminded me of the trellis that my grandmother used to cover with wisteria, grapes, and hanging baskets beside her house. Pretty much all of my lenses got a workout during the trip: my 10-22mm took great scenic shots, my 50mm macro got in a few close-ups, and my 28-135mm captured all the action of the cosplay community.
Observe the beauty that is the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens here on my blog, and then actually go hop on the Q train to Prospect Park and go see the place. I promise everything is so beautiful, you will have a hard time taking a bad photo. Make sure you make time to sit down and soak in the atmosphere over lunch while you rest on the lawns there.