[Photo Journal] Springtime in NYC! A trip to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens and High Line Park

Spring might be the best season in New York City, but it might also be the shortest. Spring in New York is all about taking advantage of the moment. New Yorkers joke that it lasts about 2 weeks before summer takes over, with the humidity and heat that comes with the harsher season.

But New Yorkers know that this time is precious, so it’s a happy time for all. We get to shed our winter layers, and enjoy some sunshine. Even when the sun isn’t shining, it’s still quite pleasant in the city. I went to see the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens cherry blossoms in bloom. I also ventured a bit along the High Line Park!

High Line Park in spring Standard Hotel

Spring at the High Line Park

We live for these times

I love having 4 seasons, but the best in New York are spring and fall. These are when the climate is more forgiving, and you can walk comfortably outdoors in this concrete jungle. New York in spring is about new growth, green, and getting out and stretching your legs.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden in spring

Although it may not be as bad as at higher latitudes, New Yorkers do often suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Spring is welcomed as more daylight hours grace our city and let us do more. I don’t think the stripping down to tank tops and shorts is quite as quick as it can be in London from my experience, but the sandals and skirts do start gracing the sidewalks in April and May.

I do remember the years when I was younger and we had only about a few weeks in August when we needed air conditioning in our home. Ah, those were the days. In more recent memory, you can’t survive a summer in New York without an air conditioner starting from June, sometimes through until early September. This makes spring and fall all the more precious!

Brooklyn Botanic Gardens in spring

I took the chance to go to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens for free on a Tuesday. Unfortunately, it was a rainy Tuesday. I still managed to walk around for nearly 2 hours.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden entrance April 2017

There were tons of families taking a stroll through the gardens. I also stopped for a quick selfie in the pond area that I’ve known and loved since I was a kid. There was even duck there chillin’ like a villain in the middle.

There are a few new areas of the gardens that I hadn’t seen before, so it was fun to explore a bit!

Brooklyn Botanic Garden cherry blossoms 2017

Brooklyn Botanic Garden pond area

Brooklyn Botanic Garden pond area 2

Yes, that’s a froggy raincoat. New Yorkers have style!

Brooklyn Botanic Garden tulips

Brooklyn Botanic Garden little bridge

Brooklyn Botanic Garden tree in bloom in spring

Brooklyn Botanic Garden wall

Botanic Gardens cherry blossoms are glorious!

If there is an iconic flower for springtime, it is the cherry blossom. It takes over Instagram, and makes people all over the world happy or jealous of those who actually can see them in person in all their gorgeousness. Spring in New York means cherry blossoms too, and the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens has the highest density of them of anywhere in the city. As I was told by a friend who works at the gardens, the cherry blossoms were in peak bloom that day! Lucky!

Brooklyn Botanic Garden cherry blossoms 2017
Brooklyn Botanic Garden cherry blossoms 2017 close up
Brooklyn Botanic Garden cherry blossoms 2017 2

I wasn’t the only person who had this idea. It was quite good people watching if you want to see lots of Asians taking selfies. There was even a couple taking maternity photos amongst the rows of cherry trees!

Brooklyn Botanic Garden cherry blossoms 2017

I know that the ultimate place for cherry blossoms are the ones in Japan, but these ones aren’t half bad!

High Line Park in spring

The High Line Park is one of my favorite places in all of New York City. Although the park is open all year round, if you are in New York during spring you should head over to the Westside! It was lucky that on the day I went last week the weather was nice and it wasn’t super crowded at the High Line. I usually do the walk south from 34th street down to 14th street, but this time I went north.

The High Line park is a park built on old railway tracks that are elevated above street level. That is only half of the coolness that this park is. The other half is the integration of plants and art all along the park that stretches for about 20+ city blocks.

High Line Park in spring 3
High Line Park in spring 2

Art installations along the walk are usually change seasonally, and there are also a few large areas where performances may take place.

High Line Park art installation May 2017
High Line Park street art May 2017

The area on either side of the park has changed quite a bit in the last few years. New luxury apartment buildings have popped up on either side, especially in the north near the Hudson Yards area. Some of these buildings here didn’t even exist a year or two ago. I used to work in a building just next to the Hudson Yards part of the park.

It kinda stinks that the feel of the neighborhood is changing from kinda endearing junky to super fancy, but that is the general trend in the city in any case.

High Line Park in spring

Hudson Yards area of High Line Park in spring

Some of the completely new buildings beside the park

Goals for this season

My goals for this spring are to get through tryouts without getting too stressed out, and to keep applying for jobs that excite me. It’s only been a few months, and really only about 1.5 months that I’ve really been looking for jobs and applying for them. But in that time, I’ve already felt myself lose confidence and start to lose momentum.

Flatiron building in springtime

Flatiron building in springtime

Spring is an inspiring time with all of the new growth and the sunshine. I’m going to let that filter into my own life by trying to notice the beauty of the changes around me and to really appreciate that I can live in this time.

A friend in the Ultimate world passed away a few weeks ago, and it’s been a strange thing to think about and talk to other friends about. He was all about living life to the fullest, and making every day the best day possible. I remember partying with him and his friends several years ago, and I’m so grateful that they included me in their lives at that time.

He was a great guy, and I’m glad that he was a part of my life. I hope that I can live my life with a little bit of his essence and greatness.

My main goal for this season is not to get depressed about my PhD, and to continue working towards the life I want post-PhD. I’ve gotten used to living at home, and now it’s about getting myself to keep chugging forwards!

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

A solitary flower at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Spring in NYC is short, but sweet

In other parts of the city, you can see that just as the trees, bushes and tulips have woken up, people have come out of hibernation too. I’m enjoying the alternating warm and cool weather we’ve had this spring so far. It hasn’t gotten humid yet, and that is something to be thankful for!

Brooklyn Botanic Garden April 2017

My younger sister (right) and I at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Have you been in New York in spring? What’s your favorite season?

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  • Hi Chewy,

    Ah, I love those cherry blossoms! Despite the weather, they still look magical.

    And wow, the Highline! I really enjoyed your photos as I felt like I was travelling back to 2013 when I visited with my mum and sister. I’m not sure how much of it we walked but your photos look quite different from what I remember! For starters, I don’t recall this “Chelsea luxury apartment” building! I guess it’s been almost four years now and things do change a lot in cities – makes me want to go back for another (super expensive 😉 visit to New York!

    And oh, the post-PhD blues… I think it’s normal. You’re so focused on getting it all done and then suddenly you ARE done and have lost that daily grind of working on it. I found it really hard initially. I didn’t want to have anything to do with it for the first 6-12 months, I didn’t even want to talk about it! 🙂

    • Hey Kati! Sorry for the delayed response. I’ve been sick for an unusually long amount of time 🙁

      A lot of the buildings are new! Some have only popped up in the last few years, and some were finished probably in the last 5 or 6 years. This is the one neighborhood in the Manhattan that is changing the fastest! It’s one of those areas that wasn’t really very developed because there were railyards there, but now everything is popping up and everything is super tall. Makes me a little sad that it’s all looking so modern.

      Haha, yeah I’m starting to get better about the post-PhD stuff. I handed in some revisions that have to go back to the examiner for approval, and now I also have to deal with responding to the other examiner’s comments. Hopefully it won’t take too long!!

      • No probs, and hope you’re feeling better now. 🙂 And good luck with those final revisions and responses! Soon it’ll all be done. 🙂