Brooklyn Botanic Garden

The  garden  was founded in 1910 and was initially known as the Institute Park.
Administration Building
At that time    Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences included Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Children's Museum, and Brooklyn Academy of Music.  It was names as Brooklyn botanic garden in 1911.  The Administration Building was built  in the Tuscan Revival style by McKim, Mead & White, the prominent architectural firm that built the Brooklyn Museum, Manhattan Municipal Building, New York Public Library, Racquet and Tennis Club and a lot of other buildings in New York.  
Three  acres  of the garden contain hills, a waterfall, a pond, and an island, all artificially constructed.
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden planted its "cherry walk" in 1921, after   World War I, a gift from the Japanese government.  There are more than 200 cherry trees of forty-two Asian species and cultivated varieties in the garden.  

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden  claims a more diverse collection of Japanese flowering cherries in one place than anywhere in the world outside Japan.    Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden was the first Japanese garden   created in an American public garden. It  was  opened to the public in June 1915.  The pond is filled with hundreds of Japanese koi fish, ornamental varieties of domesticated common carp.
Every spring when cherries are in bloom,  month-long cherry blossom  festival  Hanami is held at the Cherry Esplanade.  In spring the garden is the best place in New York to see cherry blossoms. Hanami literally means "flower viewing". Tradition started in Japan during the Nara Period (710–794). Japan Emperors    held flower-viewing parties with sake and feasts underneath the blossoming boughs of sakura trees in the Imperial Court in Kyoto.  Poems would be written praising the delicate flowers, which were seen as a metaphor for life itself. This year, 2014, the last two days  of the festival, "Annual Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival" were on April 26 and 27. But cherries are still in full bloom   and tha park is not so crowded as it was last weekend. 
In March and April, the Magnolia Plaza is the most fragrant part of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Spread in front of the administration building, it features 17 varieties of fragrant magnolia trees. 

There is a Rose garden in the northern part of BBG with over 5,000 bushes of nearly 1,400 kinds of roses.   The   Rose Garden, named after  Walter V. Cranford, a construction engineer, who donated  $15,000 opened in June 1928.
The garden is beautiful every time of the  year. When it is chilly outside you can spend time in Conservatory  where you can find  Orchid Collection, Bonsai Museum, and Desert, Tropical and Warm Temperate Pavilions.
New visitors center
The new  20,000-square-foot Visitor Center opened in May 2013. This new center has a pretty place with tables outside and a  living roof: A leaf-shaped ceiling that will boast more than 40,000 seasonal plants.
The BBG Children's Garden is the oldest continually operating children's garden within a botanic garden in the world.  It was opened in 1914   and operates as a community garden for children, with hundreds of children registering each year.

Brooklyn botanic Garden is open every day, except Monday.  The price is $10 for adults and children under 12 are free.  Garden  is closed after 6PM.  You can buy  a membership  for  one for  $50 ( as I did)  or $85 per family including parking passes and in summer can enjoy members-only Wednesday nights. There are also classes  for kids and adults – last year I took one – it was fun!

The Kelpies in Bryant Park

If you read Harry Potter you may now that  Kelpie is a shape shifting water demon native to Britain and Ireland.  Able to take any form, they usually take the form of a horse. The hair from a kelpie can be used to comprise the core of a wand. 
In Celtic folklore kelpie is white and sky blue with a little bit curly tail and mane.  

Two 15-foot high horse heads called The Kelpies were installed at the Bryant Park in Midtown  last month. 
Kelpies in Scotland

These two heads are the 1:10 scale models of the two 100-foot high heads installed  in the park and recreational area  in Falkirk, Scotland last year.  
The original Kelpies weigh 300 tons each and public is allowed  around and inside the Kelpies. This horses in Scotland are the  largest works of equine art in the world .The sculptures are made by Scotland's leading public artist Andy Scott  from hundreds of small pieces of steel plate.

Huntington post called the whole project    “bizarre” .

 “The Guardian  wrote: “ I feel like crying that someone spent £5m on this piece of trash. Imagine the boost that bounty might have given to Falkirk's public libraries. Instead, school kids will bussed to a park to gaze on brainless dreck.”  
These two heads were on a  visit  in New York  and I’m really happy that  the visit is only one month long- these two heads do not belong to the lovely Bryant park.

Rockefeller Center :Big Egg Hunt 2014 is over.

268 unique egg sculptures are on display Friday at the Rockefeller Center.  This exhibition serves as the finale for the citywide Fabergé Big Egg Hunt.  Each egg is designed by a different artist. I wrote about the Faberge History, Big Egg Hunt and one of the artists in my blog.  These massive egg sculptures, each about 2.5-feet tall were hidden throughout the five boroughs of New York. The public has been invited to hunt down these masterpieces and check in via a smartphone app.   

I took part in the hunting with  my camera and spotted  eggs in  Sack 5th Avenue department store, near Seagram  building on Park Avenue and on Columbus circle.  Now all eggs are collected  and displayed all together for one week in Rockefeller Center until April 25.  

You can take part in online auction and place your bids for them online.

 I looked at these eggs and thought: maybe next year I will  take part not in the hunt but will create my own egg....
Here are the pictures  of some of my favorite eggs .

New York's 2014 Easter parade

New York's Easter parade has been a New York tradition since the late 1800s. At the end of nineteenth and at the first half of the twentieth century Easter Parade was one of the main cultural expressions of Easter in the United States.

On Easter morning, people walk up and down Fifth Avenue after church services to enjoy the spring weather. The churches were decorate with Easter flowers. Every flower has its' own meaning.   White lily symbolizes life, hope, purity and joy. The Easter lily also signifies rebirth and a new beginning. A tulip is a messenger of passion and love. A red tulip says “I love you”.

Women wear new hats with Easter flowers and fancy dresses. It was a combination of religious services, reality TV, and haute couture in the days before mass media, when only the wealthiest New Yorkers could attend the hottest Paris fashion shows and keep up with the latest fashion trends.

Irvine Berlin memorialized parade in  the 1948 musical " Easter Parade" (1948) with Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, Peter Lawford and Ann Miller. Don Hewes (Fred Astaire) Don proposes to Hannah( Judy Garland) on 5th avenue.

Oh, I could write a sonnet
 About your Easter bonnet
And of the girl I'm taking
To the Easter Parade

In your Easter bonnet
With all the frills upon it
You'll be the grandest lady
In the Easter Parade

I'll be all in clover
And when they look you over
I'll be the proudest fella
 In the Easter Parade

On the avenue, Fifth Avenue
The photographers will snap us
 And you'll find that you're
 In the rotogravure

In February 1947, Voice of America began its first Russian-language broadcasts into the Soviet Union. The purpose was to give the Russian audience the "pure and unadulterated truth" about life outside the USSR. In April of the same year Voice of America did a radio broadcast of the Fifth Avenue parade in Russian to show the Soviet Union that the standard of living was so much better in America than what the Soviets had to offer.

The glamour and size of New York’s Easter Parade have faded with the passage of time. While there is still an element of fashion involved in the modern show, the current version tends to be more fantastic. 

The parade took place on Fifth Avenue from 49th to 57th Streets. The action started at 10 AM.   The area along Fifth Avenue from 49th to 57th Streets was closed to vehicular traffic. I was there at 10:30. At the corner of 5th avenue and 57 street I found a group of artists with bags full of hats for free. I grab a hat  and spent almost three hours making pictures.

Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital.

3D printing  is a process of making a three-dimensional solid object of virtually any shape from a digital model.  Charles Hull, later the co-founder of 3D Systems, invented  stereo lithography, a  printing process that enables a real 3D object to be created from digital data.   3D printing works by depositing layers of a material -- usually a form of plastic -- to build up a shape. 

The first working 3D printer was created in 1984.  In 2011 the first car with a 3D printed body was built.  In the same year gold and silver were used in 3D printer for the first time. Two year later the first 3D printed gun, called the “Liberator,” was  created. The company was forced to take down the blueprint for the gun from its website by the Department of State.

3D printers in the early days was very expensive. As we moved into the 21st century, costs drastically dropped. The 3D printer with the price $10,000 in 2010 now could have a price tag less than $1000! Starting form the last year Staple started selling 3d printers. Welcome, new world!
"Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital"  is the exhibition at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD)on Columbus circle, Manhattan , exploring the impact of   3D printing and other   computer-assisted methods on contemporary art,  architecture, and design. 

"The digital revolution that opened the computer age is over. The amazing digital achievements of the last few decades are now taken for granted – reflecting a critical shift in thinking that has ushered in the postdigital era. In the world of art and design, discourse is no longer preoccupied with the technology in and of itself. Rather, interest lies in how technology may be creatively applied in the interplay between digital and analog, natural and man-made, biological and cultural, virtual and real. " is written on the wall in  the museum.

The exhibition features more than 120 examples of sculpture, jewelry, fashion and furniture  by eighty-five artists, architects, and designers from twenty countries.  There are  three floors of fantastic digitally fabricated creations, defined by curator Ron Labaco as anything using "computer-assisted production".  

The exhibition  demonstrate different uses for computer-assisted production methods.
 Visitors can  try out technologies including computer-aided modeling software and 3D printers, while designers-in-residence will be on hand to demonstrate some of the processes.  You can be 3D scanned   and 3D printed into mini statues  by an in-house high resolution 3D printer.

The exhibition has something for everybody, from architects and designers  programmers and other technology nerds.  You  really don’t need to know anything about design or digital fabrication to have your mind blown at the Museum of Arts and Design.

"Out of Hand is on show till June 1, 2014. Thursday and Friday night museum works late and from 6 PM to 9 PM you can pay what you wish.