Category Archives: Botanical Theater
New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show and GLOW 2022-2023
It’s the 31st year of the NYBG Holiday Train Show starring New York’s architectural beauties in miniature from all the boroughs in New York City to Westchester County and beyond to upstate New York. Returning for its third year, NYBG GLOW in a multitude of colors lights the pathways, trees and landscape with vibrant greens, fuscias, reds and blues making the Garden even more magical than it is year round.
The Holiday Train Show and GLOW have boasted sold-out evenings the past two years. This is because NYBG GLOW is New York City’s largest outdoor holiday light extravaganza. This year it expands covering even more of the Garden’s spectacular plant collections. These include an all-new display of 60 glowing orbs in the designed waterfalls of the Native Plant Garden.
During the 23 special, select evenings, the Garden’s buildings, including the LuEsther T. Mertz Library Building become dramatic, striking pageantry. The Garden’s creative teams have dispersed thousands of lights (energy-efficient) in choreographed displays to twinkle and beckon to visitors throughout the landscape. The light production accompanied by a selection of music is designed to lighten New Yorkers’ hearts with a celebratory spirit of thankfulness. The botanical creators have captured beauty in their demonstrated love and talented artistry exercised in the service of joy and uplift for the 2022 winter season that is not under previous extreme duress of the pandemic that we’ve suffered through these past three years. However, if one feels to, though vaccination cards will not be checked, one may comfortably wear a mask in the Conservatory and when not eating in the Hudson Garden Grill and the Pine Tree Cafe.
The creative team of Applied Imagination in Alexandria, Kentucky reflects the energy and celebratory thankfulness in their differently arranged installations of the iconic landmarks that New Yorkers have come to appreciate more than ever during the past three years, two of which were spent in worry for older loved ones. Some of these amazing replicas include the Empire State Building, One World Trade Center, Rockefeller Center and more. The trains and miniature structures are spread throughout the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. Nighttime is the most mysterious and fun time to visit because of the dark beauty of the plants sheltering the buildings faithfully sculpted from plant parts arranged for the spectators’ maximum enthusiasm and delight.
This year’s show features a new addition to the190 miniatures previously displayed in the Garden’s wondrous exhibit enjoyed by children and adults alike. It is a brand-new version of an old favorite-The George Washington Bridge-with more elaborate detail and grandeur lighting. The new George Washington Bridge took Applied Imagination’s staff more than 1,000 hours to create.
Another new feature is the interpretative signage that presents illustrations and descriptions of some of the 150 different varieties of plants and plant parts used to create the Holiday Train Show miniatures. If you download the Bloomberg Connects app, you will discover the plant stories, using preserved plant specimens from NYBG’s William and Lynda Steere Herbariums, the largest plant research collection in the Western Hemisphere. The collection contains almost eight million specimens.
For the train lovers, as you saunter among the foliage and the luxuriously arranged plant designs among the replicas, you’ll see various type of trains trundling along tracks brushing apart foliage. A favorite house of mine is the miniature of Poe Cottage, the house in the Bronx where Edgar Allan Poe worked on some of his most famous poems. In previous years I’ve enjoyed watching a G-scale model locomotive moving past the house and imagining the train which Edgar Allan Poe took to visit cities in the Northeast from Philadelphia to Baltimore and then to parts of the South all in the service of his writing.
Some of the G-scale model trains include trolleys, American steam engines, streetcars from the late 1800s and modern freight and passenger trains. These move seamlessly along nearly 1/2 mile of track along overhead trestles, through tunnels, and across bridges high above visitor’s heads including all five New York City bridges from the Queensboro (Kock) to the Whitestone, from the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridge to Hells Gate and the renovated George Washington Bridge.
Beverages and light fare will be available at one of nYBG’s outdoor bars or the Bronx Nigh Market Holiday Pop-Up. Additionally, professional sculptors will create intricate ice carvings inspired by the Garden’s wonderland.
NYBG GLOW will take place on the following dates: Friday and Saturday, November 18-19; Wednesday, November 23rd; Friday, November 25; Saturday, November 26; Friday, December 2; Saturday, December 3; Friday, December 9; Saturday, December 10; Sunday, December 11; Thursday, December 15; Friday, December 16; Saturday, December 17; Thursday, December 22; Friday, December 23″ Monday, December 26; Friday, December 30,2022; Sunday, January 1; Saturday, January 7; and Saturday, January 14, 2023.
For more information and for ticket alerts, visit the NYBG website at: https://www.nybg.org/event/holiday-train-show/plan-your-visit/?gclid=Cj0KCQiA99ybBhD9ARIsALvZavW_okYP0jpG51EZp6LHNZdRAJSK2G7HaoVA5OoH_L24aU_xpDoQgNEaAtp2EALw_wcB
New York Botanical Garden’s GLOW and The Holiday Train Show® Are Not to be Missed
The winter season is in full swing with the NYBG’s 30th Year Milestone Celebration of The Holiday Train Show® (Saturday, November 20, 2021 – Sunday, January 23, 2022 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
The beautiful exhibit which features over 1 mile of train track and a 360 degree surround space in an added gallery is a favorite of New Yorkers. This year’s show features new additions to its collection which now number over 191 miniature structures of New York City and New York State landmarks.
Once again as part of the Train Show on a new combination ticket is the expanded light exhibit GLOW. As the sun sets and the moon rises on select dates, family and friends can wander through the Garden’s festively illuminated landscape and enjoy the 1.5 mile color-and-light extravaganza that begins at 5 pm and ends at 10 p.m.
Tickets are available for the following dates: Thursday, December 23, Sunday, December 26 – Thursday, December 30. In January, these dates are available: Saturday, January 1, January 6, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22.
When you buy your combination ticket for NYBG GLOW and the Holiday Train Show® expect to be dazzled on two fronts. Indoors, you will enjoy the shimmering lights that ethereally pierce through the foliage of lovely plantings and New York replicas of Applied Imagination’s architectural structures perfectly arranged so that a variety of old model trains, trolleys, whimsical streetcars can speed by the miniature iconic New York landmarks.
And along the outer garden pathways, you will be entranced by the beauty of the striking colors projected against the landscape of trees, bushes and buildings forming colorful patterns of light against the shadows. I went on a moonlit night and the effect was spectacular.
For The Holiday Train Show® look for the new additions celebrating the 30th year of the exhibit.
Showcased are the replicas of the LuEsther T. Mertz Library Building, the Lillian Goldman Fountain of Life, and the John J. Hoffee Tulip Tree Allee, collectively designated a New York City Landmark in 2009. The Allee that leads up to the LuEsther T. Mertz Library is comprised of four rows of distinguished native trees that were planted beginning in 1903 and have grown to a great height.
When I spoke to NYBG staff and Laura Busse Dolan, the CEO of Applied Imagination, she mentioned that the Tulip Tree Allee replica in front of the LuEsther T. Mertz Library Building are live topiary myrtle trees very ingeniously sculpted to scale.
The Mertz Library is the most important botanical and horticultural library in the world. It houses more than 11 million archival items spanning 10 centuries. In a style reminiscent of a Roman Baroque palace and capped with a green copper dome, architect Robert Gibson designed the striking building in 1901.
The Applied Imagination miniature is constructed with natural materials; the facade is made of horse chestnut bark, representing the structure’s stone blocks. Accented by mahogany pods, cinnamon pods and black walnuts (donated by a patron of NYBG) the replica is a beauty in its own right, worthy of the 900 to 1000 hours for its fabrication.
A part of the display, The Goldman Fountain of Life is the dramatic composition of mythical figures in front of the Library. American Renaissance sculptor Charles E. Tefft designed the fountain in 1905. It was restored in 2005, 100 years later. Like the real fountain, the replica mirrors the Beaux-Arts sculptures including charging seahorses, a lively nymph and a startled mermaid and merman. These figures are covered in tobacco leaves with grape vine tendrils for their hair. Incredibly, the fountain’s basin is created from large shelf fungus.
Some interesting facts about the structures featured in this year’s exhibit that you may not know are as follows. The Lillian and Amy Goldman Stone Mill, one of my favorite NYBG buildings dates around 1840 and can be rented out for weddings and other catered affairs. It was designated a New York City Landmark in 1966 and a National Historic Landmark in 1976. Applied Imagination’s team used tobacco leaves, cork, alder seeds, grape vine tendrils, and Brazilian and turkey tail fungi to the replica.
The Enid A. Haupt Conservatory features prominently on the other side of the display with the LuEsther Mertz Library Building. The Conservatory which is also a New York City Landmark is considered one of the most superb glasshouses of its time. Lord & Burnham Company completed its construction in 1902. Comprised of 11 interconnected galleries that feature different habitats and plant specimens from around the world, the conservatory also features seasonal galleries, presenting annual floral displays and special exhibitions highlighting world renowned artists. The replica finished in 2014 was constructed of birch bark, cinnamon bark curls, wheat husks and acorn caps. The cupola rests on a ring of large pine cone scales and is topped by a mahogany seedpod and lotus seedpod. If you take the time to look closely, you will recognize these plant parts and gain a new appreciation of the genius Applied Imagination manifests in is miniature structures.
The NYBG The Holiday Train Show® has included the seven bridges around the New York City area. Model trains and trolleys trundle along the tracks along the train trestles. the tallest replica is The Brooklyn Bridge that comes in at 16 feet. Even Hell’s Gate Bridge is included.
Downtown Wall Street area is one of the favored exhibits that New Yorkers enjoy seeing as the recognize the iconic buildings which include the Woolworth Building, the ferry building, the Oculus and One World Trade Center. The Staten Island Ferry and Statue of Liberty replicas are recognizable globally.
NYBG’s 30th Year Milestone Celebration of The Holiday Train Show® on a combination ticket with GLOW runs from (Thursday December 23, 2021 – Sunday, January 23, 2022 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.) For tickets and times (and by now, you should purchase a membership, you know you always wanted to) go to their website by CLICKING HERE.
New York Botanical Garden: Intimate ORCHID Spotlight Replaces Annual Exhibit
As a result of the pandemic, the New York Botanical Garden has changed its approach regarding its annual orchid exhibition. In keeping with safety and security for New Yorkers, Garden members and guests, the annual Orchid Show will return in 2022. As a replacement, the Garden is focusing on a personal and close-up view of orchids without the fanfare, showiness and crowds.
This year unusual orchids and other plants from NYBG’s permanent collections will be displayed in select galleries of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory on February 20–April 4, 2021.
Continuing with reduced indoor capacity, The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) is forgoing its traditional orchid exhibition presenting a limited Spotlight on Orchids and other permanent plant collections in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. A visit to select galleries of the Conservatory will reveal displays of orchids in brilliant white and striking colors set against the foliage of aroids, ferns, and bromeliads. The plantings highlight how the orchids might be found in nature as they blend seamlessly with their surroundings.
The approach brings attention to orchids in their habitats and emphasizes investigation of orchids as one of the largest of plant families in their their variety with differences in their shape, size and color to attract pollinators. Orchids thrive on every continent except Antarctica and can be found even the desert gallery of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory.
As visitors walk through the various galleries, they will be able to view and explore unique orchids from NYBG’s renowned collections from around the world. The Garden is known for its rare orchids. Don’t forget to take a long, lingering look at the glass case between the galleries where many of the Garden’s rare and small orchids enjoy their special, controlled environment. Also, check out the artful floral creations. These are fashioned by Botanical Garden horticulturists. The creations combine expressive orchids from the popular Moth orchids (Phalaenopsis) to lady slippers (Paphiopedilum) with rocks, tree trunks, vines, and other found materials.
NYBG looks forward to the return of its annual Orchid Show in 2022.
The Spotlight on Orchids runs from Saturday, February 20, through Sunday, April 4, 2021; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tickets for Spotlight on Orchids is open to all visitors with the purchase of an advance, timed Garden Pass + Conservatory ticket, which includes access to the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory and outdoor gardens and collections. Click on http://nybg.org/visit for more information or tickets.