Garden Diary - November 2018

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Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden

Thursday, 29 November 2018

It would not be the holiday season, at least for me, without a visit to the holiday train show at the New York Botanical Garden. Did I attend the very first show in 1992? Not sure, but we did make a visit in 1993. That was the year the holiday train show was outdoors on the library building lawn, because the Enid Haupt Conservatory was being renovated. Snow and cold, frosty breath, icicles by the waterfall as trains went chugging around. Which means that for the last 26 years the holiday season begins for me with magic, as G scale trains go tootling around the tracks, past buildings elegantly created out of botanical "stuff" - branches and bark, twigs, pods, cones, leaves, anything Paul Busse and his Applied Imagination crew can envision into buildings and bridges.

Engines, so many different engines, pulling cars along the tracks.

Usually I come for the press preview, a few days in advance of the public opening. This year, traffic put the kibosh on my plans - in the first hour and a half I'd only managed to travel 29 miles, about a third of the distance of what's typically a 2-hour journey. But the holidays wouldn't be the same without a visit to the train show. So off I went, more than two weeks later, to join the toddlers and tween-agers, parents and grandparents. The event runs through Monday, 21 January 2019 so if I capture your attention, why, there's still ample time for a visit.

There's an enormous, decorated tent at the plaza and stairs to the conservatory.

Did you arrive by Metro-North? There's a stop across the street from the garden.

Tram cars go across the bridges that criss-cross the exhibition gallery.

Multiple bridges, up in the air, over our heads. Surely Instagram worthy.

There are brownstone houses, carefully labeled
as to where they are and when they were built.

Take a closer look, at the fascinating details of their construction.

Some in the real world have been demolished. Others, such as Wave Hill House,

have both replica and continued reality. How splendidly fascinating!

Engineers are on duty to answer questions and keep the trains running.

A train, running through a goblin-like tree trunk tunnel.

Three generations enjoying the train show. There's something
for everyone, for visitors of all ages, to enjoy.

There are major buildings, such as the 42nd Street Library, complete down to
Patience and Fortitude, the two lions that flank the grand entrance steps.

A replica debuting this year is the Woolworth Building.

Ditto the historic Battery Maritime Building, complete with vintage ferry boats
floating on the still, dark water of the Palm Court pool.

And gleaming against the dark foliage is One World Trade Center.

Plants. Bridges. Trams. Trains. A wonderful event for the entire family.

Located at the Bronx River parkway exit 7W and Fordham Road, the New York Botanical Garden is easy to reach by Metro-North railroad, bus, subway, or car.

During the Holiday Train Show, November 17, 2018 through January 21, 2019, the New York Botanical Garden is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with extended Saturday hours and special Monday openings on December 17, 24, and January 21. The Garden is closed Christmas day, and at 3 p.m. on December 14 and 24. The Conservatory will close at 2 p.m. on December 6.

For more information visit the Garden's web site. All-Garden Pass tickets start at $23 for adults, $10 for children ages 2 to 12, and differ during certain peak times and weekends. Members and children under 2 are free. The Garden strongly recommends advance timed tickets, available through their web site.

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