Review: Chihuly at the New York Botanical Garden

Review: Chihuly at the New York Botanical Garden

Whether you know the name Chihuly or not, you’ve probably seen his glass sculptures on display somewhere, whether a chandelier hanging in a lobby or his glass blown flowers coating the ceiling at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. He’s actually been on my radar for a few years. Just last month I checked out the Chihuly Collection in St. Petersburg, Florida.

So when I saw Chihuly’s works were coming to the New York Botanical Garden through October, I had to go. And it’s an absolute must if you’re in NYC.

 

New York Botanical Garden

The NYBG is actually located in the Bronx, accessible via Metro North from Grand Central or a subway ride + a walk. The garden itself is gorgeous and HUGE. I barely even scratched the surface as I was on a time crunch so I focused only on the Chihuly pieces. It can be done in an hour but at least a half day is preferable. There are restaurants and food trucks (or you are permitted to bring your own food on the grounds) so you really can spend the whole day there.

 

Haupt Conservatory

I started with the Haupt Conservatory. Chihuly’s Citron Sun greets you before you even enter the conservatory. The bright neon green glass swiggles stand out against the white-and-glass building. Even with other tourists around, you can get some great shots and views of the work.

Once inside, you go from work to work with great directional signage leading you from one work to another. You can expect glass flowers in water, water droplets splashing from the gardens, and even glass leaves that blend in with their natural surroundings.

In addition to Chihuly’s well known styles, the exhibit includes the new Koda studies using colored panels which create gorgeous reflections in the water, and a neon work I can’t wait to go back and see at night.

Koda panels

Reflecting Pool

Next up is Red Reeds. My photos don’t do the work justice as the red pops so much, plus it was tough to get a photo without a tourist in it. The press photo from NYBG is below so you can really see the beauty of it.

Photo from NYBG website

Native Plant Garden

You’ll first find a boat filled with colorful glass orbs. Further along the water you’ll find two different colored panels which gave me one of my favorite shots of the day. The whole area is incredibly calming with small waterfalls and green everywhere.

 

Arboretum

The blue Sapphire Star is next, on its own in a grassy area. It’s an incredible work that reminisces of a bright blue eye.

 

Mertz Library Art Gallery

Outside, you’ve got a great old vs. new with Blue Polyvitro Crystals in the fountain next to weather faded sculptures. Inside you’ll find Chihuly’s early work, drawings and a film.

I went in expecting to a see a couple of Chihuly’s works and was blown away with how they seemed to pop up everywhere. It’s an incredible exhibit by day and special nighttime events throughout this summer show the works lit up at night. It’s definitely a must see and I can’t wait to go back to check out the rest of the New York Botanical Gardens.

 

CHIHULY is running now through October 29th at the New York Botanical Gardens. Admission is $23 on weekdays and $28 on weekdays. The grounds are free on Wednesdays but you can pay $13 for access to the Conservatory.

Pinterest graphic Chihuly pinterest

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NYC: A perfect on day on the Upper West Side

NYC: A perfect on day on the Upper West Side

Here’s the start of my neighborhood guides in NYC. My goal is to get tourists out to different areas of the city or if you already live here, become a tourist in your own backyard. I started with the Upper West Side which is where I spent the last couple months subletting. Enjoy!

 

Start at… Alice’s Tea Cup on West 73rd St. It’s an adorable Alice in Wonderland themed café with delicious baked goods (they’re known for their scones) as well as tea.

Get the Scones Benedict and a pot of tea (with a tea list the size of a wine bar menu, you’re sure to find something you’ll like even if you’re not a tea drinker). I’m a big fan of Alice’s Tea which is one of their signatures.

 

The go for a walk in Central Park… Enter on 72nd street and get lost. Every time I go to the park, I go a different route. Download the Central Park Conservancy app for maps, as well as audio tours narrated by celebrities. If you’d like to take a Guided Tour, check them out on the Central Park website. Tours range from free to $15.

Fall in Central Park
Central Park

Lunch… Exit the park at 80th St and eat at Shake Shack or Isabella’s, which are across from each other. Lines at other Shake Shack locations tend to be insane so if you really want the experience, go to this location. Unless it’s a Saturday, it’s pretty rare to see big lines here. Or head to Isabella’s for a sit down experience. The food is healthy and the cocktails are tasty.

 

Then head to the American Museum of Natural History. The dinosaurs are the most well-known but their other exhibits are interesting as well. Admission is posted at $22 but it is always suggested.

American Museum of Natural History

Snack… Levain Bakery for AMAZING cookies. I like to call them brookies because they are THICK. I love the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip. All cookies are $4 each. Pro-tip: Go on a weekday to avoid lines. If you do hit a line, it moves pretty quick.

Part Cookie, Part Brownie, Totally delicious

Dinner… If it’s Sunday, go to Calle Ocho for their free sangria. Order 1 entrée and you get as much sangria as you’d like. Otherwise check out RedFarm for their unique take on Chinese food. The Katz’s Pastrami Egg Rolls and Scallion Pancakes are amazing.

Pastrami… in an egg roll

Evening… get yourself to the Met or anything at Lincoln Center. Even if you’re not a fan of opera, it’s an experience. And don’t be discouraged by ticket prices – they’re often on TodayTix and tickets start at just $25. If it’s the summer, see Shakespeare in the Park at the Delacorte (it’s FREE!).

 

For a nightcap… Dead Poet or Manhattan Cricket Club. At the Dead Poet, drinks are literary themed. Try their potent signature cocktail which tastes like grape soda and you’ll get to take the glass home. If you’re looking for something more upscale, head to Burke & Wills and ask the hostess to take you through the green leather door. You’ll find yourself in a speakeasy turn-of-the-century parlor with inventive cocktails.