June 16, 2011
Summer in the city
On our January jazz trip to the city, Shaggy Hair Boy and I wore winter coats and tromped across icy sidewalks. This trip, we saw flowers blooming. Not just a few flowers, either: we saw hundreds of flowers, thanks to Booklyn Friend, who took us to the botanical gardens.
“We ought to start with the roses,” Brooklyn Friend said. She’s gone to the garden her whole life, so she didn’t even need the map to lead us to the area where trellises were filled with red, pink, and white roses. I kept taking photos of roses in bloom, but I noticed that Shaggy Hair Boy was using his phone to take pictures of the little black signs right next to each clump of flowers. “The names are so weird,” he said grinning.
In the Japanese garden, he was fascinated by the big, weird fish. “I’d be scared to death if someone pushed me in the water,” he said. “Look at the way they are coming toward us!”
I almost dropped my camera trying to take photos of the fish. “Hey, be careful,” said a security guard, who was standing about ten feet away. “I’m not going to rescue you if you fall in.” He grinned at me teasingly.
The same security guard stopped me a few minutes later, as we were walking the path around the pond. “Hey, want to see the coolest spot here?” he asked. “You can take a photo.”
We’d been carefully staying on the trails, since numerous signs expressly forbid us to walk on the grass. But the security guard cheerfully led us over a fence, behind some trees, and up a grassy hill. Below us, in the Japanese garden, visitors wandered around the trails or clumped in the pavilion. We could see them, but the spot was secluded enough that they couldn’t notice us.
After Friendly Security Guard obligingly rolled up his sleeve so I could take a photo of his tattoo and invited us back later in the summer for the “Forbidden Pleasures” picnic, we wandered through the rest of the gardens. In the cherry orchard, people were sitting on the grass, reading and eating. Couples walked the garden hand-in-hand, parents pushed strollers, little children ran about and ate ice cream cones.
“You can bring your girlfriend here when you two come to the city,” I said to Shaggy Hair Boy. He looked around and nodded. “Yeah, urban nature. She would love this place.”
Posted by jo(e)