Tulips in Brooklyn April 1989


This is straight from a letter home from 27 years ago on my first trip to New York. 

This morning has been very pleasant. I’m staying with friends Sarah and Elizabeth in Brooklyn, so I have to catch the subway into Manhattan to the New York City that we all know and where all the museums and theatres and “sights” are.

However this morning Elizabeth made us French toast (I’ll have to introduce you to American breakfasts when I get home) and then we went to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. I may have missed the cherry blossom in Washington DC, but I made up for it today.

The range of blossom was fabulous –sparsely flowered  dark red buds, heavy opulent cherries, pink and white and the remains of dogwood blossom. I almost prefer the remains of the blossom itself. After the blossom petals have fallen a single cup of petals is left – mix cherries with cream and you have the colour.

tulips-flowers-spring-83564Tulips were in profusion – an extraordinary range of colours and shapes, I particularly liked the black one with curled petals. A whole garden bed of blazing red petals was almost painful to look at and the enormous yellow flowers were decadent – as if they were overfed and lazy. Their stems could hardly hold them….

Now I am in the café of the Brooklyn Museum of Art which has some fabulous collections apparently. I’m about to see the Americans and the Egyptians and then I have the difficult task of choosing some others – five floors!

New York is everything I expected it to be. Really there are no surprises (except that the subways I’ve used are fine –others are not so good apparently). It is a fabulous city – a feast of art and theatre and architecture and dance and great people-watching. The art museums really thrill me, but at other times everything is so, so familiar (seen in TV and Woody Allen movies) that I have to remind myself of where I am.

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