Sacred lotus flower

Getting lost on the Brooklyn Subway is a lot like Thomas Wolfe’s story, Only the Dead Know Brooklyn. In his story when a man on the Brooklyn subway asks how to get to Bensonhurst, everyone within a mile chimes in with their own particular, sometimes peculiar directions on how to get there.

 Close-up white flower

I was reminded of these Brooklyn inhabitants, when Last Friday after leaving the Botanical Garden I suddenly realized I was not on a subway train heading back to Manhattan, but instead sitting on one going in the opposite direction. I jumped up and asked a young woman where I should transfer (not all stations allow crossing over to the other side). While she was debating my query, another woman across the aisle piped in that I could transfer at the next stop. But the man sitting next to her nixed this, “No no. What you do is stay on this train till the end of the line, then ride it back to Manhattan.” When I asked how many stations to the end of the line, a third woman replied authoritatively, “Two or three.”  Well, it was FIVE.

But it was okay, By then I was deep into writing a new blog post. When the subway car finally turned around and headed back to Manhattan, I was so engrossed in my writing, I stopped paying attention to the passing stations. Until I heard something odd from the conductor of our #5 train. As the doors closed and we headed to the next stop, he announced, “The next stop on this #2 train is…” NUMBER TWO train? Impossible!  The number posted inside the subway car was still the correct #5. How could it have turned into a #2 going God knows where else in Brooklyn?  I don’t know how, but it did and again I jumped off into a new adventure on the Brooklyn Subway System.

This seems to have turned into a story about  Brooklyn subways rather the Botanical Garden, but that’s Brooklyn for you. Lushly green with stately old trees, anything can happen in this unique borough packed with quirks and surprising twists.

So for now I’ll leave you with a few lovely Botanical Garden highlights: top – Sacred Lotus and bottom – a-big-as-my -face flower with a little color play.  A more detailed account of the gardens coming up another time down the road.


More Flowers and Fauna: