Bayard Cutting Arboretum

New York, not all brick city, but the state of wonder and all possibilities. No place like New York exists in the United States, where else can we find such a rich mix of culture living harmoniously? If you are a child of an immigrant, for most, New York was their point of entry, and the place they continue to call a home away from their native lands. My question to you is, how often have you ventured away from the bustle of bright lights in Manhattan and ventured out to explore the hidden gems of Long Island? A quick 30 minute drive from Baldwin, Bayard Cutting Arboretum quickly changed my mind about New York.

A short walk from the parking lot opens into a botanical garden and park dedicated to preserving the tranquility of nature for it’s visitors. Yes this is a park, but it is coined a “passive park” you will not see bikes, picnics, sports, dogs, or swimming. This park is all about spending time enjoying the sounds of nature in isolation or with loved ones. What I enjoyed most was the lack of chatter from people on their cell phones, I heard organic conversations, and people laughing from the company of others. I didn’t see one person with their face in a cell phone, I saw couples smiling at each other and parents talking and looking at animals with their children.

The childlike spirit we all possess is activated in these beautiful moments. For years I have not had the urge to climb a tree, today, I decided that I wanted to climb the biggest I had seen on the property. I thought better of that after realizing I haven’t climbed a tree in 20 years, and falling might be a possibility, but at least I had the thought and enjoyed taking my spirit of adventure to the next level.

This is a perfect destination for any artist, if you are looking for a bit of inspiration, trying to beat writers block, or you need a change of scenery, this is a great stop to alter your perspective.

The walking paths give you a full view of the water as well as a look inside of the lives of those who can afford waterfront property. The large fields include trees that invite you to sit under them and read a book, take a nap or just look up at the sky and marvel in the beauty that surrounds you.

William Wolkoff Dahlia Garden

Many people don’t know that I enjoy watching birds, I find their movements sensual and enjoy the conversation of tweets and songs that wake me most mornings. The William Wolkoff Dahlia Garden has a lovely collection of bird houses, I was even able to catch a bird in action.

Attack Chicken

As a child I enjoyed living with chickens in the yard. I marveled at the idea that I could reach under a chicken, find an egg, and that would be a means of feeding myself or members of the family. I thought chickens were mid mannered and kind until I got my hand pecked for trying to take an egg, I guess some days mothers simply are not willing to part with their children.

Roam the gardens freely and at ease, make sure you spend a few moments enjoying the beautiful flowers. If you see members of the staff, spend a few moments chatting with them, they enjoy giving a bit of history of the property, it’s purpose and the family vision.

The Manor House

By now you would have worked up an appetite, head over to the Manor House and have lunch at the Hidden Oak Cafe. The menu is full of delicious fresh seasonal favorites that include soup, salads, sandwiches, and freshly baked pies. A word of advice, the portions are large, very filling and the pumpernickel on my smoked salmon sandwich was superb, a must! For my high tea lovers, the cafe also allows visitors to experience Victorian Tea, advance notice is required for this service so please plan ahead. After lunch take a few moments to walk off your food while exploring the Manor House, the decor is beautiful and gives you a peek inside the lives of the family that called the house home.

A trip to New York is always a special adventure. I get the opportunity to enjoy time with family and friends, eat great food, fill my heart with music, but I also love finding new places to reflect and recharge. No, this might not be a repeat destination for you, but you never know until you have the experience. For only eight dollars per car, this just might be the cure to whatever unnerves you! Ny

Just a brown girl traveling the world, trying to make something beautiful

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