Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A day in Brooklyn

File this under "things I should have posted a while ago." A few weekends ago I basically spent the entire day in Brooklyn with some friends. We started with the Sakura Matsuri event at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. It is an annual event that celebrates traditional and historical Japanese culture. The stages had musicians, dancers and even cosplay participates. The areas around the stages were ridiculously crowded so even though we were able to hear the music from afar, I wasn't able to get any good pictures or videos of the performances. It was a bit early in the season for a lot of the flowers and plants, but the little bit that was in bloom was absolutely beautiful.

[the Shakespeare Garden. Over 80 plants that have been mentioned throughout the works of Shakespeare grow here. On some of the labels for the plants they have quotes from his work]

They also had three separate pavilions that showcased three different climates: Tropical, Dessert and Warm Temperate. Sidenote, but if you're ever in Milwaukee, you should definitely check out the Mitchell Park Domes. Those domes put these pavilions to shame

After the Garden a friend mentioned that she heard about a pie place inside the Brooklyn Public Library's Central location and wanted to try it since it was just down the street. I had never been and to say the library's entrance is impressive is an understatement:

Inside the main entrance and lobby they had on display some pieces from visual artist, Jackie Sumell. This one pictured below is called "#76759: Featuring the House that Herman Built"
Herman is Herman Wallace. From the project's official site:

In 2003 Jackie Sumell asked Herman Wallace a very simple question:
Herman Wallace spent over 4-decades in solitary confinement in the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. On October 1st, 2013 his conviction was overturned Herman left the prison unshackled, free and innocent in the eyes of the law. Less than three days later Herman joined the ancestors passing peacefully in his sleep, surrounded by supporters who loved him dearly.
The House That Herman Built is an on-going (he)art project that radically transformed the lives of both Jackie Sumell and Herman Wallace. It began as a simple exchange between two and over the course of a decade has expanded into an international art exhibition, a book, a documentary film and now it is in the fundraising stages to build Herman Wallace’s dream home in the city of New Orleans- where Herman grew up and Jackie now lives.

^Herman's cell recreated^

^Four & Twenty Blackbirds' famous Salted Caramel Apple Pie inside the Library^
The employees there were so nice and fun, I'd go back just to hang out with them

^Menus, the most delicious Black Bottom Oat slice and a Stumptown coffee^
While we were eating our dessert outside the library I told my friends I wanted someone to take a group picture of us, no group "selfie" shot, so when my friend saw someone sit down near us she asked if he could take our picture. He seemed hesitant then said "no, I can't." We couldn't help but laugh awkwardly. Of course no one is obligated to take a picture of strangers but it was not what we were expecting. Just another funny anecdote to bring up at parties, I guess!

It was too beautiful of a day to end it after the library so we walked through Prospect Park 
Doesn't the picture below on the right of the Boathouse remind you of the scene in Titanic when Cal flips the table at breakfast?? Ok, maybe not at all. But it does.

^Apparently I wasn't tired of the cherry blossoms^

^There's also sword fighting in Prospect Park^

After the park we stopped by Bierkraft, a "dine-in or take-out beer and gourmet food emporium." I would definitely check out this place if in the area. When you first walk in there are coolers filled with probably hundreds of different kinds of beer that you can purchase and drink in store or to take home. If you feel like having something on draft you can purchase a growler to go or a pint to drink there. They have outdoor seating, but of course it was crazy busy since it was so beautiful outside. But that's ok, the inside of the place wasn't too bad. Plus they have sandwiches to order in case you get hungry. 

^I was happy to see Lakefront listed on their menu^

^Round One^

And that was my long but fun day in Brooklyn those few weekends ago. 

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