April 17, 2012

In Staten Island's Snug Harbor, a Secret Garden

For those who don't get to the island much to look around, the way Staten Island works for tourists is that you take the Staten Island Ferry over there and then get on a bus to where you want to go. Many people, of course, ride the ferry to Staten Island and turn around and come back, but there are many reasons to continue the trip. While waiting for the ferry, you should watch a video inside the Whitehall Ferry Terminal that features many of the island's attractions - among them, Fort Wadsworth, High Rock Park, Historic Richmond Town, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Museum of Tibetan Art, the St. George Theatre, and the Alice Austen House Museum. While watching the video a couple of times, pick an attraction and then pay close attention to the bus number you'll need to take. After arriving at the St. George Ferry Terminal on the other side, the buses are lined up ready to transport people to their destinations on Staten Island.

Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Gardens is a good spot for history, art, and gardens. For Snug Harbor, take the S40 bus at Gate D to travel along Richmond Terrace for about a ten-minute ride.

arriving at Snug Harbor Cultural Center on Staten Island

peonies in bloom at Snug Harbor Cultural Center


an esplanade at Snug Harbor Cultural Center

This 83-acre estate served as a home in the 19th century for retired seaman, and exploring the buildings and grounds makes for a full visit. Snug Harbor includes a maritime museum, a splendid Greek Revival Music Hall, and a children's museum, among other attractions, all surrounded by expansive landscaping and a variety of thematic gardens such as the New York Chinese Scholar's Garden. The estate hosts many performances and community events.

the way to the secret garden

One of the gardens is the Connie Gretz Secret Garden. Modeled after the special place in Frances Hodgson Burnett's children's book The Secret Garden, the garden was financed by a stockbroker in memory of his wife who passed away from cancer at the age of 46. The enchanting fort-like structure leads to a maze designed to teach children how to be patient in their search for adventure, taking one step after another.

approaching the secret garden

Connie Gretz Secret Garden, entrance

the maze inside the garden

I can't tell you more about the secret garden. It's a secret. You'll have to find your own way there.

leaving the secret garden

Website for Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden: http://snug-harbor.org/

Harbor in Bloom, Snug Harbor's Spring Festival, will be open to the public on May 5 and 6.


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Images by Walking Off the Big Apple from Sunday, April 15, 2012.

1 comment:

Felix said...

And I'm happy to visit it every time I visit NY. I Love that place.
We have similar photo:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/f3lixlovesyou/5799701223/

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