Good as Gold – the New York World’s Fair

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the 1964 New York World’s Fair. I must have driven past Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens, NY hundreds of times, yet I’ve only visited this former site of the World’s Fair once – to visit the New York Hall of Science.

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A view of the 1964 New York World’s Fair

In 1964, the world was a different place and at the Fair a multitude of nations came together to showcase the best of what they had to offer in culture, technology, cuisine and more. My mom was lucky enough to go to the Fair a few times during its year-long run and it was here that she first tried Belgium waffles! It’s also where Michelangelo’s famous Pieta was displayed and where Walt Disney debuted the now iconic “It’s a Small World.”

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Visitors enjoy a taste of Belgium waffles

Unfortunately one of the main exhibit sites – the New York State Pavilion has since fallen into disrepair and there has even been whispers of demolishing the Philip Johnson-designed structure. But a few intrepid New Yorkers have taken its restoration into their own hands and hopefully the structure will be revived rather than demolished. And for today only, people can actually go up into the structure as so many before them did 50 years ago. The window of opportunity is small (11AM-2PM) but pretty incredible. And if the preservationists have their way, this will hopefully be a glimpse of things to come.

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The New York State Pavilion in 1964

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A view of the New York State Pavilion today

I actually found an original New York World’s Fair program for sale at the library for $1 a few years back. It’s a fascinating look back at the hopes and dreams the World’s Fair brought to the masses. I wish I could have seen it in person, but alas I don’t have a time machine (wouldn’t that be something)! So for now I can at least hope to visit a restored Pavilion in the near future.

Just Like Sunday

Yesterday, I had some blissful time to myself (thanks mom and dad!) to leisurely walk around the mall. And while I was there, I discovered the new home scent line from Jo Malone called Just Like Sunday.

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I love candles and the way that scents can be so evocative of different times and places in our lives. So when I saw these new candles, I knew I had to check them out. First of all, the label is clean and sleek – just a simple black label with white font. And second, they really smell great. There are four scents in the Sunday line and one  in particular really struck me – Green Tomato Leaf.

Now, you may not automatically think of this as a great candle scent, but to me it smells like a fresh summer day. It’s clean and crisp and reminds me of spending summer days at my grandparents house. They had a garden with tomatoes, basil, zucchini and so much more and this scent takes me right back there with them.

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It’s really amazing how a scent can make something click in our minds and take us back to another time of our life. If you’re looking to add a little bit of lux into your home, may I suggest one of these new candles  – or any one that sparks something in you.

 

Images via Google

 

 

Must Do: Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Cherry Blossom Festival

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It’s one of the tell-tale signs of Spring – the beautifully-flowering cherry blossom trees at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG).

The Garden is home to an impressive array of blossoming cherry trees which are displayed at the Cherry Esplanade and the Cherry Walk. The Esplanade boasts 76 trees while the walk contains more than 40 additional trees, making the BBG one of the foremost places to view cherry blossoms outside of Japan. Cherry blossoms have a notoriously short bloom season – only about one month long, so guests are encouraged to visit during the month of April for optimal cherry blossom viewing.

Sakura Matsuri

Each year, one of BBG’s can’t-miss events is Sakura Matsuri, the festival which celebrates the cherry blossoms. This year’s event takes place on April 26 and 27 and is a wonderful way to spend some outdoor time as a family. The best part – kids under 12 get in for free!

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The festival not only celebrates the cherry blossom trees, but it is also a celebration of Japanese culture, featuring a varied schedule of events, workshops and demonstrations each day. A selection of activities and exhibitions include:

Manga Drawing for Kids with Misako Rocks – a hands-on workshop for kids ages 6-13 with one of the top manga artists today.

Children’s Suzuki Recital – watch kids from the Brooklyn College Preparatory Center perform an array of classical music.

Samurai Origami Workshop – learn to create your own origami masterpiece.

NY Taiko Aiko Kai Kids’ Team – this amazing type of drumming performance will have your own kids begging to take lessons.

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You can see a full list of events and activities here.

Guests will also be able to enjoy a menu of Japanese and American foods for sale under the tent at the Cherry Esplanade and at the Terrace Café. Grab some food, sit back and relax on the grass before moving on to another workshop or event.

Be sure to get there early as Sakura Matsuri is an incredibly popular event at the BBG. What better way to introduce your children to another culture while getting out and enjoying nature at the same time.

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This post originally appeared on MommyNearest

Must Do: New York Botanical Garden Orchid Show

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Spring is finally coming to NYC! That means that the New York Botanical Garden’s (NYBG) annual Orchid Show is in full swing.

NYBG is a great place to spend the afternoon with your kids. Easily accessible by Metro North, NYBG is an amazing oasis right in the middle of the Bronx, featuring 50 gardens and more than one million plants. Special events take place all year long, but none more well-known than the Orchid Show.

Key West Contemporary

This year’s theme is Key West Contemporary which takes visitors straight down to the Florida Keys. Step into the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, which has been transformed into a modernist Key West Estate Garden, and marvel at the vast array of colorful orchids which bloom amidst reflecting pools, benches and pergolas. There are thousands of orchids on display.

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Special Events:

Many special events will be taking place during the Orchid Show’s run (through April 21). Visitors can participate in a Key West Poetry Walk, which takes them through the Perennial Garden. Poems from many 20th-century poets will be on display including Elizabeth Bishop and James Merrill – both frequent Key West visitors. What a fun way to introduce your children to the art of poetry.

The NYBG will also offer special children’s programs during the run of the Orchid Show. In Little Landscapes, kids can create and take home their own terrariums, complete with rocks, moss or flowers.

The Culinary Kids Food Festival will offer hands-on activities for budding chefs, teaching kids the important relationships between plants, farms food.

The NYBG Orchid Show is a great way to introduce your kids to nature. Don’t forget to visit the gift shop where you can take home your very own orchid – provided you have a green thumb!

 

* This piece was originally published on MommyNearest.com

O Captain! My Captain!

Although I may make fun of it from time to time, I am proud to hail from Long Island. The area is rich in history and is home to many important historical figures. One of them being Walt Whitman.

Something I’ve wanted to do for a long time is visit the Walt Whitman Birthplace site. However, as much as I visited the mall across the way that bears his name (and oh how I’ve visited it), I still had not gone to this national landmark. That finally all changed this past weekend when The Husband and I took a visit to the site.

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Whitman’s father, Walt. Sr. built the farmhouse around 1816 as a model home for the farmers in the surrounding area. Whitman was born inside the home in 1819 and the family moved out to Brooklyn four years later. The home  passed through a few owners through the years until the 1950′s when its final owner decided it needed to become a preserved landmark for the public to enjoy. Now the home has been restored to its original incarnation and it’s a great place to see.

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One of the things that struck me the most was the three lilac trees out front. They are original to the house and still blossom each and every Spring – pretty remarkable! In addition, there is a small museum on-site that features different exhibits as well as a first-edition of Leaves of Grass that Whitman self-published.

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The lilac trees will be in bloom shortly

It’s amazing what you can learn when you take the time to do so. I encourage you to discover the history in your own backyard. You’ll definitely be glad you did.

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Spring Fling

Last weekend, we were treated to a bit of warm weather in New York. But then it snowed again, and there went that. But it did give me a (short) glimpse into Spring which is making me feel really excited for the warm weather and all of the fun it has to bring. Here are some things I’m personally looking forward to this Spring.

Cherry Blossom Festival

Each year, the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens hosts a cherry blossom festival (Sakura Matsuri) at the end of April. A wonderful afternoon out for the whole family, it’s a great way to experience the fleeting beauty of the cherry blossom trees. It’s also a cultural festival complete with oragami-making demonstrations, Japanese tea ceremonies and taiko drumming.

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Our New Home

We are currently in the market for a house and if all goes well, we should be moving in sometime this Spring. I can’t wait to re-decorate and create a beautiful and livable space. My husband jokes that I want our home to look like a high-end hotel, but hey – this is FancyFunction! Yes, I want an amazing space but I also want everyone to feel comfortable in it. And I know I can accomplish just that.

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Quick Getaway

All of this constant snow and below-freezing temps have made me a bit nutty. We’re hoping to get away for a few nights to a warm locale – I’m thinking Aruba or Turks and Caicos. If anyone has any suggestions please send them my way!

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What are you looking forward to this Spring?

Images via Google and Pinterest

Fall Foward into Fashion

New York Fashion Week recently wrapped up and there were lots of trends that emerged. I’m not one to follow trends that intently but if I find something I like, I go with it. Here are some favorite looks that I’m coveting for next Fall.

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Pastels

Pale pinks and muted tones are on the forecast for Fall. I think this soft color palette works well for cold weather, especially a warm cashmere sweater, long coat or even a leather bag in a blush tone.

Bold Reds

I don’t wear red that often, but always feel like I should add some more to my wardrobe. I think a red wool skirt paired with a neutral top and stilettos or a fun red knit sweater with a great pair of jeans would be my way to go.

Chunky Knits

I’m a sucker for a chunky, cozy sweater so this is definitely a trend I can get behind.

What’s on your must-have list for Fall?

Images via Pinterest and Google