Loki Takes New York, Day 5: Gardens and Goddaughters

The humans have PLANS today.  Isn’t that cute?  They really think that the combination of subway + Loki + goddaughter (who is coincidentally visiting this metropolis with her grandmother and is being borrowed for the day) = Something That Can Be Scheduled.

I am on a first name basis with the folks at the MTA now. The first train the humans boarded decided that it did not want to run to the Bronx today and decided to reverse direction halfway there.  The humans scrambled off at the next stop and jumped onto a different one.  That one has now decided it was running late and will be an express, omitting a handful of stops.  Luckily, the garden that the humans wish to visit is still on the list of stops.  But we are going to be late.  That works out well, because the blue-haired goddaughter and her grandmother gave their Uber driver the name of the garden in Brooklyn, so they have had a minor detour of their own.

(later) After exiting the train and having a bite of breakfast (egg-on-roll sandwiches purchased from a shop in which Allspeak would have been decidedly useful), the humans spent another half hour wandering about, looking for the entrance to the garden.  Yes, the folks at GoogleMaps also work for me.

So now, at last, an hour past the initial rendezvous time, here we all are.  The first thing past the ticket booth is a reflecting pool with a pleasingly fierce, toothy sculpture.


It’s supposed to “evoke the flowers of lobster claw ginger.”  If you say so.   Wouldn’t it be a shame, though, if it somehow came loose from its moorings and, say, rolled over the human female?

This is quite the garden!  We are surrounded by flowering trees and shrubs


Sigyn thinks that Styrax flowers will be very “in” this year,


and that every home should have a peony to nestle in.

We have reached the big conservatory.


That is a LOT of glass.

The fully grown palms and tree ferns make a nice pattern against the roof.


This whole place is quite photogenic.  Since the male and the goddaughter are both photographers and Sigyn and the female are plant nerds, I predict we will be here for. ev. er.

The entire garden is hosting an exhibit by a famous flower painter, with emphasis on the plants of Hawai’i she painted.  The Hawaiian plants all have special signs.


Ah. This is a lobster claw ginger.  Now that wacky sculpture makes sense.


Even though the flowers are bright red, Sigyn says she likes this tiny Streptocarpus better.


Possibly because the flowers look easier to wear on one’s head…

Oooh!  Carnivorous plants!


They don’t have anything large enough to take on one of the felines back home, but they are still interesting.

As are the denizens of the Desert House.   This aloe is green and pointy.


I approve.

Sigyn is squeeing over this red, furry one.  What a surprise.


The human female has fallen for this one.   There’s no label, but she’s pretty sure it’s in the Apocynaceae.


So: it’s yellow, clingy,  toxic, and obscure.  Yes, that suits the human female very well.

After what seems a week and a half, we have finally left the glass house.

Sigyn wants to visit the rock garden, since rock garden plants are often diminutive and “cute.”

I will admit, it is beautiful. Too bad the human male is not allowed to take his new rolling camera bag on the gravel trail.  The human female will have to content herself with a lightning fast look around, then exit to mind the bag while the male goes in to take a squillion photographs.


Sigyn and I are neither restricted nor hampered and can stroll at leisure.  These tiny bellflowers are, according to my beloved, “dainty and charming.”


So are you, my sweetling. So are you.

(later)  After viewing the art exhibit and poking in the gift shop, we left the garden and returned to the central city via above-ground Metro Train.  For an extra fee, of course.  After missing the first train looking in three different places for the ticket booth and having to wait a half hour for the next one.

We left the goddaughter to make her way to her inn from Grand Central Terminal–which, as the guidebooks say, has a fascinating ceiling full of stars.  On the way out of the terminal, we caught a glimpse of one of the human female’s favorite buildings.

day5-Chrysler and moon

It is the one she most wishes to observe from the top of that one very tall building.  We’ll see about that… (Cue ominous music.)

Now we are having dinner in an establishment that bills itself as a purveyor of grown-up grilled-cheese sandwiches.   It has peculiar tables.


Ah! The food is here!  The male has a burger-ish sandwich with grilled onions.  The female has chicken with herbs.  There is, in fact, a good deal of melted cheese involved. The tuberous tots are also cheese-bedecked.


Whether the humans have walked off the equivalent of all these calories today is left as an exercise for the reader.

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Whirlwind Getaway, Day 2, Part One: Do We *Really* Want to Be Outdoors?

Ugh.  No relief from the heat.  If anything, it is hotter than yesterday.  Large City to the North is not friendly to Frost Giants.  The humans have no consideration for me, though, so we are off.  Time to get going!  Things to do!  People to see!  Double ugh.

But first:  breakfast!  The human female’s preoccupation with waffles— and difficulty with them—has been documented here before, from her slap-dash approach to toppings  to her inability to fill a waffle iron completely.  She is at it again.  The inn at which we are staying has two waffle irons, one of which makes the standard round waffle at which she fails so spectacularly, and another which produces conjoined quadruplet wafflettes.  The female, self-righteously believing she is saving a few calories, has opted to only make two.  And eat them plain.  They don’t taste as nice that way, but at least I’m not forced to look at one of her Jackson-Pollock masterpieces.


Our main activity for today is a visit to the Botanical Gardens.  I hear they are very fine, especially one sub-garden which has been groomed in the style of a garden from the other side of this realm.  We shall begin here.

The human male, who has lived in foreign parts, says this is a lantern.  I do not see how that can be correct, as there is no bulb and no cord.  Nor is there a reservoir for kerosene or other combustible.  Obviously it is a rustic little rain shelter, for use should inclement weather arise.   Or possibly, a very fancy bus stop.  Luckily, we have no need of either today.


There is a series of pools and falls running through the garden.  The human female has purchased some fish food to feel the finny denizens of the pools.

But I have let these most persistent waterfowl know that breakfast is served.


The fish are coming, but the ducks are faster, so likely the fishies will go hungry.


Once the ducks are distracted elsewhere, the feeding frenzy can begin.  Don’t get too close to the edge, Sigyn!  One of those gaping mouths could suck you right in!


It is not only ducks and carp who appreciate a good fish kibble.


Apparently, there is a lot of eating going on here today, because down by the big pool, there’s a big blue heron standing perfectly still, just waiting for a bite-sized carp to get a little too close…

The landscape materials here are very fine.  This boardwalk through a bamboo thicket is both decorative and sturdy.


The bamboo itself is eminently suitable for dangling.


Sigyn, should you be doing that so soon after breakfast?

The human female has given up trying to count the number of maple varieties represented here.  Sigyn, naturally, prefers the ones that are red all year round.


Another rain shelter.  This would make a cute little summer house, don’t you think, Sigyn?


There is not much blooming at this time, but trust my sweetie to make a beeline right for the showiest blossom.


The bluey-purply ones are nice too.  They look like little bells.  Or, if you are Sigyn, big bells.


While Sigyn and the human female are botanizing and the male is taking photographs, I can explore a bit on my own for a while.


Neener neener neener.

Sigyn has rejoined me and we are completing our circuit of the garden.  There is some very decorative bamboo fencing.  Mortals, why cannot we have this at home?


The gift shop is apparently partially a nursery.  It sells these quaint little trees.


As well as the tiny little buildings to put next to them to give them  a sense of scale.  (Actually, rather than making the miniature trees look big, the tiny houses just make Sigyn look ENORMOUS!


All of our exploring and marveling at the beauties of nature, as well as our reading about the symbolism of the objects in this garden, have left me with just one burning question:

Sigyn, if I bought you this raccoon sake set, would you use it?


What is is they say in this realm?  “Stay tuned, kiddies.  Lots more to come!”

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