Field Trip: Wave Hill, Bronx NY. . . with Bees

30 Oct

Last weekend, CityBoy dragged me out of the City for one last, pre-winter hurrah. As you probably know, Jho and cold weather do not mix. I am a very unhappy camper. CityBoy jokes that it’s always too hot or too cold in New York for me. Which is almost the truth. There are about four weeks each year that I enjoy. Two weeks of spring/heading into summer and two weeks of fall. Otherwise, it is an abominable mess out here.

But back on topic, being the impressive planner that he is, CityBoy realized that last weekend was going to probably be one of the last nice weekends we’ll have for a long while (how depressing is that?), and he decided that he really wanted to get outside of the city for some Nature, with a capital N.

the Pergola Overlook

Which is how we ended up trekking out to Wave Hill, a gorgeous public garden and center set atop the cliffside in way upper Bronx. If you’re familiar with the area and/or have taken a MetroNorth or Amtrak train heading north from New York, you’ll remember seeing these amazing red cliffs from the train as you’ve speed along the Hudson. That’s where Wave Hill is. 

For the non-driving New Yorker, it’s a pretty spectacular place to visit that is still fairly close to the city (1/2 hour away) and easy to get to (if you are okay with a subway ride to a MetroNorth train to a Wave Hill shuttle). If you time it right and go on a Target Free Day, which we did, it’s even better.

Wave Hill House is unfortunately closed for renovations right now, but there is still plenty to check out on a warm-ish fall afternoon. There are overlooks and woodland trails and gardens.

the Wild Garden

A visitor center with requisite gift shop, where you will try (unsuccessfully) to not murder the children who can’t keep their hands off the wind chime displays. Lots of amazing plants that you’ve never seen before and that your mother would die for a cutting of (hi Mom).

i was desperate for one of these leaves but CityBoy threatened to call the garden police

The food choices leave a lot to be desired. While Wave Hill House and the Cafe inside are closed, they have set up a food truck outside the Gallery. Being a suave urbanite, I assumed food truck = gourmet tacos, pulled pork sandwiches or fancy banh mi. Unfortunately what they have is a truck out of which they serve pre-made sandwiches. They’re not totally gross, and they are reasonably priced (at least for New York), but you’re better off packing a lunch, if you think of it, and just getting drinks there.

But if you go soon, you will get to experience Hive Culture: Captivated by the Honeybee, this super cool exhibit they have in the Glyndor Gallery all about bees. There’s cool photography, mixed media, sculpture and even a one-woman show/film mimicking bee movements which is really creepy.

But the thing I became obsessed with, and took a ton of photos of, was Andrea Lilienthal’s Swarm. I mean, look at this thing.

holy bee swarm, Batman!

It’s made of hundreds of pussywillow catkins attached together with wire.

imagine tying a million flies together

And the shadows it cast as it spun slowly in the room were amazing. I told CityBoy he could get it for me as a(nother) wedding present.

i'm in love. seriously.

So, get up to Wave Hill. Not this weekend, because they’ve been battered by this crazy pre-Halloween snowfall that we just got. But soon. Or just obsess over Swarm.

I know I am.

Rock on, people.



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