While the cherry blossoms are the main attraction this time of year at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (and throughout the city), the tulips are equally spectacular every year. I had wanted to move to New York from the moment I first visited when I was 14, but I often mention how I solidified my resolve to move during a particular visit to the BBG cherry blossoms in 2012. That trip also included an equally life-changing visit to the Conservatory Garden tulips, which I now make sure to visit every year.
I was deeply unhappy with my life in Ohio for many reasons, and I spent hours under the cherry trees and surrounded by tulips, imagining how becoming a New Yorker would change my life. It was another year and a half before that dream finally became a reality, but each spring and its explosion of colorful blossoms will always remind me of that fateful trip.
I hadn't expected that trip to hold such significance in my life, at least no more than every other New York trip had, but life is funny that way. Things change so very slowly and then suddenly all at once. I used to say that spring was my least favorite season—full of rain and mud and temperamental temperatures—but now, despite its flaws, I've come to appreciate it for its unique virtues. And like the best changes in life, the hard work happens almost invisibly—trees bud high above the streets and roots spread out below—and then seemingly overnight the entire city is alive again.