My mom and I recently went to the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx to see the Chihuly exhibit. I met her for breakfast at Tom's on the Upper West Side (of Seinfeld fame) and we walked to the C train at 110th Street. We got off at 145th Street, the last place to transfer to the D which is the train that we needed to take to the garden. The first train that came was an A, and then another A. After the fourth A train came, I was frustrated and declared that if yet another A train pulled up, I was going home.
When the next train was indeed an A, my mom very sheepishly said "is there another level to this station? The announcements keep mentioning a lower level." We had waited for nearly an hour on the wrong platform, while presumably five D trains had come and gone below us. This was over a week ago and I still feel dumb but New York always seems to have a way of humbling you like this when you least expect it.
Despite the delay, we did eventually make it to the garden and it was packed. When I lived in Manhattan, I was a member of the NYBG and I went frequently. I have never seen it so crowded, and we had to wait in line just to get a ticket. Luckily the Chihuly pieces are spread throughout the grounds, so unlike the holiday train or orchid shows the conservatory wasn't overwhelmingly packed. They were also running trams quite often, and we took one to the rose garden.
I actually wanted to visit the rose garden because I thought there was a Chihuly piece there (there isn't) and roses have never been my favorite flower or held much fascination for me. They've always seemed a little boring and cliche, but I think I've under-appreciated them for too long—maybe it just means that I'm officially turning into the old lady I've always (not-so) secretly been. Even though the blooms were past their peak (my mom kept saying "it would be nice if they weren't all dead") it's hard not to be wooed by the variety, beauty and fragrance of the humble rose.