Spring is springing- So, let's spring
A Belated Happy Saint Patrick's Day First stop(maybe the second) is Old St. Patrick's Cathedral. Not the well known one in mid-town but, rather the original one tucked away on Mott St. in Little Italy. St. Patrick's Old Cathedral The Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral is the original Cathedral of the Archdiocese of New York. Since its construction 200 years ago on the corner of Mott and Prince, it has stood as the heart of old New York; a beacon for the Catholic faithful and an American symbol of religious freedom. Originally the center of a once impoverished Irish community, St. Patrick’s has expanded to serve a diverse community of Catholics from Italian, Hispanic, Asian, and various other origins. Today, our Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral remains a vital force in the community which proudly unites Catholics through worship, social groups and spiritual guidance. Mother Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first native-born American saint was a member of this church. Then, we go west through the Village to the bike path and south through Rockefeller Park to the Irish Hunger Memorial. We skirt around the Yacht Harbor, through South Cove Park, past the Museum of Jewish Heritage, through Battery Park and board the ferry for Staten Island. Once we're in S.I., we head straight for Snug Harbor. There, we have: The New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden, one of only two authentic classical outdoor Chinese gardens built in the United States. The NYCSG is a compilation of different gardens in China. It is based on Ming Dynasty gardens (1368-1644 AD). All the architectural components of the NYCSG were fabricated in Suzhou, China, including roof and floor tiles, columns and beams, doors and windows, bridges and paving materials. The garden features magnificent rocks resembling mountains that inspired the poetry and paintings of Confucian, Buddhist, and Taoist monks, as well as other scholars. Visitors can explore eight pavilions, a bamboo forest path, waterfalls, a Koi-filled pond, Chinese calligraphy, and a variety of Ghongshi scholar’s rocks including a 15-foot formation that towers over the central courtyard. A team of 40 Chinese artists and craftspeople spent a year in China creating the Garden’s components and another six months in Staten Island as craftsmen-in-residence at Snug Harbor to complete the construction. Fun facts about the New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden: • No nails or glue were used in the garden’s construction. Rather, the wooden elements are joined together through a sophisticated mortise-and-tenon system characteristic of traditional Chinese construction. • Bridges and paths frequently zigzag, providing visitors with ever-changing vantages to experience the garden. Chinese philosophers also believed that zigzagging paths would throw off evil spirits. • The mosaic on the upper pavilion incorporates broken pieces of rice bowls, representing China, and broken beer bottles, representing America. The craftspeople wanted to incorporate both materials as a symbol of harmony and unity between the two nations. Also at Snug Harbor: Staten Island’s Botanical Garden has been constantly evolving since it was founded in 1977 and incorporated with the Snug Harbor Cultural Center in 2008. From its initial English Perennial Border planting to the addition of the New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden in 1999 and the Richmond County Savings Foundation Tuscan Garden completed in 2011, the gardens are a popular attraction for all visitors. Throughout history, gardens have reflected landscape styles of various periods and the ways in which people view their relationship to nature. Remaining true to this purpose, the Botanical Garden includes gardens which represent specific periods and places, which coexist alongside more contemporary interpretations. Visitors enjoy the gardens in all seasons for their unique qualities, as well as for educational tools, recreation, and as backdrops for public programs. And then, need we say it, it's pizza for lunch!