July 10, 2019 2 Comments
Plans were in the works for us to see the Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden when, on Tuesday, March 26th, I received a copy of the April issue of Veranda magazine in the mail. As per usual, I sat down to give it a quick run-through to see if there was anything that caught my fancy. And, lo and behold, there was -- a terrific photo of Carrie Barratt, the first female president of The New York Botanical Garden – with the headline “A Force of Nature.”
The smart and stylish new Botanical Garden president
Photo: Courtesy of Veranda magazine, April 2019
WHO IS CARRIE REBORA BARRATT, PH.D?
Initially, this blog was to be about the Orchid Show that appeared in enticing shots on Channel One every morning as I sipped an oversized mug of coffee in order to start the day. But, since I love to write about successful females doing great or unusual things, I decided to research Dr. Barratt at once.
She is a Chicago native who lives in Manhattan and has two grown daughters, Norma and Anna. She received her bachelor’s degree at the University of Illinois, a master’s in art history from UCLA and a doctorate from the City University of New York.
On July 1, 2018, she became the ninth CEO and President of The New York Botanical Garden and the FIRST WOMAN to hold this position. She came to the Garden following a distinguished 34-year career at The Metropolitan Museum of Art where she worked as a curator who oversaw the display and digital cataloging of more than 10,000 works of American fine and decorative art. She said in an interview that exiting the Met after three decades “felt weird,” and that she was “not job hunting” when she was asked to apply for the Botanical Garden position in late 2017.
Maureen Chilton, the chairwoman of the Botanical Garden’s board – and the first woman to serve in that post – said that naming a woman as president marked “a nice moment” as the gender glass ceiling of top leadership positions at cultural institutions begins to break.
NOW ON TO THE ORCHID EXHIBIT
The island country of Singapore (where the national flower is an orchid) was the inspiration for the 17th annual Orchid Show at the Garden. Developed in partnership with “Gardens by the Bay” and “Singapore Botanic Gardens” – which features SUPERTREES that are dramatic and vertical plus ARCHES that showcase hundreds of colorful orchids in every shape and size.
A show-stopping sight that one sees when entering the Orchid Show at the Bronx Botanical Garden
“The orchid has surpassed the poinsettia as the horticulturally produced crop in the world,” says Marc Hachadourian, senior curator of orchids at the Garden. “They are the pandas of the plant world – they’re charismatic, colorful and engaging.”
“I own a lady’s slipper,” says Dr. Michelle Montenegro, an emergency room physician, who bought her orchid at last year’s show. “It’s still alive,” she explains with a laugh. “I built a special window shelf for it. I’ve killed a lot of plants. I’m better with people.” She sounds like a good sport to me.
WHERE IS THE AWKWAFINA ORCHID?
We had a devil of a time finding this rara avis – but we did. For the first time EVER, a new hybrid orchid is becoming a star! In fact, you might even know her from the silver screen. The orchid is VANDA AWKWAFINA and is named after the American actress who blew us away in last year’s film Crazy Rich Asians. CLICK HERE to read about the blockbuster movie that made millions.
CLICK AGAIN to read about the Crazy Rich Asians books.
The orchid named after Awkwafina, the American actress and New York resident who was one of the stars of the movie Crazy Rich Asians
COFFEE, THE NYBG SHOP, TRAIN & GRAND CENTRAL
Pleasantly exhausted from all our charging around we collapsed at the Pine Tree Café, fed the sparrows that, for some reason, are always INSIDE cadging eats, nosed around the Garden’s classy store, threw ourselves on the Metro-North train, landed in Grand Central and, because we decided we were starving, hit The Oyster Bar: a noisy, raucous joint that serves She-Crab Soup on Tuesdays/Thursdays and is one of our favorite spots in NYC.
Two little cuties in the NYBG restaurant saying, “Hurry up with the treats” – we never did figure out how they got in the restaurant
All photos of the Botanical Garden taken by Kristen BannisterShaun Nelson-Henrick
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October 22, 2020
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I think we’re all taken by the incredible mystique of the famous French fashion house, Hermès that has been with us for two centuries and is still owned and operated by the same family. From its beginnings in fine equestrian leather goods, they are – in the tumultuous year 2020 – best known for their handbags and many other items.
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