By Carol Tannenhauser
Monday, March 27, 2023.
Afternoon rain. High 57 degrees.
Our calendar has lots of local events! Click on the link or the lady in the upper righthand corner to look.
Tuesday, March 28th, 7:00pm. There will be a joint CB 7 Health & Human Services and Housing Committees meeting, at which a representative of Gov. Kathy Hochul will discuss her Master Plan for Aging.
Click to register for the meeting.
In 1912, in a display of friendship on the 100th anniversary of the first commercial steamboat voyage in the world (in 1807, Robert Fulton’s Clermont traveled 150 miles from New York City to Albany in 32 hours at an average speed of five miles per hour), the Japanese government gave New York City 2,500 blossoming cherry trees. An equal number were given to Washington, D.C. Washington planted its cherry trees in one area, “probably a wise marketing decision,” wrote The New York Times. “New York spread its out across Upper Manhattan, in several areas of Central Park, Riverside Park, and an annex to Riverside east of Riverside Drive and Grant’s Tomb that was renamed Sakura Park. Sakura is Japanese for cherry tree.”
The trees that arrived were the second shipment sent by Japan. The “1912 Parks Department Report on Cherry Trees” explains what happened:
The original consignment was forwarded in time to reach New York in time for the celebration, but the trees were lost in transit [the ship sank], and a new lot had to be gathered from the nurseries of Japan. The later consignment comprises many rare varieties having beautiful blossoms. All are very hardy, as proved by their condition upon arrival, after a journey of nearly three months, closely packed in cases which were stored in the steamship’s hold in transit. Not one dead tree was found in the lot. They were planted in Central and Riverside Parks in masses, and all were thriving at the end of the season. The only losses were through vandalism.
The list below shows where the cherry trees were planted and how many at each site.
Cherry trees have a typical lifespan of 60 years, so most of the trees you see today are replacements. In 2012, The Times wrote that “at least two centenarians may be thriving along the reservoir in Central Park. To find them, enter at East 90th Street and walk north looking for the large, gnarly specimens.” Please let us know if they made it to 111!
When will they bloom?
“These flowers are fleeting—and with this year’s warm winter, they’re blooming much earlier than usual,” according to the Central Park Conservancy. “Once a tree starts blooming, it’ll hold its blossoms for about 10 days. But when, exactly, each tree begins to flower depends on a mix of daylight and temperature, which is hard to predict. Most of New York’s cherry trees are in bloom by mid-April, though certain types bud a bit earlier or later.” New York also has different types of cherry trees, which bloom at different times. For a description of each and a schedule, check out this website.
Where to see them:
Central Park: The Reservoir, the Great Lawn, Cherry Hill, Pilgrim Hill, the Sheep Meadow — for exact varieties, more information, and a map, click here.
Riverside Park: “The stretch of Riverside Park between 100th and 125th streets is recognized by NYC Parks as Cherry Walk.
Sakura Park: Located north of 122nd Street, between Riverside Drive and Claremont Avenue, Sakura Park was renovated in 1986. At the ribbon cutting, the Japanese Consul said, “In Japan, the sakura is a symbol of renewal and bright promise. The appearance of their fragile blossoms each spring strikes a resonant note in all Japanese. New Yorkers can enjoy cherry trees once again in Sakura Park, an island of calm on the hectic island of Manhattan.”
Not All Flowering Trees Are Cherries:
There are also magnolias, crabapple and other fruit trees that bloom around this time. To identify them, click here.
Now, go forth and enjoy!
Re: West Side and City news….
Brooklyn friend relayed that City Council will vote on making restaurant shacks permanent?
How can there be massive land use change without a City environmental review?
Without Council members notifying constituents ?
I LOVE our new outdoor dining options. I hope they are permanent. Cars kill us every day.
The traditional sidewalk seating is one thing….but perhaps people don’t realize that the Covid “temporary” street sheds are infested with rats?
Also do not understand the car comment?
If number of vehicles is the issue, it should be noted that Uber, Amazon/ECommerce, commercial delivery (including deliveries for restaurants and stores) and other service/commercial are most of the vehicles
We’re hearing the same thing downtown! Have you seen the alternative outdoor dining plan proposed by New Yorkers? Check it out here: https://www.cueupny.com/
The plan is to make the “roadway dining” seasonal only (I think May-October), so they will have to be removed every winter, and they won’t be permitted to be enclosed.
That’s the plan laid out in the legislation – but the restaurant and bar trade groups are fighting like he** to keep the program year-round. And have setups with “weather protection” – aka roofs or canopies, and tent-like material or transparent walls on the sides. And heat them in the winter.
Hopefully they won’t change the legislation. I can live with unenclosed patios (no walls or roofs) in the warmer months when they will actually be used. I can’t believe anyone would support permanent shacks year-round in the street. End the sheds!
FYI, the tree pictured is aa American Redbud, not a cherry tree.
Accuracy is optional. Let’s just celebrate the effort, LOL!
Mea culpa. As Joe E. Brown says in the last line of Some Like it Hot, “Nobody’s perfect. “
Re: “a representative of Gov. Kathy Hochul will discuss her Master Plan for Aging”.
Not sure if I need a plan; aging seems to be happening anyway.
Gotta go, my back’s starting to hurt…and my arm…and did I tell you what my doctor said,…and……
ha, ha, that got my attention, too. Wish I had a Master Plan for Aging!
I saw on another news site that the outdoor dining law is about to be voted on by City Council, without a public hearing. A great deal of public space is about to be ceded to the restaurant/ bar industry alone, giving the lie to the idea of “shared curb access.” Loading zones, bike parking for non-rental bikes, containerized garbage, residential and visitor parking permits, widening sidewalks for better pedestrian flow, bioswales to manage stormwater – all good ideas that cannot be realized when thousands of sheds are in the street. The city should put a pause on this until they honestly tell the public why they think turning our residential neighborhoods into a 24/7 street festival is the better plan.
Our friends were visiting from the Netherlands.
They were shocked and dismayed to see the restaurant shantytowns throughout Manhattan.
I assume they were also shocked at the lack of protected bicycle lanes.
To NY should be…:
They’ve been to NYC before, pre-Covid.
Actually they like NYC buses and subways and the walkability of Manhattan.
They were shocked by the amount of ecommerce delivery and food delivery wondered why people don’t shop locally.
Trees actually appear way behind from prior years. March has been very cold with no very warm days.
Does anyone have info on the ” Thomas Jefferson School Farm” mentioned as a planting area in Riverside Park? I can’t find anything in my initial internet search.
NYC has an amazing (at least to me!) interactive Tree Map where you can zoom in by block, species, and more.
A search for Cherry shows their many locations throughout Riverside Park as well as a few tucked away on UWS blocks.
For some reason Central Park trees are omitted from the map.
Oops, WSR already gave us the full scoop about the citywide tree map!
I recently heard why the Central Park trees are not on the map – apparently the CP Conservancy has its own inventorying process..and they map the trees on their own.