After hearing so much about it, Gothamist finally decided to head up to the Bronx to check out the New York Botanical Garden's Holiday Train Show. Inside the conservatories, there are replicas of various NYC buildings and landmarks, "made entirely from plant parts like berries, mushrooms, pinecones, and twigs," with model trains running through around, through and over them. And Gothamist can say that the replicas are pretty incredible. Adults and children filled the conservatory, oohing and aahing over the truly magical displays. We were dazzled by the detail that goes into constructing these models. Leaves for roofs! Twigs for arches! Of course, the conservatories aren't exact replicas of the five boroughs, so there are a understandable few geographic shortcuts: The Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridge span overhead, as the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building and Grand Central are clustered together. However, the Guggenheim is just a few inches away from the Metropolitan Museum, amongst flowers and evergreen, which translates pretty well. Another way Gothamist had a good time was guessing certain structures before we examined their nameplates.
The Holiday Train Show runs until January 9, 2005, and there are special holiday hours. And continue reading the post for more photos.
There were many brownstones, quite a few with specific addresses and explanations.
Radio City Music Hall is just beyond St. Patrick's Cathedral.
A little girl is very excited to see the Statue of Liberty. [Kids were pretty well-behaved in the exhibit. The NYBG doesn't allow strollers in the conservatory, so by the time Gothamist got there, there were tons of stroller parked outside.]
The ticket booth at Coney Island.
Everyone waited to see the train go back and forth on the Brooklyn Bridge.
It's the Guggenheim Museum, but made with mushrooms! Okay, it's not that accurate and looks kinda weird, but it's still awesome.
The Flatiron Building and the Washington Square Arch.
We would have liked to have seen teeny tiny figures, like Mayor Bloomberg, City Speaker Gifford Miller, City Comptroller William Thompson, etc., too, but just having City Hall was still nice.
The Holiday Train show is inside the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, which also has a huge warren of rooms full of plants and flowers. And previously, we posted about visiting the Holiday Lights at the Bronx Zoo and buying cheese at Arthur Avenue Market.