Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Lia Chang: Cherry Blossoms at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Cherry Blossoms in the Children's Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Cherry Blossoms in the Children's Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden (Photo byLia Chang)

I love the serenity of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s annual rite of Spring, Hanami, the Japanese cultural tradition of viewing and cherishing each moment of the cherry’s flowering season-from the first

Cherry Blossoms at Brooklyn Botanic Garden (Photo by Lia Chang)

Cherry Blossoms at Brooklyn Botanic Garden (Photo by Lia Chang)

buds, to the luminous blossoms, to the waterfall of petals cascading from the trees.

Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden: weeping Higan cherry, Prunus subhirtella ‘Pendula’. (Photo by Lia Chang)

Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden: weeping Higan cherry, Prunus subhirtella ‘Pendula’. (Photo by Lia Chang)

Check BBG’s online CherryWatch to see which cherry trees and other flowers are in bloom. Hanami at BBG culminates with the 28th annual Sakura Matsuri (Saturday, May 2-Sunday, May 3, 2009), a two-day festival celebrating nature and renewal with the striking beauty of the Garden’s cherry trees and their magnificent blossoms, and features a weekend of Japanese culture, arts, and performances.

Cherry Esplanade (Photo by Lia Chang)

Cherry Esplanade (Photo by Lia Chang)

Cherry Watch 2009
Early April to mid-May
The web-based exhibit maps the more than 220 cherry trees at BBG, tracks their blossoming, and provides a detailed guide to the cherry tree collection, including history, cultivation, and care of the trees.

Saturdays and Sundays at 1pm, take a Seasonal Highlights Tour focusing on the ethereal beauty of cherry blossoms. The Zagat-rated Terrace Café offers a selection of special Japanese entrées throughout the season, and the Garden Gift Shop will present an exceptional Hanami Collection at the Gift Shop, both in the Garden and online at

To honor the Garden’s internationally known collection of flowering cherry trees, NYC & Co.-New York City’s official official marketing, tourism and partnership organization-has named BBG its Culture Spot for the month of April. To celebrate the Culture Spot designation, beginning April 1 visitors will receive a special discount on all BBG branded merchandise (totaling $25 or more) in the Garden’s Gift Shop using a coupon available at, as well as at Official NYC Information Centers across Manhattan.

Hanami is sponsored by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of NY (

Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Hours: 8am to 4:30pm. Tuesday through Friday, 10am to 4:30pm on Saturday, Sunday, and holidays. The Garden is closed on Mondays; open holiday Mondays, except Labor Day. Admission is $8 for adults and $4 for senior citizens (65 and older) and students with ID. Children under 12, all school groups, and Garden members are admitted free at all times. By subway, take the 2 or 3 train to Eastern Parkway or the B (weekdays) or Q train to Prospect Park. By bus, use the B16, B41, B43, B45, B48, or B71. For more information call 718-623-7200.

Sakura Matsuri: May 2-3, 2009
Festival hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Rain or shine. Tickets are available through; for same-day ticket information, visit or call 718-623-7200. A detailed schedule of the festival is available at, and information is available by calling the public events hotline at 718-623-7333. Admission fees of $12 for adults and $6 for students and seniors will be charged all weekend, including Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. (On all Saturdays without public programs scheduled, the Garden will continue to extend free admission from 10 a.m. to noon.)

Other Articles by Lia Chang
Ruby Dee, Alicia Keys, Sidney Poitier among honorees at Woodie King, Jr.’s New Federal Theatre’s 40th Anniversary Gala at Edison Ballroom on May 22
André De Shields stars in Chicago Premiere of Charles Smith’s The Gospel According to James at Victory Gardens 5/14-6/12
32nd Annual Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Festival at Union Square Park in NYC on May 8, 2011
Vikas Khanna’s Holy Kitchens Karma to Nirvana premieres at New York Indian Film Festival on 5/7 at Tribeca Cinemas
11th Annual New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF), May 4-8, 2011
Video: Aroon Shivdasani interviews Samrat Chakrabarti at Mahindra Indo-American Arts Council (MIAAC) Film Festival
MIAAC Screens Ashes & The Waiting City, two films featuring Samrat Chakrabarti at SVA Theater on 11/12
Up Close and Personal with Darren Pettie, Star of The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore
House of Payne’s Denise Burse on the 2011 NAACP Image Awards & Season 7; “Shout Out” Episode airs April 20
Video: Denise Burse as Claretha Jenkins on House of Payne
Marva Hicks and the Columbus Jazz Orchestra light up the Southern Theatre with a “A Night at the Apollo”
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive.

Lia Chang Photo by Brianne Michelle Photography

Lia Chang Photo by Brianne Michelle Photography

Lia Chang is an actor, performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multimedia journalist.

As a photographer and videographer, Lia collaborates with artists, organizations and companies in establishing their documentary photo archive and social media presence. She has been documenting her colleagues and contemporaries in the arts, fashion and journalism since making her stage debut as Liat in the National Tour of South Pacific, with Robert Goulet and Barbara Eden. Lia currently plays Nurse Lia on “One Life to Live”. She has appeared in Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and “New York Undercover”.

Selections of Lia’s archive of Asian Pacific Americans in the arts, fashion, journalism, politics and space are now in the newly created LIA CHANG THEATER PHOTOGRAPHY PORTFOLIO in the ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN PERFORMING ARTS COLLECTION housed in the Library of Congress Asian Division’s Asian American Pacific Islander Collection.

Lia’s portraits and performance photos have appeared in Vanity Fair, Gourmet, German Elle, Women’s Wear Daily, The Paris Review, TV Guide, Daily Variety, Interior Design, American Theatre,, Life & Style, OUT, New York Magazine, InStyle,,,,,, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, USA Today, The Boston Globe, New York Times and Washington Post. A former syndicated arts and entertainment columnist for KYODO News, Lia is the New York Bureau Chief for She writes about culture, style and Asian American issues for a variety of publications and this Backstage Pass with Lia Chang blog.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2011 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at

One comment on “Lia Chang: Cherry Blossoms at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

  1. Michael Daly
    April 16, 2009!

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