In the Loop
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Ana Shindell / Staff Illustrator

As the weather gets warmer, it is the perfect opportunity to go outdoors—keeping in mind COVID-19 guidelines of course. If you are in the city, you’ll find that a number of events and activities will finally be open and available to the public after almost a year of restrictions, though many familiar events still operate under some alterations. To take full advantage of the spring weather and the extra hour of sunlight we get with daylight saving time, here are some events to look out for.

Tucker Square Greenmarket (West 66th Street and Broadway, Manhattan; open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursdays and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays)

Shed your winter coat for a lighter jacket and spend some time outside at the Tucker Square Greenmarket, which sells local produce on Thursdays and Saturdays. Open year-round, this farmers’ market is located across the street from Lincoln Center and hosts bakers, fruit vendors, and more. An upside to this neighborhood locale is its close proximity to Central Park, where you can head afterward for a picnic to enjoy your farmers’ market finds. For more information, check out its websites for Thursdays here and Saturdays here.

Cherry Blossoms in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (Entrances on Eastern Parkway, Flatbush Avenue, and Washington Avenue, Brooklyn)

It wouldn’t be springtime if the trees were not bursting with pink cherry blossoms. While this will be the second spring when Sakura Matsuri festival plans at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden must be altered due to COVID-19, you can still visit as the trees will bloom as beautifully as ever. You can even check the Botanic Garden’s website to see when the blossoms will be in peak bloom here. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is open from Tuesday to Sunday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. in March, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the same days beginning in April. You can buy tickets online here; general admission for students is $12.

New York Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival (Fifth Avenue from 49th and 57th streets; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Easter Sunday, April 4)

The New York Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival is a New York parade unlike any other, as it is more of a stroll than a parade. Participants sport large Easter-themed hats (and costumes) to participate in this Fifth Avenue tradition. It’s informal, and though it takes place on Easter, it is certainly not limited to those who celebrate the holiday. The tradition started in the 19th century for New Yorkers to show off their Easter finery, and today, its main focus is the parade-goers’ festive hats and costumes. Due to the pandemic, the parade was held virtually last year with participants posting photos of their festive getups on social media instead. Select photos were uploaded onto the Fifth Avenue Association’s website. This year’s festivities will be held online as well, so check the #EasterOnFifth hashtag on Instagram to see the creative getup that virtual paraders put on this spring.

“KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature” exhibit at the New York Botanical Garden (2900 Southern Blvd, The Bronx)

Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s immersive exhibits are famous all across the world. Her newest sculptures will be making their debut at the New York Botanical Garden starting on April 10 until October 31. Her popular installation, the Infinity Mirrored Room, will also be accessible starting in June. Tickets through June 30 can be purchased at this link. Your pass gives you access all across the Garden’s landscape where her sculptures are exhibited . Additionally, you will also have access to Flower Obsession (2017-21), an exhibit Kusama labels as an “obliteration greenhouse.”

You must reserve your timed-entry ticket to gain access to the Botanical Garden and the exhibit.

FRIENDS Experience: The One in New York City (130 E. 23rd St.)

The FRIENDS experience allows fans of the show to sip a coffee on the famous orange couch in Central Perk and enjoy an interactive visit where they can explore a recreation of Monica and Rachel’s living room, as well as other props from the show. It is unfortunately not located at the FRIENDS building facade in the West Village, but instead in Gramercy, at the corner of Lexington Avenue and 23rd St. To get your timed-entry ticket, click the link here.

Storm King Art Center (1 Museum Road, New Windsor, NY 12553)

Starting on April 7, the Storm King Art Center will reopen for the season. The outdoor art exhibit allows you to explore New York’s Hudson Valley as you walk through large-scale sculptures and installations. Located about 60 miles away from New York City in the town of Cornwall, the center is reachable by taking a train from Grand Central Terminal to Beacon station and then a taxi to the outdoor museum. For more information on getting to the Storm King Art Center, click here. To book your ticket, you can click here.

With the warm weather in full swing, more and more people will be out enjoying the sun. As important as it is to spend time outdoors and take a break from academics, remember to respect social distancing and COVID-19 guidelines wherever you go.

Staff writers Haley Long and Lina Bennani Karim can be contacted at haley.long@columbiaspectator.com and lina.bennanikarim@columbiaspectator.com. Follow Spectrum on Twitter @CUSpectrum.

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