After all those April showers, it’s finally starting to feel like spring. And what better way to welcome those May flowers than with these events, capped off with the 30th(!) annual edition of a Brooklyn Botanic Garden classic.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011, 7:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.
NY Loves Japan
269 11th Avenue(between 27th and 28th Streets)
Tickets: $100 general admission/$175 VIP (click here for VIP details)
The New York Sake and Japanese Food Community has joined together with non-profit volunteer organization Project by Project to organize a fundraising event to support disaster relief in Japan in the wake of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. New York’s leading Japanese food and sake distributors, chefs, restaurants, food writers, public relations companies, and cooking schools have come together to form NY Loves Japan.
The spirit of unity, sorrow, hope and pride has brought these great companies together with a shared mission to raise money for non-profit organizations that will directly fund relief activities in Japan. The event will feature over 100 types of sake and food from 15 distinguished restaurants,including Bond St., Matsuri, 15 East, and Bao Noodles, with all proceeds going to the Japanese Red Cross.
Also planned are an onsite silent art auction and eBay Giving Works charity auction site, offering items like NYC restaurant gift certificates, spa certificates, autographed celebrity cookbooks, merchandise, and more! Visit www.nylovesjapan.com for details.
Saturday, April 30, 12:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City
223 E 30th Street(between 2nd and 3rd Avenues)
Free to volunteer. RSVP to Katrina Barnas
Back by popular demand! Join fellow members of the JET Program Alumni Association of New York as they teach NYC kids about Japanese culture in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters and NY de Volunteer. Step up to show off your origami, katakana or kimono-tying skills, or help with crowd control and meet new friends. Last year’s event drew over 60 kids with their bigs, and even more are expected this year. Also welcome are planners and anyone who can provide contacts for or perhaps lead a karate demonstration.
Saturday, April 30-May 1, 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
30th Annual Sakura Matsuri
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Enter at 900 Washington Avenue (between Crown and Carroll Streets)
Tickets: $10/$15 general admission; free for children under 12 and BBG members
Featuring two days of the best of both traditional and contemporary Japanese arts and culture, Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Sakura Matsuri cherry blossom festival sports an unrivaled collection of more than 200 Japanese flowering cherry trees—the most diverse array anywhere in the world outside Japan! Come experience the Japanese custom of “hanami” (flower viewing) and learn about Japanese culture, on full display all weekend long through dance, martial arts, manga, costume play (“cosplay”), workshops, demonstrations, and guided tours of the Garden’s Japanese plant collections.
Among the more than 60 events and performances on the schedule for 2011 are a host of new features, including a performance by Morning Musuko, a 15-member brassy J-pop big band; a specially commissioned contemporary dance work by the respected Saeko Ichinohe Dance Company; and a Puzzle Plaza where visitors can immerse themselves in with Sudoku, kakuro, LaQ and the legendary game of go.
Returning favorites include performances by Okinawan-pop stars happyfunsmile and martial artists Samurai Sword Soul, plentiful manga and anime activities including signings by famed manga artists and a live collaboration between Pokémon voice actress Veronica Taylor and artist Misako Rocks!, and several hands-on activities for kids to enjoy.
During this season celebrating its historic relationship to Japanese culture and horticulture, the Garden reflects on the recent tragic events in Japan, and invites visitors to find opportunities for contemplation amidst its flowering cherries, Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, the bonsai exhibition Graceful Perseverance, and more. Visitors will be invited to make an origami crane that will eventually join thousands of others sent to Japan as a gesture of support and unity.
For more on the Garden’s flowering cherries and hanami events (and a eye-popping cherry blossom time-lapse video), visit www.bbg.org/discover/cherries.
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