New York

The Best Plants for Travelers

Photo taken at Sprout Home - Brooklyn, NY

The other day, as I walked down Grand Street in Brooklyn, I came across a little shop that stopped me in my tracks. This shop was Sprout Home, a florist and plant nursery, bursting with all sorts of luscious greenery. 

I had to walk in.

The mustardy yellow wall near the front door offered the perfect contrast to the green cacti welcoming me inside. It was impossible to resist the urge to snap as many photos as I could manage. And while I looked for the perfect angles for each little succulent that got in my way, I realized that I wanted a plant. But could I keep it alive?

Photo taken at Sprout Home - Brooklyn, NY

As a frequent traveler, sometimes I’m abroad for weeks at a time and I figured that not many plants would be able to survive going thirsty for that long. But it turns out there are a few that could.

I’ve been doing a lot of asking around and searching online, and it looks like these five plants could be my safest bets:

1. Succulents

This may seem like an obvious one, after all they look like cacti. (Did you know that cacti are a type of succulent?) Why are they good for frequent travelers? Succulents store water in their stems, roots, and leaves, so they can survive longer without being watered. In fact, they may wilt if you over-water them. They also come in an assortment of shapes, colors and sizes, so you’re sure to find one to your heart’s desire. 

Photo taken at Sprout Home - Brooklyn, NY

2. Snake plants

Snake plants are a succulent, but they don’t look like it! (It’s their secret identity! haha). These plants are famous for their air purifying ability and their ease of care. I have two of these, so I can confidently say that they don’t need that much attention to grow and prosper. Why are they good for frequent travelers? They only require watering every two weeks or so, they also don’t require much light. Snake plants thrives in medium to bright indirect light, but can stay healthy in low lights, too. 

3. Pothos

Pothos have wide leaves and tend to grow in width rather than height. They also come in a few different colors: Marble Pothos have a green and ivory colored leaves, while Jade Pothos have deep green leaves and Neon Pothos have lighter green leaves. Why are they good for frequent travelers? They require to be watered slightly more often than succulents, but weekly watering is enough. They can also thrive in low light so they are good if you live in a small space without many windows. 

4. Zanzibar gem

Also known as a ZZ plant, the Zamioculcas zamiifolia is a tropical plant originating in Africa. It’s glossy leaves are chubby stems make for a beautiful bundle. However, this plant is not good for a home with pets. The Zanzibar gem is toxic and poisonous if consumed. Why are they good for frequent travelers? Like succulents, the Zanzibar gem’s chubby stems collect water, so you don’t have to water them often. They are also good air purifiers. 

5. Philodendron

These plants have really wide green leaves and a super tropical feel. (I may need to get one now that I found out what they are called!) They have a really lush and shiny look that makes them look like they need a lot of upkeep. However, they don’t need as much care as you’d think. Why are they good for frequent travelers? They are known as a nearly impossible to kill and they grow really fast. The only downfall is that these are also poisonous for pets, so you’ll need to keep them out of their reach or choose a different variety. Many people put them in hanging pots. 

Photo taken at Sprout Home - Brooklyn, NY

Photo taken at Sprout Home - Brooklyn, NY

Going on a long vacation doesn’t always mean you’ll come home to a dead plant. There are a lot of tools you can use to create a makeshift watering system that can keep them moist while you’re away. Like these small Aqua Globes that can keep plants watered for up to 2 weeks. 

If you have a pet, make sure to check with your local nursery before buying a plant to make sure they’re not poisonous to your little buddy.

 

Sprout Home
All the suggestions and tips on this post are based on my personal research and unrelated to Sprout Home.

Hours:
Daily 10:00am to 7:00pm

Website: www.sprouthome.com

Address: 
59 Grand Street
Brooklyn, NY 11249

Photo taken at Sprout Home - Brooklyn, NY

Photo taken at Sprout Home - Brooklyn, NY

Photo taken at Sprout Home - Brooklyn, NY

Photo taken at Sprout Home - Brooklyn, NY

Extraordinary Libraries: The Morgan Library & Museum

Think of 34th street in Manhattan. What’s the first thing that comes to mind? If you live in NYC, you probably thought of the busy streets of Herald Square. If you’ve visited the city, you probably thought of the massive Macy’s department store and the Empire State Building. In any case, your first thought most likely had nothing to do with a library. And yet, just a few blocks east of Macy’s, you’ll discover an extraordinary book collection.

Hidden in plain sight, on the corner of Madison Avenue and 36th Streets is the Morgan Library & Museum. Though many have never heard of it, it’s been standing in the same place for over a century. 

It’s a stunning place to explore. This library has nothing to envy major national libraries. The extraordinary collection includes the scraps of paper on which Bob Dylan wrote “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “It Ain’t Me Babe”; autographed and annotated libretti from Beethoven, Chopin and Mozart; and manuscripts of Charlotte Brontë, Lord Byron and Sir Walter Scott’s novel “Ivanhoe”. 

Most notable amongst the books inside are the Gutenberg Bibles. As of 2009, only 49 copies of this bible survive and only 21 of those are complete. While the most prominent libraries around the world have 1 or 2 copies of it, the Morgan Library is the only library to house 3 copies. Even the Vatican Library only holds 2 incomplete volumes. You can view a digital copy of one of the bibles here

Morgan’s Study

But it’s not only the collection that’s impressive. The interior design of the building is just as amazing. There’s a rotunda with a domed ceiling with painted murals inspired by Raphael. Another breathtaking room is Morgan’s study. A dark room with rich scarlet upholstery that covers the walls, as well as a matching red carpet. The furniture are all antique pieces that draw a picture of what it would have been like to visit this library back in the day. 

A bit of history

The library was founded by John Pierpont Morgan, Sr. in 1906 to home his personal collection. JP Morgan was one of the most prominent financiers and bankers of his time, and his name is still synonymous with banking and investments today. He was also an avid collector, buying books, pictures, drawings, paintings and other art objects. He loaned many of these to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, of which he was the president. Many others were kept at this library. After his passing, the library was made a public institution in 1924 by his son J.P. Morgan, Jr.

 

Museum entry:
$22 Adults 
$14 Seniors (65 and over)
$13 Students (with current ID)

*Free to members and children 12 and under (must be accompanied by an adult)

**Admission is free on Fridays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Hours:
Tuesday through Thursday: 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Friday: 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Closed Monday, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.

Website: www.themorgan.org

Address: 
225 Madison Avenue at 36th Street
New York, NY 10016

IMG_2975.JPG