Saturday, March 28, 2015

From Healing Nature to Kimonos to Orchid Cocktails, Flora infuses Gotham (in spite of Spring in "holding pattern)

Potting Up:  Connecting to Nature is healthy. Photo: Brian Peterson; courtesy of Healing Gardens
Healing Nature, a compelling symposium produced by The Horticultural Society of New York, revealed  (to the initiated) that Nature is restorative – contact with nature, especially plants, promotes human health and well-being, reduces stress.
Keynotes speaker, Naomi Sachs, ASLA, EDAC, Master of Landscape Architecture, Healing Landscapes is a Sherpa – helping lead others to practice Horticultural Therapy which uses plants, gardens and other aspects of nature to improve people’s health and well-being.
Healing spaces matter. Sachs presented a series of research-based evidence to show how Hort Therapy not only reduces the impact of stress, but also improves cognition, productivity, creativity, immune function, satisfaction, and more. 

“The sense of being in a good place is powerful and energizing -- offering high-energy, highly-innovative environments,” according to Therapeutic Landscapes.

Did you ever hear of “forest bathing?”  Forest bathing, is a Japanese practice Shinrin Yoku, to describe getting out and walking in nature. “Green exercise offers a reduction in stress and produces NK or “killer cells,” noted Sachs.  She described how the trees emit wood essential oils as a way of warding off “intruders” (mainly for insects but hey – this plant adaptation benefits humans so all good).  
Forest Bathing
Essentially, the wood oils or phytoncides are antimicrobial compounds derived from the trees, that studies show, raise the level of white blood cells that are the NK, natural killer cells.  They white blood cells can last a week in women exposed to phytoncides forest air, according to a Earth Day Year of the Forest Therapeutic Landscape Network blog post  

Just too much snowy weather forecasts this weekend?  Then head to the Orchid Evenings at the New York Botanical Garden  Forest Walk this evening through the heady, oxygenated Enid A. Haupt Conservatory and luxuriate in the thousands of intoxicating flowers.  And if it couldn’t get any better than boosting your white blood cells, there’s music and specialty cocktails inspired by Guerlain’s Orchidée Impériale line to really get one’s blood pulsing!  

And finally, a rare exhibit of antique kimonos is on display this weekend only, at Stephen Globus' Globus Washitsu, KeiSui-an located in an ethereally beautiful Japanese world (in the Penthouse at 889 Broadway) as the curators prepped for the evening’s VIP event. 
Sensory delight: Stunning Antique Obi, rare fragrance, & Kokedama  (created by EunYoung)

This Examiner received a sneak preview of the weekend show by Osami Kitazono, Founder and COO of Japanese Culture Style and EunYoung Sebazco. 
Osami Kitazono, Japanese Culture Style
Think of the show as a Hanami – “flower viewing” experience. The kimonos, table runners or “obi” – and slippers are fairly dripping with flower blossoms, especially the Japanese royal flower: kiku – or the chrysanthemum.  Thought this was just a throw-away, fall mum?  Think again.  The Japanese Imperial Seal – as featured on every citizen’s passport and is the coat of arms for the Imperial family, and their “Chrysanthemum Throne.”  

I first experienced the wonder of Globus Chashitsu and last year during a magical and mysterious demonstration of a Japanese Tea Ceremony and wrote about it for my Examiner Food & Drink column. 

The Power of Design, Antique Kimono Meets Interior Décor for your Home is a weekend only exhibit  – produced by Rinko Kimino and Tea-Whisk’s Souheki-san.
The exquisite kimonos are hung gracefully on the tatami covered walls.  Peaceful sounds of water add to the otherworldly effect.  
Wedding kimono
Together, they shared the history of this exhibit.  
During the Edo period Japan was closed to the outside world and had developed a unique culture of its own, however, since the first black ship arrival in 1853, Japan has adopted Western culture.  This can be seen especially in the fashion of the 1920s, influenced by the art deco design and the flapper’s fashion the Japanese women developed the Modern Girl – or MOGA Style.  Even though more people started to wear Western style clothes, the conventional kimono also changed during this time – becoming more dynamic and gorgeous.  The exhibition introduces the original designs of kimonos made during the 1920s to the 1950s.  The kimonos selected comes from a personal collector who has possessed them for many years and includes the highest quality antique kimonos of Meisen silk cloth with the Kinsha Chirimem of vibrant colors.  

All the art is available for sale.  (From $300 to $800 to "Ask" the price.)  

Child's kimono! 

EunYoung, ® with curator Rinko and Garden-State ceramicist

The very beautiful & talented EunYoung shows off the collection of Antique Kimonos at Globus Washitshu

I got the adorable Japanese slippers – great for yoga – (and are available for a more modest, $30.)  The slippers are explosion of happy blossoms. 

Happy spring.

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