During the last several years I have taken a number of MeetUp groups to Snug Harbor and the Chinese Scholar Garden. Although this venue is now over 20 years old, it still holds a sense of tranquility, peace and serenity as it did when it first opened. As we walked on the walkways and watch the koi swim in the pond, there are designs on the pavement which we tried to identify .
Most of the my tour participants had never been here before and were amassed at the beauty of it. We walked and at certain points, I showed pictures of my trip to China to compare their Lingering Garden to what we saw and what we were experiencing right here in New York City.
As for me, Snug Harbor Cultural Center continues to fascinate me and when I find myself somewhat melancholy, I take the ferry ride and walk to the Chinese Scholar garden, where I can spend a couple of hours sitting by the pond or sitting on one of the benches there to meditate or to read. I also get a chance to walk through the Bamboo alley or the allee, where you are surrounded by intertwined trees..
There is so much to see at Snug Harbor and I highly recommend that you take the ferry and a quick bus ride to Snug Harbor where you will enjoy every moment you spend there.
This is a little history of the Snug Harbor Chinese Scholar Garden. It was an initiative by Frances Huber, President of the Staten Island Botanical Garden, in 1984. All the materials were built in Suzhou, China. They hired Chinese craftsmen and artisans to create this beautiful garden. The most incredible thing about the scholar garden is the way it was constructed. They did not use any glue or nails for its construction. It took a year for the construction in China and six months for the installation at Snug Harbor. The garden opened to the public in 1999.
Enjoy this video and compare it to the one of the Lingering Garden in China. (3/2020)
Why travel to China to see beautiful gardens, when you can go to Staten Island
Originally published: August 4, 2014 —
Several years ago, a friend and I spent twelve days in China. We were in Suzhou for three days. There we visited one of the most beautiful gardens in the world, the Lingering Garden. For several hours there, we experienced a feeling of calmness, serenity, and tranquility. It was one of the best days that we had there.
A couple of months after returning home, a friend and I went to visit Snug Harbor Cultural Center, we made this trek before Super Storm Sandy bombarded the city. We took the ferry to Staten Island and then bus #40 to the Cultural Center, workers were fixing the governor’s house, and we walked down a row of unique small houses and reached a hidden entrance—a big red door.
As we entered, it was as if we were transported to China; there were sculptures, a Koi-filled pond, windows peering into gardens, a meditation room, waterfall, a single white flower blooming and so much more.
There was a scholar room where monks would have spent an afternoon studying Confucius, Buddhist or Taoist words. I remember visiting a number of temples in China and seeing these very peaceful pavilions and saw studious monks reading or chanting their prayers..
As in China, we spent a glorious afternoon sitting at a table, the sun shining, the breeze cooling us during a very hot summer afternoon. We talked about how a team of Chinese artists created this hidden treasure for New Yorkers and tourists to enjoy. It is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.
Behind the garden, you will discover a forest of bamboo trees. I almost expected to see Pandas up the tree enjoying their meal.
I was so impressed with Snug Harbor that I have returned several times since Hurricane Sandy and am still overwhelmed with the beauty of the cultural center.
#SnugHarborCulturalCenter #ChineseScholarGarden #LingeringGardenChina