Last weekend, Reed and I decided to venture to the Bronx to see the orchid show currently going on at the New York Botanical Garden. After an hour train ride on my part and an hour drive on Reed's end, we bought our tickets and entered the huge greenhouse area of the show. The flowers were stunning and took up several rooms, with long orchid-lined hallways and sculptures made of orchids and a reflecting pond full of the blooms. Unfortunately, however, our visit to the gardens was cut rudely short when we were approached by a woman who said she worked for the museum. She asked us what we were taking photos for and we politely explained they were for personal use, which is true, and she made some odd comment about "no changing" and walked away. We wrote it off and continued to walk around and snap photos, just like every other visitor there was doing. But when I went to the bathroom to change into a dress I had brought with me -- a completely harmless action, you'd think -- and went to find Reed, the woman barreled down on me like a real psychopath. I'm pretty sure I actually saw her head spin around and her eyes turn as black as a demon, though that could have just been blurred vision caused by the speed in which she angrily told me she'd "warned me several times" that I could not change clothes. Not only is that the strangest rule I've ever heard, she also never spoke to us more than our single brief and unclear interaction 20 minutes prior. She insisted we talk to the security guards and she seemed determined for us to leave, but when she turned to the security guard and I politely explained the situation and why I changed, he scolded us but seemed ready to let it go since we were not causing any actual problems. She flipped her roll when she saw that, though, and narrowed her eyes at us menacingly, snarling "I think it's time for you both to leave," and grabbed me by the arm to pull me to the exit door. Reed and I were truly dumbfounded by the audacity of this crazy woman, who apparently took whatever slight power she had way way too seriously. If you can show me a written rule that says "you may not change clothes in the greenhouse bathroom," then please, by all means, let me know. But I am unlikely to ever go back to the gardens after how poorly and unprofessionally that foolish situation was handled. The woman could not have been older than 25 and seemed extremely immature, at best, so it's just unfortunate that the NYBG would hire someone like that to represent them. It marred what should have been an otherwise lovely day. Despite the psycho lady, Reed and I still had a good time, and he drove us back into the city and we hung out all afternoon, now laughing at the sheer absurdity of that morning's events. If you are considering going to the gardens, all I can say is, don't. They're absolutely not worth it and the Brooklyn Botanical Garden is so so much nicer.
Thanks Reed for the photos!