(CNN) | London's abandoned rail and tube lines have been put to many novel uses down the years functioning as bomb shelters, impromptu party venues and film sets for Hollywood movies.
But a new idea to create a mushroom garden in a tunnel beneath Oxford Street is perhaps one of the more unconventional attempts to breathe new life into the UK capital's forgotten subterranean murk.
First there was the High Line, an elevated park that brought new life to a rusty, unused-for-decades elevated subway rail on Manhattan’s west side. Well now there’s an idea floating around that would turn the whole concept upside down, literally. A subterranean park created from the long-abandoned Williamsburg Trolley Terminal, on Delancey Street in NYC’s Lower East Side. The station hasn’t been in service, or even used, since 1948.
The brain child of Dan Barasch and James Ramsey, this park—the Lowline—would be the first of its kind, and one of the very few green spaces on the LES. The first reaction people have, aside from fascination, is the more rational, “But how the heck are you gonna get plants to grow underground, away from the rays of the sun.”
I just got back from the classic American family vacation in Yellowstone National Park and, honestly, I can’t wait to go again. In just a few days, we saw wolves, egrets, elk, mule deer, golden and bald eagles, and at least a thousand bison.
But, enough about the wildlife. Let’s talk about Mickey.
No, this isn’t a backdrop from Avatar. These so-called Supertrees are the centerpieces of the first phase of Gardens by the Bay, the city’s $805 million, 250-acre waterfront park. The “trunks” of the 18 soaring trellises (which reach up to 164 feet) will be dripping with Brazilian bromeliads, orchids from Ecuador, and other exotic flora. More highlights: 10 themed gardens, two glass-enclosed biomes, and an aerial walkway from which to take it all in.
Jennifer Chen is Travel + Leisure's Asia correspondent.
Photo by Morgan & Owens
Opening May 16th, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s new entrance along Washington Avenue is no garden-variety visitors center. Nestled into a hillside in the northeast corner, the 20,000-square-foot building aims to be a seamless extension of the 52-acre landscape, which could have amounted to an empty promise in the hands of a lesser firm. But the New York–based husband-wife team of Weiss/Manfredi delivers.
Don't miss Travel + Leisure’s December Trip of the Month, Big Sky Montana and Yellowstone National Park. In association with Travel + Leisure Elite Traveler, our travel club for deals on hotels, cruises, and more, the Trip of the Month offers T+L readers exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime itineraries from the world’s top tour operators.
Over the years, I’ve found one of the best ways to know a city’s best-kept secrets is to talk to its artists. I recently connected with one of Montreal’s rising stars—award-winning filmmaker and musician Daniel Isaiah, who's signed, appropriately, with music label Secret City Records.
This fall, after many of the 3.7 million annual tourists have packed their cameras and left Yosemite National Park, the National Parks Service will begin culling young trees to open up views of the iconic granite faces and dramatic waterfalls that ring the valley.
The summer season of events in London is in full swing, with Pippa Middleton starring as the new endlessly chronicled darling of the British press.
The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, the largest of its kind in the world, runs through July 10, and is known to attract London’s social stars along with thousands of gardening aficionados.
Ring in spring at the historic 1885 Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. From April 2 through May 26, the property will host its 26th Annual Festival of Flowers. Come tiptoe through over 100,000 tulips planted across 8,000 acres of the Olmstead-designed land.
Events throughout the six-week celebration include live music, gardening Q+A sessions, flower-arranging and cooking demos, and a grape stomp at the on-site winery. Families are invited to join Peter Rabbit, children’s musicians, and face-painters for an Easter Egg hunt on April 24th.