The brevity of nature makes its presence known in every piece, from the sequins sewn in disjointed lines of a bold wide-cut bolero to imitate the way evening light might reflect off its angular structure, to the thin hand-painted wood shavings threaded together to form a light dress that rustles like delicate leaves.

Marlies Verhoeven and her little army from the Cultivist march through the same art museum every week until the flash of their silver membership cards works its magic for at least 10 spotless runs. No lines. No fees. No hesitation.

When the concrete jungle has lost its charm and New Yorkers tire of seeing plastic bags hanging from tree branches in lieu of leaves, you can find them seeking refuge from the city at the New York Botanical Garden.

Blending its sharp glassy angles into the Meatpacking District, the new Whitney Museum of American Art has shed its reputation among locals as the big grey box on the Upper East Side and put $422 million (U.S.) into a new building that appears to extend the look of the High Line out toward the Hudson River.