When I looked out my window this morning all I could see was an abundance of white blossoms blocking my previously clear view of the street and revealing the beautiful sequence of trees lining East 87th. Having moved here in January I didn’t even realize these trees were alive, and I recalled a friend at Central Park this week respond to the revival of green with, “When did this happen, yesterday?” To which I replied, “Yes, this literally happened yesterday.”
Of all the things New York offers that Nashville, my most recent home, lacked, these days particularly make all the difference. You see, no one warned me that it rained constantly in Nashville. Year round random, day-long storms sporadically ruin plans and dampen moods, especially when you’re a college freshman adjusting to leaving the Sunshine State. Three years later March introduced me to New York City storms that downpour over the course of two or three days relentlessly, but conveniently come right on schedule with the forecast and cease just as cooperatively. Even more reassuring are the days after, a New York City distinction.
When we’ve weathered the storms, managed to travel through skin-scraping snowfall, maintained our mutually busy routines through blurry, soaking rain–both of which completely jam pack traffic and threateningly heighten all kinds of tension–we’re rewarded and relieved by the mercy of the following days. This transition phase, Spring’s fight for its long-awaited quarter, when each week allows another day of encouraging warmth, is our sneak peek at a whole slew of days after. Each of these days releases a dozen more buds, a little more green, and a few more degrees from winter’s grip, and no one celebrates this feat like the Upper East Side.
Every restaurant–chic, posh, authentic, ancient–rips open the blinds, unloads the patio settings, debuts seasonal dishes, and rolls out the overhang. From delivery-aided hibernation we emerge pasty, but hopeful, adorned with sunglasses that had settled in the depths of our purses and pastels our closets held captive and nearly swallowed whole, ready to rediscover the neighborhood we call home. Our retail neighbors anchor clothing racks outside so we can give this weather our full attention, and dog-friendly establishments set water dishes out for the influx of additional guests. We celebrate the new, united in relief and lightened by the ease of Spring’s onset.
Carl Schurz Park is as official a host to this celebration as a high school gym is to prom. No one needs a formal invitation to find the party. Dozens of nature lover’s take charge like a gung-ho PTA preparing the ultimate atmosphere for this community’s dance. Volunteers have tirelessly revamped the landscape with an increasingly colorful array of flowers each Saturday. Only a couple of weeks ago the grass was blanketed with snow and fenced in for winter, but the grand re-opening is attended by crowds of locals each beautiful day for the revival of Yorkville’s Little League, the return of family picnics, the replacement of gym memberships for unequivocal outdoor exercise, and the jubilation of playground access.
No need for a pop band, park days guarantee the background tune of children laughing and screaming with every size of dog harmonizing. The large dog run features entertaining games of fetch, tag, and capture the…ball, while the small dog run (although under temporary renovation) is definitely more of a comedic performance. On my first day after a storm, I brought Nugget to the small dog run expecting the winter average of three or four visitors only to find 40 other little pups fraternizing in front of three-deep crowds all around. It was like those random demonstrations in the middle of the mall–you can’t help pausing to watch the show.
On these days the river walk’s front row seats are completely sold out, while benches in the shade remain vacant and abandoned. The entire park is sprinkled with nannies, strollers, joggers, bikers, readers, people-watcher’s and sun bath-er’s contented by the breeze and disregarding time. As summer approaches we’ll even have the charm of concerts and movies within this beautiful setting. You don’t want to miss out, because this movement’s convincing, and everyone can join. The only obligation is that you get outside, take it in, and relax reassured. Spring is here! It happened yesterday.