“…and I haven’t seen a crocus or a rosebud, or a robin on the wing. But I feel so gay in a melancholy way that it might as well be Spring” — (from the song “Spring is Here”)
Even though it was grey, cloudy, windy and nothing like the two glorious days of 80 degree weather we had here in NYC this week, I couldn’t help grinning as I walked through the village running errands. I’m sure people thought I was crazy. But the simple truth is that I was enjoying the signs of Spring that I could see all around me–even in the lousy weather.
Union Square had Magnolia and Dogwood trees in full bloom, and many of the planters on the street had tall thin leaves reaching upwards, getting ready for the closed buds of their flowers–daffodils and tulips-to bloom on the next sunny day. In corners you could see purple crocus hiding behind the new grass. Many of the trees with the outrageously allergic small white flowers on them were also in full flower, making you choke if you tried to speak while outdoors. But you could hear birds everywhere (except the pigeons, of course) singing their hearts out as they raced from tree to tree or chased each other through the air.
Street performers were out in far greater numbers–and singing with much more enthusiasm–now that it was warmer, and pedestrians were sitting anywhere they could, shivering a little but grateful to be able to be outside for more than a few minutes. The farmer’s market was crowded, and shoppers were buying branches of cherry blossom trees that they could take home and watch bloom. Taking the crosstown bus on 86th, you could see bright yellow forsythia bushes everywhere and draping over the walls in Central Park.
For me, I’m on Cherry Blossom watch on http://www.bbg.org , where you can see online just what plants are in bloom on any given day, from the comfort of your home, and figure out the best day to get over there. They have some of the very few existing Yellow Magnolia trees in New York (most are white or pink), and all the arbors are planted with hanging purple wisteria. I’ll know it’s finally true Spring when their outdoor cafe is open again, and I can enjoy their chili dogs….
In two weeks, the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens will be crowded with people enjoying the Sakura Matsuri, their Cherry Blossom festival, which draws in people even from Japan. It has live music, drummers, martial arts demonstrations, and presentations.
Maybe I’ll buy a new Kimono for this year.