Tuesday, April 12, 2011
It has been a very long winter. One night, in the depth of the never ending cold, Joe and I watched An Education, and all I could think of during the lovely scene where Jenny and David lay bathing on the grass in Paris beneath the sunshine was how long it'd been since I've worn short sleeves.
But, yesterday. I finished an econ exam early and walked the quiet, gray streets around Washington Square Park, in a coat and sweater that felt too heavy for the pleasant warm pull in the air. Bursts of yellow daffodils sprung in clusters, and pale pink blossoms dotted eager trees in the distance. I watched the streets stir to life, a fruit cart merchant piling boxes, students lined up for their morning coffee. For the first time in a very long time, I didn't have to escape to a windowed room for comfort. I took off my coat and found a seat at a bench to watch the people passing. A policeman on horseback trotted past, and the horse's hooves made fresh, clear clicks on the asphalt street.
By lunch time it was bright and sunny and felt like summer. I caught glimpses of bare legs everywhere, a shock after so long of cover beneath heavy coats and thick tights. Everyone talked of the weather. The flimsy floral dresses that had already crowded the racks of stores months ago suddenly carried a new allure. I could almost believe that it was summer.
It was a marvelous feeling. In the evening, Joe and I went to Chinatown for dinner, and to walk the often forgotten streets off Canal after. The winding narrow alleys were mostly deserted, and beautiful, with the closed shutters of stores and signs bearing names of restaurants. Now and then we came across men sitting and talking on a stoop, or a group of kids in faintly oriental masks and costumes, having a photoshoot. We came to Doyers Street and the Nom Wah Tea Parlour, the backdrop to a recent Sartorialist photo I adored. At night, it felt like a complete transformation, of time and place. It was easy to believe that we were in 1920s China, arranging secret rendezvous in between games of cards and a haze of smoke.
We ducked into a Malaysian restaurant for dessert, and the moment we left for home giant rain drops fell upon us, slow but quickly increasing their frequency. We ran, laughing and cursing, to the subway, with damp hair and bag and clothes. It is finally spring.
(Need more convincing/to celebrate? This great compilation of Signs of Spring photos from around the world should satisfy even the most bitter skeptic.)