As fitting for one of the world’s most impatient people, I do not like to wait for things. There are times when I wish the microwave would hurry the hell up, and I wonder why it takes SO LONG for the subway doors to open. So at the beginning of April I still had to bundle myself up in tights and boots, I was not a happy Manhattanite.
To be fair, I have long had trouble adjusting to weather in the Northeast, as in Florida by the beginning of March we are back at the beach. But this year it just seemed absurd. The days of simultaneous sunshine and warmth were too few and far between to make any sense. Where was this famed springtime New York was known for? Yes, there were few days when I thought to myself, ah yes, here it is! I could walk through Central Park on the way home from work, getting some of that sweet sunshine Vitamin D I had gone without for far too long. On those days, all seemed right with the world. And then I would be balled up in a coat for the next week, hiding under my little red umbrella, wishing New York would be less bipolar and just be spring already goddammit!
Now, though, New York’s bipolarity seems to have faded. A cardigan and a light jacket are enough to keep me warm. My sandals and high heels have reappeared from under my bed, as I am no longer fearful of losing my feet to frostbite. I have replaced my café au laits with iced coffees. Now, on May 1, I am not at all hesitant to say that it finally feels like spring.
With that in mind, and knowing this weekend would be a warm and sunny one, NP and I made plans to get some of that much needed Vitamin D. I had been appalled at my paleness, and it finally occurred to me that my Florida skintone would not appear even a smidgen as often as it had back in the day. The time to fix the paleness, however, was happily upon us. We walked to Central Park and had ourselves a mini-picnic in the sun, complete with blanket, iced tea, and pasta salad. Toy sailboats floated across the manmade pond nearby, families played kickball with their children, a group of older folks popped bottles of champagne. After all, who said springtime wasn’t a time for celebration? I thought it would be funny if this group of older folks got busted for having booze in the park, but NP rightly said that, hey, this is New York, and nobody probably cares. It’s a beautiful day—live and let live. Amen, sister.
I had forgotten how much I loved the warmth of the sun on my face. Science has told us time and again that sunshine is necessary for happiness, and after days like this I understand why. I kind of took it for granted when living in Florida—you just have sunshine all the time. It’s basically our greatest contribution as a state. In New York, though, I’m starting to realize that the fantastically beautiful, cool/warm sunny days are to be enjoyed in the biggest gulps. Dare I say I will make an effort to be outside whenever there’s sunshine, just in case it goes away in an instant.
Which it did today. We had a nice 45 minutes to an hour of sunshine before a strange haze set across the sky and a slight chill swept through. NP and I split ways, and I wrapped myself in my headscarf and put on my big sunglasses a la an incognito 1950s movie star and headed home (what is spring, also, if not a time for semi-surreal fabulousness?). On the way, I passed a Mister Softee ice cream truck and, in a burst of childlike enthusiasm, got myself a soft serve vanilla ice cream cone covered in rainbow sprinkles. Years from now, I think this is the vision I will have of myself as a young New Yorker—glamorous, absurd, and excited about rainbow sprinkles outside of Central Park on a spring day. Some stuff you can’t make up even if you try.