Everyone has their favorite season in New York. I grew up in California so my favorite season was anytime of the year. The temperature rarely deviated from 70-80 F. The east coast is an entirely different story as I learned my first winter here. I learned the same lesson when the tulips started popping up in spring. I moved here in October of 2015 so I was lucky to get a couple beautiful weeks of Fall before the freeze of winter descended.
My first February in New York taught me what cold was. Its technically the shortest month of the year, but felt like the longest. The days were short, the nights were long. The mornings were freezing, the evenings even colder. There were days when my 15 minute walk home felt like they would never end and I’d definitely find my toes black when I got home. My face would freeze over, my fingers would go numb and the wind would hit like icicles. Day after miserable day I went through this.
When the winter started thawing and it was bearable to go outside, I started taking full advantage of the opportunity to re-up my vitamin D. I work in the Flatiron District in Manhattan. Its about a 5 minute walk from Madison Square Park. The days it finally got warm enough, I’d walk to the park only to walk back because it was too brisk to sit and eat. Slowly it got warmer, and I could actually sit at a bench – or hell I’d sit on the ground if it meant being outside – for a full hour for lunch. Taking an hour for lunch in February never happened.
During these days in Madison Square Park I realized my love of tulips – the park lit up. It brought a brand new life to the park that weeks earlier had been empty. It was now was full of street performers, lunchers, dog walkers, and just general sun-enjoyers. Even after finishing my salad or whatever I picked up on my walk over, I’d just sit and revel in the beauty of spring in the city. The warmth and sun breathed new energy into everything around me. I realized that tulips were all over the city. They were in the planters along the avenues, giving color to the concrete jungle.
I’ve spent three spring in the city since I moved here. Every year in the middle of February when I think the cold will never end – I just think of the tulips at the end of the tunnel.