Monday, April 23, 2007

Springtime in New York

After a deluge that roiled the Hudson River and unseasonable cold, spring has finally come to Manhattan. It's warm today and almost hot, but not too hot. People in my neighborhood are sitting on the grass, their faces turned toward the sun, or picnicking or thronging the promenade that stretches along the Hudson River from the Battery at the southern tip of the island to midtown. There is an unspoken joyfulness.

If you're visiting New York, think about coming to Lower Manhattan. For a few days, you'll find trees with masses of delicate, white blossoms lining the streets and in the parks. They are perfection before the petals fall, creating delicately scented carpets. Under the trees, tulips, daffodils and irises are in bloom. They will be followed throughout the spring and summer by a kaleidoscope of flowers. Some of the loveliest gardens in New York City are in Lower Manhattan, along the river.

You can stop in the World Financial Center to buy lunch (or gelato at Ciao Bella!) and then take your food to one of the benches facing the river, where you can look at the yachts in the North Cove or watch the freighters and sailboats. Toward 5 p.m., when the tide flows out, you may see cruise ships on their way to Europe or the Caribbean. As the water warms up in the later spring, you'll see people in kayaks, and there are several places where you can rent (or borrow) boats and gear and join them.

Is this Manhattan as you imagined it? I bet it isn't!