A perfect day for a parade without floats, since it’s pretty windy. Happy St. Patrick’s Day, all those who indulge! For myself, not being Irish, I’ve never been to the parade. Then again I’ve never gone to the Mexican Day parade either, though I did once inadvertently get caught in a Puerto Rican Day parade. I was born in Mexico, in case you don’t know.
I have gone to Veteran’s Day parades, and twice to the Thanksgiving day parade, freezing my ass off both times.
I’ve gone to Fleet Week, rarely missed one of those in 20 years, to see the parade of ships.
Well, enough about parades. What I really want to talk about is spring. Or the end of winter, actually, since spring doesn’t start till next week.
As George Harrison said, “It’s been a long cold lonely winter.”
Well, not lonely, I am married to a wonderful woman, but it was pretty cold and snowy.
Sometime in late December, or maybe it was early January, there was an ice storm. When I left the house in the morning I almost fell three times on the way to the subway. Danusia did manage to fall somewhere on St. Nicholas Ave.
The next day I ordered a set of YAKTRAX from L.L.Bean; they were on sale and that’s what pushed me over the line.
Of course there were no more ice storms, just a lot of snow, and I never got to wear my Yaktrax. But I’m ready for next winter.
All winter I had to cross at the crosswalk on my corner, the corner of Amsterdam Avenue and 152nd Street, because there was so much iced up grey and black snow all the way down to Broadway. I didn’t see the curb in front of my building till this morning. 152nd Street looks like this now:
This is what I imagine a glacier trail was like, except glaciers left rocks and trees in their wake rather than empty bottles and dog shit. But of course the street sweeper hasn’t been by yet.
So today, instead of going to the parade, I went to do the laundry down the block, and for the first time all winter I was able to cut catty-corner across Broadway without having to climb any ice mounds. Ah the joys of jaywalking!
I also made it down the block without getting stuck behind some enormous person waddling down the block in the narrow path shoveled by the neighborhood-building supers. The whole unobstructed sidewalk has returned!
I have to admit I’ll miss the snow-covered Trinity Cemetery; it was very beautiful all winter.
After I did the laundry I headed to Fairway-on-the-Hudson for some much needed fizzy mineral water. We’ve been subsisting on club soda for a few days because I haven’t been able to get to Fairway since the Wednesday before last.
If you read my blog that week you might remember my talking about a very angry woman riding the bus. Today’s experience was a lot more heartwarming.
After going to Fairway and determining there was no more ice on the Hudson, I braved the westward wind that tried to blow me back towards the Hudson as I walked up the long hill to Broadway.
I was lucky enough to catch an M 4 bus home, and even luckier to sit across a woman reading a book to her 5-year old daughter. It was much nicer than having to listen to an angry rant.
I took a picture, surreptitiously, of course; but since the woman and child are unidentifiable I’m posting it here:
When my son was small, I would read to him as I put him to bed, a bedtime story. I don’t know why it was I and not his mother, but I’m really happy it was me. It’s something the both of us will remember forever.
Watching the woman read to her daughter, a pretty little girl with a huge grin on her face, she was clearly digging it made me happy to be alive. It made me feel like spring is here.