Saturday, April 18, 2009

Change is in the Air

Central Park in new shades of green.

The MO at Doma Cafe and gallery: "Absolutely no to go cups in the dining room. Live slow!"
And no cell phones!

Outside Doma Cafe and Gallery - West Village.

The Falafel Platter at Taim - Bobbie Flay says it's the best falafel in NY! We agree!

Taim - sitting on the stoop and benches with our falafel. West Village.

This is our first spring in New York. Last night Lee and I toasted the arrival of new life; the white flowering dogwoods and the blushing magnolia, “tulip trees” my friend in Charleston calls them because the flower looks like a tulip opening on the end of a craggy gray branch. Altogether, they are a flame of rosy pink in Central Park – the green leaves come after the flowers. The regular tulips stand like soldiers today, tall and straight, with heads strong and pointed. It looks like only days before they will open, spirited and alert, transforming the green boulevard of Park Avenue into a sea of sunny yellow. I love how tightly they are planted.

I feel like I can breathe again. The headaches of a month ago in that cold, blustery transitional March are gone, blown away with the wind. My muscles are warm and flexible. My mind is not so sleepy. I walk a little faster with my head up, not down. I shake my shoulders as if I am my own mother reminding me to stand tall. This year, I must have been hibernating. Truly. But I am coming out of the dark hole now.

There is so much to do in New York, that to have to choose between Picasso’s late paintings at the Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea or the Kips Bay Designer Showhouse on 71st or just noodling around the two villages for vintage clothing is win-win. You can’t really make a mistake. And there is always tomorrow.

For me, it is a bursting full city, bursting with flowers and fashion and new ideas and people doing interesting things. (The other night, Lee, Zan and I went to see Man on Wire, the Oscar-winning documentary about the man who walked on a wire between the Twin Towers, at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on the Upper West Side. Phillipe Petit has been an artist-in-residence there for years and he spoke after the showing. It was crazy to be in this spectacular cathedral, the largest I have seen since Il Duomo in Florence, jam-packed, watching this inspired movie with the “artist” there to further inspire.) I know that people do interesting things in Minneapolis too. But, I am sanguine. I like change. I like to see new things.

What has most surprised me about New York is how civilized it is, something I might not have imagined for a city of this size. The rituals of the passing of the seasons seem particularly celebrated here. I “heard” that the blooming of the magnolias at the Frick is the certain sign that spring is here. The colorful and playful costumes paraded about for Easter – even on the dogs! The resurrection of the stroll in Central Park, lingering on the park benches, children jumping rope, people eating on stoops and benches outside a restaurant, the Northface is put away and fashion is reborn.

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