I forget, sometimes, how beautiful New York is.
But then comes a 50-something-degree-Fahrenheit day in winter, with a hard-blue sky, and I remember. Again.
A girl can get lost in the tundra of the Upper East Side, riding the balky 6 train as it chugs along to nowhere. The subways are filled with strangers, and we creak wearily along underground. Switches are frozen; fingers too — Ladies and Gentlemen, we are momentarily delayed due to train traffic ahead of us. Please be patient.
Piles of dirty, pernicious snow still frame the sidewalks but it is finally not coats-weather for one blessed day. And people are out on the streets, similing for the first time in a long time. Gentlemen carry home paper-wrapped parcels of flowers and sweets — early in the day they had roses, now, lilies and scraps of whatever greenery is left. Doormen, spied through revolving doors, sit at their posts in a jungle of delivered floral arrangements.
The world smells like flowers, and the sun is shining in a blue sky.
It is easy to forget, sometimes, what a wonder this place is. When the days and nights are long; and the living is not easy; when nothing is convenient and everything’s expensive. When the grey settles in over the city and lingers for months at a time; when there are still Christmas trees on the sidewalk on Valentine’s Day because of the way that winter dug in and hung on — that’s when the bright, wine-soaked summer days at the Park and the memory of inspiring morning runs along the Reservoir or the River are so easily put aside.
But today! Today was a gem set in a gunmetal winter.