Leave it to industrious New Yorkers to usher in Spring, even if the season has proven to be stubborn at best with its snail’s-pace arrival. We’ve had bright skies the past few weeks and even one day where the temperature reached above 70F, but alas, most of the days have been chilly, and with them my demeanor.
Coming to the rescue on the Upper West Side of Manhattan this past weekend, in a small lot flanked by pre-war apartment buildings, was little Holland or, more accurately, the West Side Community Garden’s Tulip Festival. A lovely oasis on West 89th Street in the middle of Manhattan’s jungle of brick and mortar, and more brick, and taxis and jackhammers and, well, you get my drift.
The festival was free and open to the public and it drew quite a crowd. There were lots of couples holding hands as they strolled through the flower beds. A few took adorable selfies as they cooed at each other (awww..) Mostly, there were happy parents excited to find something “Springy” to do with their little ones—toddlers mostly who were transfixed by the rainbow of colors.
I heard a lot of “Look at all the pretty flowers!….Can you say, Flow…wers?” Soon followed by, “Oh, honey, don’t touch!” or “Sweetheart, don’t pull on the tulips!” or “Gentle. Gentle,” and then, “Young man! What did I just tell you?!” I couldn’t help but giggle at the once serene but immediately frazzled parent realizing that perhaps a walk through the garden where everyone could see their little tykes ripping tulips out of the ground perhaps wasn’t such a good idea.
Aside from those few awkward moments, the festival made for a delightful Sunday morning. It was just what I needed after being cooped up all week in my apartment with work.
I couldn’t begin to tell you the names of all the flowers—there were over 10,000 in all if the garden’s website was correct—I’ll leave that up to someone with a green thumb, but there was a myriad of species that ranged from the more traditional to the wildly exotic. There were solids and strips and I was surprised to find that many of the flowers had scalloped or serrated petals with edges that looked surprisingly like lettuce.
Without further adieu… I bring you a little Manhattan spring.. Enjoy!