Spring actually started as early as February in this section of the world and some would believe winter was a very kind one to all of us after how much snow was dumped on us last year. We had 70 degree days in January and we had very few that went below freezing. The early spring is a bit confusing but not unwelcome to those of us who are more than ready to lose the winter digs. It just makes one wonder what kind of weather is ahead of us as summer is rapidly pushing up the eastern coast line.
I’m enjoying the perfect weather here on the island. There’s nothing better and more refreshing than spending time in NYC’s numerous parks, dining under the sky and being able to lighten the load by leaving the wool jacket, gloves and scarves behind.
My favorite spot is the little piece of green right in the middle of Midtown Manhattan and it’s Bryant Park. This little park has something for locals, tourists, families and those looking to escape their office/cube for a few.
So many FREE things to do in this lovely little piece of green in Midtown Manhattan
The park also offers a number of other free activities for both adults and their little ones. There’s someone waiting right now looking for a friendly challenge. For little ones and others who are not quite ready or in the mood to compete there’s a carousel humming along to classic french cafe music, an area next to it dedicated to kids books and plenty of food vendors who provide the perfect picnic lunch to enjoy in the park.
For the sporty crowd looking for some action there’s ping-pong tables, Pétanque along with free lessons as well as plenty of chess and backgammon boards set up at tables lining the park. These activities provide a way to meet locals and see that there’s more to Times Square then bright lights, chain stores and tour bus hustlers. One could just about manage to make a full or half day just within the confides of this wonderful little park in the center of midtown.
And did I mention how really nice the bathrooms are?
Staten island resident ground-hog, Chuck, says that spring is coming soon. Doesn’t take a groundhog getting woken up from a winter’s nap to be able to see that coming. Daffodils are already peeking out of the ground in Inwood Park and some cherry trees have blossomed in Central Park.
The weather is as usual unpredictable and confusing to all. The two famous groundhogs – Chuck of Staten Island and Punxsutawney Phil of Gobbler’s Knob – are only right a little over 30 percent of the time and can now sleep in peace for the next couple of months. Supposedly, Phil did see his shadow and let the highly disputable ground-hog whisperers, known as the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club’s Inner Circle, know that we’re in for another six weeks of winter. Our Chuck, a little more in tune with what’s been going on above the semi-permafrost or is he probably just using his common sense?
This is what Central Park looked like last year around this time and what it typically looks like here in NYC:
A winter storm isn’t out of the question in the near future and I’ll enjoy each mild day as it comes – mild or frigid. This time last year I was packing for a long weekend in Tulum. I think that I’ll stop looking for winter travel deals and use the money for the trip to Asia this May.
The Frying Pan is summed up the best by this Yelper who said on April 17th this year:
“I like drinking, I like boats, and I like the great outdoors. Ergo, I like Frying Pan. On a beautiful spring day it’s absolutely magical that you can be sipping a beer and overlooking the Hudson.”
The Frying Pan has been open on and off since to some capacity since the beginning of February. Their twitter handle @Pier66Maritime is the only place to go to find out what’s being served, when it’s being served and if they are even serving. On February 17th this year they sent this tweet out:
“If anyone’s curious, we are planning to open the flaps Friday daytime. No food. And when it gets cold, we’re going home.”
It seemed a bit early in the season but I felt good just knowing that a little bit of sunshine was on the horizon even though there was still snow on the sidewalks.
Lately it’s been full of encouraging tweets like this one sent :
“Bar and kitchen open… Nice out.”
And this sad but encouraging one sent today at 4pm:
“Closing down … Too cold. Open tomorrow with kitchen even if it rains open at noon”
The official website of Pier 66 Maritime says they are officially open May-October. There’s little time left before the crowds show up and the place looks more like a night club in the Meatpacking District with bouncers, bracelets, lines for the bathroom etc. Now is time to go – weather permitting of course. Let’s hope for some a warm sunny days before May Day so we can all enjoy our brews in a bucket and greasy burgers without unpleasant distractions and long waits at the bar.
The piers are quiet and just coming into bloom so head out to the Piers for a nice walk, a beer and a pleasant view of the water and early spring.
It was a more typical late March day in Central Park NYC today. We have been spoiled with the unseasonably mild warm weather the last week or so. I still enjoy a misty cool day in NYC since I had the park to myself. Just me and a few horse and bike carriages. A horseman and a MTA bus got into a little snafu next to the park so I took a pic to mix it up a bit.
Daffodils, forsythia are in full bloom and the trees are showing some buds. This rain should make the park green by the weekend. This means allergy sufferers like myself will be sniffling but what can you do. It’s spring wild animals are everywhere in the park. So as the sign says, “Leave the Wild Animals Alone”. Try and keep away from the cute raccoons, wild ducks and panhandling squirrels, they look harmless until they mistake your finger for a nut.