According to an elementary school teacher somewhere, New York City has four seasons: Winter, spring, summer, and fall. As any New Yorker can tell you, that’s a bold faced lie! From November until the end of March we are held hostage by Jack Frost. Who, at his whimsy, will trick us with a 60 degree day in January, followed by 6 inches of snow. To make matters worse on February 2nd, a big fat rat that people try to convince you is a wholly different animal called a “groundhog,” comes out of a tree, and some rat whisperer tells us that we’ll have an early spring. Hooray! The rat told the guy with the hat that our weather patterns will be dramatically different than they have been before and the sun will shine warmer sooner! Then everyone on Facebook starts to go stir crazy, each post sadder than the last. Until you can’t take it anymore and you hide from everyone. Then miraculously, at the beginning of April it gets about 20 degrees warmer overnight, you put away your coat, dust you window blinds, and shave your legs! You spend the next three days in a row at an outdoor lounge for happy hour with your friends, flirting with anyone who is not more than 20 lbs. overweight, or is in much better shape than you. Taking full advantage of the good weather because you know at any moment all of that can change. You know, in your heart, that a snowstorm is coming the following week, followed by a heat wave. You have lived here long enough to know that spring, in all its glory, only lasts a month. Then the humidity sinks in, and you feel like you’re living in the bayou.
Be sure to take advantage of the spring weather while we have it, here are some of my suggestions of what to do this weekend with your boo:
- The Orchid Show at New York Botanical Gardens. (Through April 22, 2013) Ladies love flowers, so pop that allergy pill, making sure to get the good kind from behind the counter at the pharmacy. Enjoy the lovely weather, the warmth of the sun on your pale skin. Wear sunglasses to help with your eyes adjust to the UVA/B rays of light, lest they leak like a faucet, and check out the Orchid Show. The smells, the beautiful colors, your legs wobbling trying to remember how to walk longer distances than your apartment to the train station. www.nybg.org
- The High Line. The great outdoors can be even greater if you stop by Doughnut Plant on 23rd street, pick up a few donuts, maybe some iced coffee, before walking, hand-in-hand (bag of doughnuts in one hand, café con leche en la otra), and hip-to-hip with your tonsil hockey partner du jour, toward the Highline. The NYC railway turn park is a lovely venue for selfies with the Hudson River in the background. A mini-picnic, sans alcohol but soaking up some Vitamin D? Yes please! Just be sure to direct that look of ecstasy from biting into that Tres Leche doughnut toward your date. So what if that doughnut has your blood pumping to your nether regions in a way your date does not? Hey, at least you have the doughnuts. And that view! http://www.thehighline.org/
- Central Park. One of my favorite things to do in Central Park, is watching the group of roller skaters who seem stuck in the late 70’s-early 80’s. Dancing on wheels, in an endless loop of dance hits your mother used to listen to, surrounded by tourists in awe of their crazy. (For the record: New Yorkers think they’re odd too.) There’s the guy who skates around with water bottles stacked on his head. The women with locked arms, spinning, seemingly, out of control. There’s the old guy, the young guy, the white guy, the black guy, the finance guy, the hippie guy. It’s a good mix of people. I definitely would not expect them to have dinner parties, sipping wine and reminiscing about the good ol’ days. Nah, these guys are still living in those days. In their minds. On Saturdays and Sundays. If you find yourself on a brunch date, and need to walk off some of those mimosa, this is where you should end up , even if it’s only for a moment. You can find this crew of misfits in the Central Park Skate Circle in between the W 72nd Street and Central Park West, and E 72nd Street and Fifth Avenue entrances.
- Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. Nothing says lovin’ like foliage! Show your girl how much you like pink with the Cherry blossoms at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. Smaller than the New York Botanical Gardens, you won’t need so many breaks to rest those couch legs developed over the cold months. Plus, if you go before the Sakura Matsuri, April 27-April 28, you can beat the crowds. Yes, ladies love flowers, but ladies do not enjoy crowds. http://www.bbg.org/
- Wave Hill. One of the most beautiful gardens in all of the 5 boroughs that make up New York City, can be found in the Bronx. While you are awestruck by the beauty of the Palisades, the lush gardens, and sprawling estate, please keep in mind that this was someone’s country home, and has housed American icons Teddy Roosevelt, and Mark Twain. Yeah. So while you’re sitting in the picnic area, sharing sips of whiskey from your flask with your lovely companion, pretending to be appalled by Anthony Weiner’s TwitPic scandal, nodding along to their disgust with the New York Times 12-page article about him, and his gall to run for Mayor of NYC, try to figure out which tree Mark Twain used to build his tree house. That should help you drown out the yapping. Just remember not to ask her for pictures via text messaging, I don’t think that’s her thing. http://www.wavehill.org/
Getting to know someone is the hardest part about dating. You have to pay attention, even if you have the attention span of a .Gif. But having both your attentions divided by the sights and sounds will aid in conversation flow, and help to create a relaxed experience. Heck if you don’t have a date, you can always go to any one of these places with a friend!