March 10, 2013

The Difference the Day Made: Winter on Friday, Spring on Saturday

New Yorkers woke up to a fast and furious snowfall on Friday morning. The snow was heavy, sloppy, and slick in many spots, inconveniencing the morning commute and overburdening trees with heavy burdens. Throughout the morning, the snow blew around the city and settled on stoops, the tops of cars and bicycles, windowsills, and park benches. It was as if an overly caffeinated Old Man Winter was shouting, "I am not ready to sleep. I am not done with you yet!"

Washington Square West. March 8, 2013. 8:08 a.m.

Sixth Avenue at Washington Place, looking north. March 8, 2013. 8:13 a.m.

Uptown in Morningside Heights and in Riverside Park, the frosty scene erased any notion we lived in a big city. A woman glided past on cross-country skis. If I hadn't turned around to see the dome of the General Grant National Monument and the spire of Riverside Church, I could have easily imagined it was Lake Placid.

campus of Barnard College, Broadway near W. 118th. March 8, 2013. 8:50 a.m.

Riverside Park near W. 120th. March 8, 2013. 12:14 p.m.

General Grant National Monument, left, and Riverside Church, right. March 8, 2013. 12:25 p.m.

By Friday afternoon, the snow melted as fast as it blew in, and temperatures moderated upwards.
On Saturday morning, we woke up to spring in the city. The excited relief was palpable. As the temperatures rose, more New Yorkers headed up and down the avenues for a stroll. Many people set out for Central Park, an intuitive gathering place for celebrating spring awakenings. By mid-afternoon, the temperature had risen to the upper 50s, and for the first time in many months, New Yorkers shed their outer layers. It was bliss.

Central Park. March 9, 2013. 2:43 p.m.

Central Park. March 9, 2013. 2:47 p.m.

Central Park. The Mall. March 9, 2013. 2:55 p.m.

Central Park. The Conservatory. March 9, 2013. 3:13 p.m.

The distinction between Friday and Saturday's weather inspired the Jungian collective unconscious to sing out the title of the song, "What a Diff'rence a Day Makes!," a tune popularized by Dinah Washington in her eponymous 1959 album. Yes, indeed  -

"What a diff'rence a day made
Twenty-four little hours
Brought the sun and the flowers
Where there used to be rain"
- Music by Maria Grever (1934, originally written in Spanish as Cuando Vuelva A Tu Lado) and English lyrics by Stanley Adams

Central Park. The Conservatory Pond. March 9, 2013. 3:15 p.m.

Images by Walking Off the Big Apple from March 8 and 9, 2013.

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