Weekend Frivolities: Spring, Says Chuck, the Staten Island Groundhog, and More Signs of an Early Spring

We have some exciting days ahead in the big city. Today, the New York Giants play the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. On Tuesday, another Super day, New York voters will go to the polls and pick their party favorites. And today's weather forecast calls for clear skies, calm west winds and temps in the low 50s.

"Well, he's a New York boy so he's going to be hardcore and real, and he seemed happy and that definitely means spring," said his handler Doug Schwartz.- from NY1 Top Stories, February 2, 2008.

Chuck may be right. Spring is near. That's not to say that New York won't see a serious snow storm around Lincoln's birthday. Many of the largest snowfalls in New York history have arrived in February, especially in the February 11-14 period, so I wouldn't be surprised to see several inches of snow again here in a couple of weeks.

Still...Chuck, the groundhog in Staten Island (if he lived in Manhattan, he'd be named Charles, in Brooklyn, Charlie, in the Bronx, Carlos, or in Queens, Charlene), has been accurate 23 out of 27 times. Phil in Pennsylvania has an estimated accuracy of 40%, so it's best to go with the opposite of his forecast. Yesterday, for example, Phil predicted six more weeks of winter, so I think it's safe to side with Chuck.

Other signs - This morning, chirping birds woke me up too early, and I detected some spring voices in their cackle (mostly starlings, not grackles). A pair of cardinals alighted on a nearby tree and stared at me through the window.

The forsythia is in bloom in Washington Square Park, or it was when I saw it a week ago. I may not find it again, thanks to the killjoys who've insisted that the fountain and surrounding area be torn up and moved. Do NOT go to Washington Square Park right now and expect to be uplifted in joy. And while I'm bringing us all down now, I'd be more overjoyed about an early Spring if I didn't think so much about global warming - mosquitoes, drought, floods, and the End Times on this paradise island.

My own spring awakening, which usually begins in early March, is often accompanied by a daily dose of Loratadine. Not this year. I'm already on Day 5.

I wish I could predict the Super Bowl and the outcome of the Super Tuesday races, but I'm feeling bullish about Spring.

Coming up on Walking Off the Big Apple: Further evidence of spring awakenings, NY party food, election coverage, more Raymond Hood buildings, Jasper Johns' favorite color, checking in on Chelsea, a NY Valentines Day chocolate breakdown, and more.

Image: Loratadine, one of my favorite things.

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