Skip to main content

A New York Spring Calendar - Blooming Times, Seasonal Events, and Wildlife


Read the updated Spring 2013 Calendar here.

Winter, we are so over you.

Blooming Times

• If you've spotted small yellow flowers on the bare stems of small ornamental trees this week, you're likely looking at the Cornelian Cherry Dogwood, an excellent harbinger of Spring.

Central Park Conservancy's website lists blooming times within the park. During the month of March we begin to see crocus, daffodils, forsythia, snowdrops, witch-hazel, and hellebores. Species tulips will emerge in several places, but the Shakespeare Garden and Conservatory Garden are particularly good places to catch the beginning of Spring blooms.

Citywide Blooming Calendar from New York City Department of Parks & Recreation
April is the month when full blooms appear in New York City, and this NYC Parks website provides a handy monthly guide to the specific locations of blooming trees, flowers, shrubs, and buds.

Heritage Crabapple Trees. New York City Department of Parks & Recreation
Celebrating the great beautiful flowering crabapples, this page on the NYC Parks site explains why you can't buy and plant a crabapple today and expect it to look as beautiful as those in Central Park.
• Website of The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx River Parkway at Fordham Road Bronx. The Garden is open year-round, Tuesday-Sunday, 10am - 6pm. Check the website for exceptions.

• Walking Off the Big Apple's favorite spring walk is wandering in the Ramble in Central Park. The closest thing in New York to the back nine at Augusta. A favorite for birdwatching.

Million TreesNYC. A citywide, public-private program to plant and care for one million new trees across the City's five boroughs over the next
decade.
• NYC Parks page honoring a Revolutionary-era white oak in Prospect Park that gave its life for its country.

• Look for the book, New York Trees: A Field Guide to the Metropolitan Area, by Edward S. Barnard.

• See the Wikipedia entry on the Oldest Living Thing in New York: Queens Giant, an old Tulip Poplar.

• Prospect Park in Brooklyn was hit particularly hard in the storm that rolled through the city on March 13-14, 2010. Nearly fifty old trees came down. Help out with your donations. Visit the Prospect Park Alliance website to learn more.

• The Metropolitan Museum of Art's medieval branch, The Cloisters Museum & Gardens, in uptown Manhattan, is one of the best places to see varieties of plants in bloom. Check out the museum's blog, The Medieval Garden Enclosed.

• According to the Victory Seeds website, the average last frost in New York City is April 13.

Spring Events for March and April 2010

• Wednesday, March 17, 2010 St. Patrick's Day Parade. Fifth Avenue, from 44th to 86th Streets. Begins at 11 a.m.

• Friday, March 19, 2010 - Sunday, March 21, 2010. Go Green Expo, Pier 92 12th Avenue & W 55th Street, New York, NY

• Sunday, April 4, 2010. Easter Parade. Fifth Avenue, beginning near St. Patrick's Cathedral.

• Monday April 5 at 1:10 p.m. Opening Day, New York Mets vs. the Florida Marlins. Citi Field.
• April 5 - 11, 2010. For those on the Tiger watch, the Masters Tournament takes place in Augusta, Georgia.

• Tuesday, April 13, 2010 TBD Opening Day, New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Angels. Yankee Stadium.

• Tuesday, April 13, 2010. 9:30 p.m. The hit TV show Glee returns for its Spring season. More Spring associations of Glee - Matthew Morrison, who plays the coach of the Glee Club, sang "Younger Than Springtime" in his role in the Broadway revival of South Pacific. Lea Michele, who plays one of the talented singers in the club, starred in Spring Awakening.

• Sunday, April 18, 2010. Greek Independence Day Parade. Fifth Avenue.

• Sunday, April 25, 2010 - Sunday, April 25, 2010 NYC GROWS. Union Square Park New York, NY. The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation's annual NYC GROWS Garden Festival, where members of the public can come take part in activities and demonstrations that promote gardening.

• April 21- May 2. Tribeca Film Festival. Some of the special events take place outdoors.

• May 1, 2010. Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival - Sakura Matsuri 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Rain or Shine. Free with admission. Celebration of Japanese culture and the blossoming of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's 220 cherry trees. Also, see the garden's Cherry Blossom Status Map.

Religious Holidays

• Easter Sunday falls on April 4, 2010. Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday on March 28, 2010.

• Passover begins at sunset on Monday, March 29, 2010 and continues for 7 days until Monday, April 5.

Critters

• The recent appearance of coyotes in Manhattan has excited many a city dweller. People have spotted this furtive dog-like creature near Columbia University, down in Chelsea near the High Line, near the Pond and Heckscher Playground in Central Park. The website Urban Hawks keeps track of the wildlife in the city, and their recent photos of the coyote were quite spectacular. Urban Hawks also recently shared a reader's tip that red-tailed hawks were building a nest on top of One Fifth Avenue, the iconic Art Deco skyscraper just north of Washington Square Park. The big birds flying over the distinctive step-back tower looked like something out of a German expressionist horror film.

• Urban Wildlife Appreciation Day. Saturday, April 10, 2010. 12:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. Fort Tryon Park, Cloister Lawn, Manhattan.

• New York City Birding: See the home page of NYC Audubon for events, trips, classes, and programs.

• The blog The City Birder is a good source of information for birdwatching in the big city.

“My favorite smell is the first smell of spring in New York." - Andy Warhol

Images from the archives of Walking Off the Big Apple. Highly recommended for this time of year - hot chocolate with melting peeps, pictured above.

Related post:
When the Cherry Blossoms Fall: A Walk Through the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Comments

  1. Pascale6:13 PM

    Someday I'll be back to smell the first smell of spring in NYC... must be something !

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Teri! I will be back in two weeks and am so looking forward to it. April in New York is wonderful! Any chance of meeting up again? Hope all is well - always a treat to drop by your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Pascale- yes, it's a wonderful thing, especially after this past winter.

    Leslie- Yes! Look forward to it. Sorry I didn't make it to Vancouver for the Olympics. I want to hear all about it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you very much

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thank you for your response! Walking Off the Big Apple is accepting comments. Please be relevant to the content and do not solicit or engage in self-promotion. Thoughtful responses are welcome. Comments are moderated at all times.










Popular posts from this blog

Early Voting in Washington Heights, and A Walk

Early voting for the 2020 federal election in New York began on Saturday, October 24 and continues through Sunday, November 1. The weekend was overcast and autumnal, with the bright yellows of fall on display. In New York City, thousands of New Yorkers turned out at the 88 early voting locations and waited in long lines, many stretching around the block. 
Madison Square Garden in Manhattan and the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn were two of the well-known sites, but most voting places were typical neighborhood places such as schools, churches, and hospitals.  In Washington Heights in Upper Manhattan, two early voting locations were within a short walk of one another, causing some confusion for voters emerging from the 168th Street subway station. The Columbia University Russ Berrie Medical Science Pavilion, at 1150 St. Nicholas Avenue, was the closest to the train stop. The Fort Washington Avenue Armory at 216 Ft. Washington Avenue is located a couple of blocks to the west.On Saturday, I …

A Daytime Walk on Broadway and the Theater in the Dark

On October 9, the Broadway League announced that the theater season has been postponed through May 2021, leaving Broadway dark for the winter and into the spring of next year. According to the press release, “Broadway performances were initially suspended due to COVID 19 on March 12, 2020. At that time, 31 productions were running, including 8 new shows in previews. Additionally, 8 productions were in rehearsals preparing to open in the spring.”It’s hard to imagine New York without the theater. Even a daytime walk along the way in the Theater District near Times Square will reveal that the theater, in terms of live performances with an audience, has gone dark. Without Broadway, that leaves visitors to Times Square with few options for general amusement. Many stores and restaurants have closed as well. The lights are still up and blazing. When the Empire State Building was left nearly empty during the Great Depression, just a few years after it opened, the building crew kept the lights…

North Towards Autumn: A Day Trip on the Metro-North Hudson Line

The peak of autumn colors in New York City tends to fall sometime in the days following Halloween, but those anxiously waiting leaf change can simply travel north. 
One way to speed the fall season is to take the Hudson line of Metro-North north of the city and watch the greens fade to oranges and yellows and the occasional burst of red. Weekends during the month of October are ideal times to make the trip. The air tends to be crisp with bright blue skies, and the Hudson River glimmers like a mirror in the light of autumn. As the Hudson line hugs the river for much of the distance north, the train ride alone provides plenty of opportunities for sightseeing. Try to grab a window seat on the river side of the train car for views of the Palisades and the bends of the Hudson Highlands later in the trip.  Still, October is a great time for a walk. Exploring the villages along the Hudson line may be accomplished on foot, and many cater to visitors with signs and maps indicating the village’s…

A Weekend Walk on the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail

Imagine strolling from town to town near the eastern shores of the Hudson River, walking a well-trodden path lined with trees and stately architecture and with easy access to cafes, local shops, and train stations for an easy ride home. Imagine a weekend when the sun is bright and the sun is warm, and many other people - but not too many - are out enjoying the same weather and the same stroll. Such were the pleasures on a recent Sunday, in the latter part of this unseasonal winter, along the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail not too far north from New York City.


The Old Croton Aqueduct, the system that once delivered fresh water from the Croton River to New York City, was a huge and complex marvel of engineering. The trail sits on top of the aqueduct system. This post describes a walk along just a section of the trail, the one that begins at the Keeper’s House in Dobbs Ferry and ends in Irvington.


First, catch a Metro-North Hudson line train to Dobbs Ferry, a village in southern Westchester C…

MoMA in Masks

Update. Beginning September 28, MoMA will require all members to reserve tickets in advance.*Walking into the gallery devoted to Claude Monet’s Water Lilies (c 1920) at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) on Saturday afternoon, I saw a woman seated on a bench. She was looking at the artist’s dreamy depiction of his garden at Giverny, and I thought for a moment she might be dreaming as well. As she was the only person occupying what is usually a packed room for fans of Impressionism, I was hesitant to invade her private garden reveries.I would enjoy my own such private moments with my favorite MoMA works that afternoon, including Marc Chagall’s I and the Village (1911). The painting depicts a colorful and geometric fairy tale of peasants and animals, memories of the artist’s childhood home outside Vitebsk. And I had a long time to feel the scorching sun of photographer Dorothea Lange’s Woman of the High Plains, Texas Panhandle (1938), a setting closer to my hometown. Later I would sit in t…

An Early Autumn Walk in Central Park: 2020 Edition

This week, the singer Diana Krall released a cover of “Autumn in New York,” the standard by Vernon Duke. An accompanying video, filmed in New York by Davis McCutcheon and directed by Mark Seliger, portrays the city in moody yet beautiful black and white tones. Beyond the lack of autumn colors, the film shows the empty streets of the pandemic city. The mood riffs on the underlying melancholy of the song’s lyrics, that the fall season “is often mingled with pain.”

When I think of autumn in New York, I automatically imagine walking in Central Park in the vivid colors of the season. The images here, from a meandering one-mile stroll this past Saturday, show only a hint of autumnal glory but reflect more conventional representations of both the season and the song. Yet, walking in Central Park at the beginning of autumn is tinged for me with a hint of sadness, or truthfully, with some anxiety about the coming months.

I hadn’t ventured into Central Park since before the pandemic. While I’ve b…

NYC Re-openings and Travel Advice

What will open, and how will you get there? This list will be updated following official announcements.
UPDATED October 10, 2020. Many favorite local destinations have now reopened. 

Openings  - General Information and Popular Destinations   
• Restaurants: Consult this NYC Department of Transportation map (updated link) for restaurants currently open in NYC. Starting September 30, NYC allowed indoor dining at 25% capacity.
• As of September 25, outdoor dining in NYC has been extended FOREVER.
• The 9/11 Memorial reopened on Saturday, July 4. Visitors must wear masks and keep social distancing practices.
• (update) Libraries: NYPL. The library will allow a grab-and-go service at 50 locations.
Governors Island reopened July 15 with advance reserved tickets. 
• The High Line reopened on July 16, with several rules and limitations in place, including timed entry passes - available July 9. Entrance only at Gansevoort Street. See High Line website for details. 
The Bronx Zoo reopened July 20 fo…

The Lonesome Metropolis: A Walk from Grand Central Terminal to Rockefeller Center

As New York City reopens, why do the attractions of the great metropolis still look mostly deserted on a summer morning? A morning walk from Grand Central Terminal to Rockefeller Center sought to address this question. As it turns out, there are several adequate explanations. But for what happens next, there are no right answers.

Many neighborhoods outside of tourist New York are still buzzing along. While some residents of wealthier neighborhoods have largely decamped to mountain cabins, beach houses, and other second homes, the less wealthy have nowhere to go and may still be working. Just visit Washington Heights or Corona or Flatbush, and you’ll see sidewalks full of shoppers and summer evening street partiers. Those who fled the city remain only a fraction of the total population.  

Other renowned parts of the city such as City Hall and Brooklyn Bridge have been frequently occupied, as in Occupied, with crowds protesting police violence. This week, NYPD officers in riot gear remove…

Museums in New York Open on Mondays

Please see this post for current announcements of reopenings.
Please consult the museum websites for changes in days and hours.
UPDATED September 23, 2020
Advance tickets required for many museum reopenings. Please check museum websites for details.
• The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) reopened to the public on August 27, with new hours for the first month, through September 27: from 10:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday to the public; and from 10:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. on Mondays for MoMA members only. Admission will be free to all visitors Tuesday through Sunday, through September 27, made possible by UNIQLO. See this new post on WOTBA for a sense of the experience attending the museum.
• New-York Historical Society reopened on August 14 with an outdoor exhibition, "Hope Wanted: New York City Under Quarantine,” in the rear courtyard. The exhibit by activist Kevin Powell and photographer Kay Hickman will highlight how New Yorkers weathered the quarantine.
• The Metropolitan …

The City Turned Inside Out: A Walk from Battery Park to Fulton Street

While the cast of HAMILTON sings “The World Turned Upside Down,” New Yorkers could easily hum along to “The City Turned Inside Out” this summer. (not a real song) Where once a city’s important work took place indoors - within the soaring office buildings, famous restaurants, legendary museums, and storied performance halls, the COVID-19 epidemic has literally turned the residents outdoors. 

At least it’s summer in the city, when spending time outdoors is common and pleasant enough. Still, the city remains strange this summer of 2020. 

With the absence of tourists, and with office workers connecting virtually from home, many of the city’s main attractions aren’t attracting many visitors. A walk from the Battery to Fulton Street on a pleasant Thursday afternoon bore this out. 

It’s uplifting to at least find plants that are alive and happy. Thanks to the city’s gardeners and landscapers, the city parks are looking particularly lush and splendid this summer. The grounds of Battery Park feel…