Monday, January 18, 2010

Warm Up In New York City

We have seen a bit of a warm up the last few days in New York City, and it's quite pleasant. Mind you, this is not a Florida-style or a Los Angeles-style warm up, this is a New York kind of warm up in which the high temperature goes from 25 to maybe 40 degrees. But whether it's my way of rationalizing the decision to live in New York City or the lowering expectations that seem to come with age or a genuine change in how I handle the cold, I honestly think I could embrace a climate that never went above 50. Most of all this has to do with what I enjoy when I am outside. And, of course, being the good New Yorker that I am, what I enjoy most is going for a walk. Walking is good when the temperature is 40 and just about perfect when it's 50 (or just at that point when you no longer need gloves). The things that I once needed warm weather for pretty much no longer apply. I'm not organizing any baseball games any more, not heading to the community pool, not even looking to get in a fast game of tennis. But I do revel in every chance I get to walk New York. Central Park is usually included, but I love walking down Broadway on the Upper West Side, strolling along Lexington on the Upper East Side, meandering up Hudson Street over in the West Village, or window shopping in Soho. My guiltiest pleasure is probably gazing at all the expensive things that I can't and don't really want to buy on Madison Avenue, but I also love exploring the winding streets just North of the Staten Island Ferry. There are parts of Harlem that are great, areas in the East Village that are wonderfully funky, even a not-too-often slog along Seventh Avenue as theaters are opening up can be fun. Wherever you go there is something interesting and you actually don't want it to be too warm if you're going any kind of distance and getting up any kind of speed. Those 50 degree days are just right for those long, wandering New York walks.

So I figure there isn't even much left of the really cold weather, probably just a handful of days before the highs are regularly in the 40s again or even higher. I'm a simple guy. All I want is some relatively mild weather and a crazy, mixed-up, infinitely complex city to walk in - if possible, without having to wear gloves.

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