Labor Day, to me at least, is the end of Summer. Yes, I know, the actual end of Summer is September 21st, but my mother told me I can't wear white after Labor Day and so that's my cut off point. The kidlets are going back to school. The "La Dee Da's" are coming back to the city from The Hamptons and the lobby of my building is filled with golf clubs and luggage. Don't those people know that NYC in the Summer is just fabulous?
True, I don't have a tan. True also, it was a bitch in the Subway when the temperature was over 90, but there was so much to do...and most of it was FREE. (free is my favorite word!)
I had never visited The City in Summer. There is plenty of action in Cali in the Summer and who wanted to mingle with the tourists and sweaty homeless people. WRONG. NYC vibrates with energy and beauty in the summer. It also smells bad when you are walking by the piles of garbage at the curb, but I have learned how to never breathe through my nose except when in a good restaurant or while walking in Central Park.
Speaking of Central Park, here is my best encounter of the summer (even better than meeting Yeardly Smith (voice of Lisa Simpson) twice and having a nice talk each time). Some time in early July I was walking East to West through the park, probably going from one of the museums near the Guggie and heading to meet someone in the Theater District. (I don't remember. It doesn't matter.) The time was around 8:50. Dusk. The weather was sultry and the park was quiet. I walked around a grove of trees and came upon one of the small ponds that rings the lake where people rent the row boats, but this pond is too small and there are only turtles. The light was beautifully soft and there were no people around talking. I walked over to the dirt path that leads to the edge of the water and then I saw them! Fireflies! Bazillion Fireflies! I haven't seen a single firefly in California, ever! They just don't exist west of the Rockies. Don't ask me why. Obviously it has to do with climate and water, but so what, my kids never had the opportunity to experience the joy of watching and capturing them into Mason jars (we were not ecologically sensitive in my youth). The last time I saw them was the day OJ had his madness in the white Jeep on the LA highway, and I was in Chicago on a visit. All the people were at the TV watching that murderer, and I was transfixed on the fireflies in the back yard.
So, when I saw the flickering bugs in the park I was in total heaven. I stayed there for an hour, at least, just watching. Of course, as it got darker the display got better and it was just magical. I tried, but none of my attempts to capture the moment visually on my cel camera worked at all. The magic is in my memory. Bless Mayor Bloomberg for keeping The City safe, because it was really dark and late when I finally left the area. If it had been a few years ago I'd probably have been mentioned in the morning papers.
So, I mark the end of summer by remembering that special encounter and to add a few more observations:
Skinny girls look great in short shorts, the rest of us not so much.
People have LOTS of tattoos these days and most are just terrible.
Never put just one more blast of air in a bike tire because you will blow it up and it pops.
Always walk through the Farmer's Market at lunch time and sample everything!
Oh, just one more thing. I will wear white...whenever I want to!