Although poets have often extolled the beauty of leaves changing in
autumn, I’m in no rush for fall.
(Millions of school children agree with me). ABC’s Eyewitness News
reports that autumn officially starts on Monday, September 22nd. But
doesn’t it seem like fall weather crept up on us early this year? Summer 2014 in New York City has been the
coldest since 2004. For the first time
in 10 years, there hasn’t been a heat wave (three or more consecutive days of
90 degrees or above). Yes, it’s great to use the air conditioner less and save
money on our electric bills. But what about the loss of gloriously warm beach
days? Chilling at the beach shouldn’t
mean huddling under towels, wearing a sweatshirt, or having your lips turn blue
after a frigid dip in the ocean. Guess we’ll have to wait until next summer for
balmy beach days, unless you can afford a winter getaway to a tropical island.
find it depressing to wake up each day knowing that another minute of sunlight
will be lost? I do. Gradually and
inevitably, our days will grow shorter and darker. One day in the not too
distant future, daylight savings will be over and instead of enjoying an 8 PM
sunset, people will be scurrying home from work in the dark at 5 PM. No wonder there’s an actual disease—Seasonal
Affective Disorder (SAD!) for depression caused by the loss of sunlight.
Sadly, the temperature has already
dropped below 60 degrees on some days and has been below normal most days this
August and September. Now I’m forced to
rearrange my closets (Ugh!), shift all the sundresses and white jeans to the
back and move the black jeans, corduroys and jackets to the front. No more
skipping out the door in my sandals and showing off the perfect pedicure. Now socks have to be laundered, but at least
it won’t matter if the polish is chipped on my big toe. Alas, it’s time to unearth my shoes and
boots, happily abandoned for the past three months.
prematurely cold and shifting dramatically through the day, how do you decide
what to wear? It’s no longer enough to slip on a dress, grab a sweater (for air
conditioning) and dash out the door. Now mental machinations must be performed
before dressing every day. If it’s 61
degrees at 9 AM, and the temperature shoots up to 73 degrees at noon, it might
still plunge into the low 60s at 6 PM. No matter how you dress, being
comfortable for the entire day is almost impossible—especially if you’re a
50-something like me and get cold easily. Obviously, the best solution is
choosing the right fabric and taking an extra layer.
I can hardly believe that I’m even THINKING
about layers and it’s only September! If temperatures continue to drop at this
rate, New York will probably feel like Alaska by December. I know plenty of
people—besides the poets—enjoy autumn.
Hiking and biking in crisp weather or driving to mountain resorts are
delightful pastimes for all nature lovers and outdoorsy types. Although I’d like to postpone fall (and
cancel winter), I must admit that I too enjoy watching the leaves change to red
and gold. Once the leaves turn brown and
brittle, scattered in crunching, windblown heaps on the sidewalk, I’m secretly
(well, not anymore) delighted to live in New York City. What a relief it is NOT to have a backyard,
where I’d need to rake up all those piles of dead leaves, or else buy one of
those ear splitting leaf-blowing contraptions.
Better to pay ridiculously high taxes in the Big Apple, enjoy the
communal backyard of Central Park, and have municipal workers gather up the
seasonal tree droppings.
course, fall means Halloween. I have fond memories of pumpkin picking with
Henry and my twins when they were little.
Many harvest moons ago, dressing my kids in Halloween costumes was a lot
of fun, and nowadays welcoming trick-or-treaters—from the adorable to the
outlandish—is still fun. Less enjoyable was buying all the candy, arguing with
my kids over how many treats could be consumed in a single sitting, (and then
trying to resist eating candy myself).
After going to the gym and nibbling scrawny salads every day, Halloween
is a dieter’s nightmare (and a bonanza of business for dentists).
Speaking of businesses, most people would agree that work slows down
during the summer. The frenzied,
cut-throat competition to earn a living, grab a cab, make dinner reservations
or find a parking spot evolves into a far more civilized way of life as hordes
of affluent New Yorkers decamp to their second homes in the Hamptons or
Connecticut as the temperature climbs.
For those of us who remain behind, the much-emptier city means that
restaurants are glad to see us, finding a cab or parking on the street is no
longer an exercise in futility (or aggression) the way it is during the fall and
winter. Of course, some people, like my husband Henry, thrive on competition and
the energy of New York after Labor Day.
For those type A’s, New York seems like a ghost town, depressing and
lifeless during the summer.
for me. Why rush into the breakneck
speed and pressure that is the very essence of autumn in New York City? The fashion industry may have to show (and
sell) spring designs in the fall, but right now magazines are telling us to buy
gray—fall’s “hot, new color.” Now come on, how many of us are truly excited
about wearing gray? As far as I can see,
hurrying into fall means welcoming dreary
winter days which are just around the corner.
Unless you’re a devoted skier or a kid hoping school will close, you’re
not hoping for snow. Who looks forward to slipping on icy streets or sloshing
through sooty city slush? I used to love
to the adrenaline surge that went with rushing from one goal (or season) to the
next. But now that I’m older I realize
that sprinting through the seasons at top speed only means I might arrive at
the final finish line ahead of schedule. Frankly, I’d prefer a summer stroll.
Labels: beach days, Central Park, cooler temperatures, daylight savings, fall, fashion, gray, Halloween, Hamptons, heat waves, New York City, pumpkin picking, seasonal affective disorder, summer, summer 2014, Type As