I’ve been living in New York City for the last two months. I’d lived here before for ten years starting in the early-1990s. It’s strange being back again after so long. A lot of things still seem familiar, but overall the city feels more hostile and more violent than I remember it being when I left in 2003. Some of this probably has to do with the city trying to right itself after two years of Covid-19. The whole world got knocked on its heels, and everyone is struggling to get back to some kind of normalcy. New York City is no different.
But since being back here, I’ve been body-checked by a mentally ill person on a subway platform at Penn Station, swarmed by rats while walking Walter: International Dog of Intrigue on the Upper West Side, and challenged to a fist fight by a drunk in Greenwich Village who repeatedly called me the N-word, which cut to the bone, my being such an OG soul brother and all.
I was starting to get worn down by all the crime and the noise and the filth in the streets, but then this week the weather warmed and spring peeked around the corner. One morning, I noticed all the trees starting to bloom, and it really snapped me out of my funk. I became mildly obsessed with all the different types of flowers.
I photographed dozens of flowering trees in my neighborhood and even tried to learn the Latin names of each of them. It’s been a great exercise. Getting outside and enjoying all the trees has really lifted my spirits. I’m sharing some of my favorite blossoms with you now in the hope that my photos of spring time in New York City help lift your spirits, too.
Remember, if all you do here is stare at the ground, the only thing you’ll see is garbage. Don’t forget there’s a whole other world above you–when things get you down, all you have to do is look up.
Now I’m going to show you several different examples of one of the most popular flowering trees here in New York City. They look similar to the Maledictus amor above, but biologically they could not be more different. Behold, my friends, the Mylaris cumpleanus:
They’re incredible, right? I have dozens more of these that I could show you. They’re all over the city–just like the rats, LOL! (“Look up, Nick. Look up!”)
I’ve got two more interesting varieties I’ve come across that I know you’ll want to see, so let’s get back to it.
So that’s my quick guide to some of the flora right here in the so-called “concrete jungle.” I hope you enjoyed it. Looking up at all these flowers makes it easy for me to forget how disgustingly vile and wretched the streets here are. And what’s more, April showers are on their way. It makes me confident that someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets.