What Kind of Fall Am I?
Published: October 4, 2011
There is no single way to measure the coming of autumn. Gardeners wait for the first hard frost, the one that blackens the basil and pulps the tomatoes still on the vine. For some, it’s the smell of wood smoke or the sight of leaves flaming out one tree species at a time. In New York City, there are different measures. Fall begins when street fashion slips into thermal chaos — down jackets, shawls, bermudas and flip-flops all on the same block. Fall begins, as it did this week, when the residual heat in the subway station feels strangely welcome.
The approach to autumn has been murkier than usual this year — a long, damp slog toward October, days of rain all across the Northeast. We can hope, after the first hard frost, for a week or so of Indian summer. But there is really no proper name for the slice of the season we’ve had so far. This fall has been made of moments from late May, a few gray days from early June, some Sundays that April discarded, and a week or so that seems to have been orphaned entirely, with no month to call home.
It will come, we hope — the sky a Venetian blue, the days as crisp as a just-ripe, old-fashioned apple, an Ashmead’s Kernel or a Calville Blanc. That is the autumn we’re waiting for — not a prognostication of winter or a postponement of summer, but actual autumn, a season we hope will last as long as it can. It is a season of gnat-killing nights and afternoons when the sun’s heat is becoming elusive. It is frost on the grass and your visible breath rising in the air.
Today was such a day...
The punters enjoying the Venetian blue sky over Bethesda fountain in Central Park
Early fall colors, Central Park
Our basil and tomatoes are "gone"
Xavi is looking forward to seeing everyone in Sydney real soon!