It happens once a year. After the cold, the thaw, the re-emergence of styrofoam cups embedded in mud. The smell of earth. The first warm breeze. The trees fluff themselves up a little. And then:
Boom. Overnight, the cherry trees explode into cartoon pom-poms. Billions of candy-pink petals drift onto sidewalks, cars, and float into your coffee cup as you're sitting on the stoop. When the cherry trees bloom, they bloom. Pink snow. Pretty litter. Flowers so thick you got to kick through them on your way to the subway. The sheer exuberant ridiculous waste of it! This is Peak Blossom and it's my favorite time of year in the city.
So here's the thing: How is this not more of a big deal? There are literally pink flower petals being blown through the wind, landing in children's hair, once a year. It is a ticker tape parade, thrown by Mother Nature, FOR THE WHOLE CITY, for free. That is insane! This is so much better than Christmas or St. Patrick's Day or New Year's. Everybody gets one, no purchase needed, no party buses, no drunken college students, everyone just gets doused in pink nature confetti! Peak Blossom is democratic beauty. The cherry blossoms float by houses with leaky roofs & shitty landlords just the same as they blanket NoLibs-cookie-cutter-black-rectangle-with-slick-new-metal-address-number homes. They pile up in front of both reclaimed wood coffee shops and the 3rd Islamic Fashions storefront in a row.
How is this not a citwyide holiday, more disruptive than any snow day? How are we not marching with drumlines to water the trees? How are we not holding our babies up in frilly pink outfits to match and teaching them all about photosynthesis with costumes and citywide pagentry?
My proposal: when the blossoms pop, block off the streets for a week, Pope Francis-style. None of us are working anyway. We are basking, we are smoking, we are checking each other out, we are doing nothing, we are shaking petals off our shoulders and remembering that beauty belongs to us like the sky.