Almost Winter

Most people fall in love with New York in the autumn when the weather turns crisp and the leaves on the trees… well, there are no trees in Manhattan, save those in Central Park, which I assume still do obey the natural laws of the universe, by boasting brown and withered leaves, and easing them gently to the ground with each passing day. Sweater weather, they call it.

I like fall in New York. I don’t have a problem with it. But I prefer spending that season in the suburbs, with the crunchy blanket of leaves underfoot every where, with the abundance of trees aflame with color. I like going apple picking in the country and getting a good whiff of allergies with every inhalation.

My favorite time in New York is not autumn, nor spring, nor summer. My favorite time in the city is right now.

I like to call it the Almost Winter.

There’s a stash of Halloween candy in every apartment, and outside a scent of anticipation for the holidays carried on the air. You go out believing it is still sweater weather, only to be proven wrong by the wicked whip of winter, licking its way into the crevices of every too-light jacket and too-light heart.

For the only time all year, the city air breathes fresh and ripe.

Over-eager Christmas decorations already bedazzle storefronts up and down Broadway. The few remaining tourists always catch on to the turn in weather quicker than the New Yorkers, bundled and prepared in their fluffy winter coats and hoods. Zoe’s teeth finally start chattering when we stop at deserted playgrounds, her tiny hands cool as tiny cucumbers.

The city, I like her. She brings color to my cheeks.

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