Memorial Day Weekend Begins in New York, and the City's Pace Slows Down: Scenes from the City

While walking the dog yesterday morning, the two of us stopped for a moment to sit on a bench next to the Thompson Street Playground in the South Village. Few people were on the streets. A woman strolled by with her young boy in hand and cheerfully exclaimed, "I love this time of year. Everyone has gone!" It felt like it.

quiet day in the South Village
Thompson Street, near Spring Street, South Village

lonely New York pigeon
the pigeon probably wonders why everyone flew the coop

Though not everyone is gone from a metropolis of several million people, Memorial Day weekend, the traditional start of summer, feels like an evacuation in progress. Some restaurants and businesses, normally open for reliable hours, just give up and close their doors. For those of us who stay in the city, at least the pace slows down. Some head to the parks, weather permitting. Some still shop after the usually drawn-out brunch. The skies have been a little hazy.

Washington Square Park, Saturday morning
sitting under a canopy of trees in Washington Square Park, Greenwich Village

Soho street scene, Saturday morning
West Broadway at Spring Street, with the unfinished One World Trade Center in the distance

For this particular Memorial Day weekend, the weather keeps changing its mind. Cold fronts move south across the five boroughs only to return as warm fronts later in the day. What the meteorologists call "disturbances" crisscross the region, producing intermittent rain showers that have the overall effect of interrupting any firm outdoor plans. Saturday started as a sunny though muggy day and finished with cracks of thunder that sounded like a movie soundtrack. Under these unpredictable weather conditions, the weekend plan requires a Plan B.

Bryant Park, Saturday
Bryant Park, muggy but mostly sunny at 2 p.m. on Saturday. 

The best plan for enjoying Memorial Day in New York is to slow down and to wing it, and carry a big umbrella.

Images by Walking Off the Big Apple from May 25 & 26, 2012, with a Canon Rebel T3. (Yes, new camera. Suddenly, WOTBA became a lot clearer, despite the hazy weather.) More pictures coming for the remainder of the weekend, weather permitting.

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