Autumn in New York. I love the song, and love that time of the year, especially in the West Village.
The many pocket parks that have popped up in the last few years go through a major replanting, as do the stoops of the brownstones. Restaurants change their flower boxes and there is a flurry of pre-Halloween decorating.
You begin to smell the fireplaces again as a cozy aroma fills the air. You start to see some remarkable sweaters and great hats. But let’s go back to those parks. There are so many now, most of which are lovingly cared for by the residents who live around them. What a treat it is to sit on a bench with a cup of hot coffee; I get mine at Cafe Panino Mucho Gusto and take in the new colors of the changing leaves and the new plants like hardy mums, millet, ornamental grasses, croton, and of course, pumpkins—lots and lots of pumpkins.
My co-op has a back yard—I am very lucky—and in it we have a maple tree that turns amazing colors in the fall. We are fortunate to have Susan Sipos, who runs Gardens of Distinction, work on our yard and also care for many of the wonderful pocket parks around our neighborhood.
Susan tells me she has seen a remarkable increase in the number of green initiatives taking place in our Village over the past five years. Susan also commented that the work on these parks and green spaces has most often been done by the residents: “It’s the residents who start and even do the work on these spaces, but the city is also providing help in the greening process in the city.” It should be noted that Susan, besides taking care of our co-op, also takes care of the Abingdon Square Park, St. Luke’s, as well as the Jane Street Garden, the Jefferson Market Garden and many other private yards and muses in the Village.
Now, I love the spring tulips on Park Avenue and I love the blossoming trees in Army Plaza, but to me there is nothing like Autumn in New York, especially in the West Village.