“Autumn in New York, why does it seem so inviting?
Autumn in New York, it spells the thrill of first nighting
Glittering crowds and shimmering clouds in canyons of steel
They’re making me feel, I’m home.”
Those are the lyrics of the beautiful, haunting , “Autumn in NewYork”. The wonderful rendition by Frank Sinatra is the one I have in mind.
Fall has just arrived, though one would never know it living in southeast Texas. This past week heat indexes hit 108. Not exactly my idea of “Autumn”. But this is about the past, so let’s go there…. to Autumn in New York.
As far back as I can remember, the fall has always been my favorite time of year. As a kid, The sadness brought on by the end of what seemed to be an endless summer had begun to fade. The nervousness and anxiety associated with going back to school began to lessen …. and most of all.. the weather began to change.
There was, and still is, something about that beautiful change in weather which triggers wonderful memories. Short-sleeved shirts slowly gave to sweatshirts, and maybe even a light jacket. In those late September days the shadows began to take on a different look and the sun appeared to inhabit a new position in the sky.
In the very early school years, children would bring in samples of colored leaves from various places their family had traveled and they would be posted around the room to remind us that it was, in fact, Fall:and once the leaves changed color, our childhood minds knew that Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas were soon to follow.
That is something I will always remember about growing up in New York: the arrival of Autumn brought with it a festive feeling and that feeling hit right around the beginning of October. As an adult, as I’m sure most of you know, time seems to fly: but as a child waiting for the holidays, it moved at a snails pace. However,the anticipation was much of the fun.
The city took on a special glow in the Fall. The swirling winds carried with them a new, fresh chill as they blew the falling leaves through the caverns of the City. New movies and plays premiered in the autumn and, of course, the sports scene was fantastic. The baseball season was winding down with the “fall classic”, the World Series. Even if our beloved Yankees or Mets were not part of it,we were sure to watch. The fall also brought on the beginning of the football season and the excitement of seeing our Giants and Jets take the field. Madison Square Garden would soon be lit up with the marquee announcing that Knicks basketball was back as well as Rangers hockey. For the sports fan, autumn in New York was a buffet of excitement.
As I know I have mentioned, New York is a “walking city”: sure there were plenty of cabs , buses and subways, but to get the pulse of the City, there was nothing like walking her streets.
At the arrival of Fall, the shops, department stores, grocery stores and countless restaurants all began the process of decorating for the season. First there were the pumpkins, bales of hay , scarecrows and black cats,…. next came the ceramic and cut -out turkeys, pilgrams and horns of plenty….all this following by the Christmas trees, snowmen , Santa and Reindeer. The autumn ushered it all in and the mood was upbeat and optimistic on the streets of New York. I couldn’t get enough of it. Sometimes we would walk the cobblestone street , just to get into the mood. It always succeeded.
I miss that feeling … I miss the anticipation and excitement of a child.I miss the changing of the seasons and the walks through Greenwich Village, Chelsea and of course Times Square and 5th Avenue. I feel totally blessed that I experienced it…. that until this day, I can close my eyes, take a deep breath…and be back… back to Autumn in New York.
“This autumn in New York transforms the slums into Mayfair..
Autumn in New York, you’ll need no castle in Spain
Lovers that bless the dark on benches in Central Park
Greet autumn in New York, its good to live it again…”