French Culture Guide

French Culture in New York, with a Touch of Paris

Springtime At Your Door

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Speaking about the weather is one of the most common and fascinating topics people engage in. Last autumn, New Yorkers started to worry about the coming winter, thinking that it would be as harsh as last year’s. Then, disappointed about how relatively mild the winter turned out to be, they started wondering and commenting about the absence of snow. What can we say? Human beings are never satisfied. However, the arrival of spring is occupying everyone’s minds and giving everyone a fresh start.


Spring is the synonym of creation and renewal. Mother Nature starts wearing her green dress and the animals stop their hibernation to rediscover the world. For us, it’s a different story, but there are indeed some similarities.


A week before the official start of spring, the weather began to soften with some perturbations, which made some of us sick or confused: “Should I bring my coat or not?”


However, the days that followed were amazingly smooth with the perfect balance of sun and wind. Indeed, you feel the rays caressing your skin, while the wind is blowing your hair and making you feel ecstatic to be outside. With this kind of sensation, you officially adopt springtime habits.


With the new season, it’s time to take off your clothes, albeit not too much because remember it’s not summer yet! Replace the bulky coat with a lighter jacket. Bright colors are making their appearances on the streets, including a mix of orange, electric blue and pastel tones.


On the streets, people can’t wait to enjoy the parks and squares. You can hear kids’ laughter while they are running and playing together. Dogs are also among the first to enjoy the pleasant weather as we meet the wide panoply of breeds on the sidewalks.

The fountains are working again, and I couldn’t ignore a strange behavior. For example, the fountain on Fifty-Ninth Street and Fifth Avenue attracts a lot of families whose kids behave as if they were facing the Trevi Fountain in Rome. Kids come close to the edge make a wish and throw a multitude of coins.


Besides the public areas, terraces of coffee houses and restaurants are packed. It’s a real pleasure to find yourself having a great time sitting outside. Even in business districts, you notice more people taking their breaks outside to enjoy the weather.

Everybody takes pleasure strolling around the city and walking through different neighborhoods. If you are not interested in walking, you can still ride a bike or enjoy a nice promenade while you are taking a bicycle cab or a carriage ride.


People’s behavior is also different; more couples are on the streets demonstrating their relationship in public and displaying harmony and happiness. It is primarily the season for frolicking, which is an idea that applies especially to the younger generation who often enjoys their kind of traditions. College students start planning their break to Mexico or Hawaii, expecting to have the best time of their lives. At the same time, high school seniors wonder about their outfit for the prom, and panic if they don’t have a partner yet.


Outdoor events are popping up with a considerable number of tributes to nature, especially with flowers, such as in the Orchid Show organized at the Botanical Garden or the Macy’s Flower Show on Thirty-Fourth Street. You should definitely check one of them out to feel completely in the mood for spring!


By Kenza Yahfouri