The afternoon smelt of damp mud and budding tulips—that dewy stench of early spring. This came as a pleasant surprise on a winter day in mid January. From noontime onward, this curbed my mood significantly despite experiencing the heavy cast of a head cold and the couple glasses of red wine imbibed the night prior.
Atop the High Line between a gleaming (rare) Hudson River and Chelsea's charming crown of brick and glass, the city looked its best. A slight breeze made the tall grass and shrubs dance, sprinkling a blond ash about the former above-ground railway. As we strolled passed the most prolific stretch of the winter garden between 14th and 20th streets, passersby spoke in various faraway dialects, stopping occasionally to leer out toward the water or to pose where the sun shone just right.
In the Jonathan LeVine Gallery at 529 W. 20th St., young art patrons looked aimlessly through the Virtual Reality exhibit by Haroshi, a self-taught sculpture whose art bespeaks a passion for kickflips and truck stands. On display were pop-art figures made from repurposed skateboard decks, such as a wooden foot fitted in a glass shoe to a whimsical skull whose pearly smile was laced with braces and a flashy gold tooth.
Visitors took cautious steps on a bubbled linoleum floor in the elevator at 529 W. 20th St., where months prior Hurricane Sandy wreaked her havoc.
As the sun ducked behind the buildings in the West, rosy-cheeked wanderers chatted giddily along 14th Street and Seventh Avenue. Nearby, a dozen roses sold for $12, a fair deal that could not be evaded on such a well-tempered day.