May Day is most commonly associated with Socialism, worker’s rights, and pre-Christian customs like those of Beltane, Walpurgis Night, and the Maypole. What many don’t know is that up unitl the mid-1800’s, every lease in New York City would expire on May 1- with the result of horrendous gridlock as 1,000’s of tenants moved their stuff from apartment to apartment!
These days come but once a year- the first unequivocally spring weekend- when everyone comes out and basks in the glory of warmth and sun after an all-too-long hibernation. Days when one can enjoy the city without hurrying from here to there beating the cold.
Today everyone was in Central Park, the great green lung of the city. Sunbathing, picnic-ing, strolling, reading, dog-walking, boating, bird-watching, chatting, playing, gawking, etc. All under the returning canopy of youthful bright green leaves and splashes of suddenly returning flowers.
The city is alive at all times of year, but never quite as fresh and liberating as in these first warm months, before the blaze and haze of summer kick in.
Posted on May 1, 2011, in NYC past, NYC present and tagged central park, history, may 1, may day, moving day, new york, new york city, nyc, NYC Past, NYC Present, spring. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.