Welcome Spring! An April Invitation

Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D. is a Gynecologist, Director of the New York Menopause Center, Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill Cornell Medical College, and Assistant Attending Obstetrician and Gynecologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. She is a board certified fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Allen is also a member of the Faculty Advisory Board and the Women’s Health Director of The Weill Cornell Community Clinic (WCCC). Dr. Allen was the recipient of the 2014 American Medical Women’s Association Presidential Award.

Dr. Allen is co-founder and publisher of  Women’s Voices for Change.

Last month, in honor of Jon Stewart, we  challenged  our readers to bring some change—however minimal—into their lives. A dozen of our contributors  responded, with attitudes ranging from “ENOUGH with change!” to “Desperation is a great motivator.”

Our theme for April is more of an invitation than a challenge: What do you plan to do to welcome April, the stand-in for the concept of spring?  We in New York City, jaded as we are, have long given up on spring’s delivering, on the official date of arrival, anything but cold weather and threats of snow. But April brings more than showers here. New York really begins to bloom in the tender month.

Here are a few of my welcome-spring plans:

  1. Easter service at my church, the Church of the Heavenly Rest, on Fifth Avenue, with its beautiful music and much-beloved service, followed by lunch at the Carlyle with the family. We do this every year.

3498737885_085a251df4_zImage from Flickr via Charley Lhasa (Creative Commons License)

  1. Taking a long, appreciative walk in Central Park to enjoy the Yoshino cherry trees that line the east side of the Reservoir. These trees have luscious flowers that appear from mid to late April. The original trees were presented as a gift to the United States by Japan in 1912, and the feel of the park near these trees reminds me of gardens in Tokyo during spring.


Manolo Blahnik BB Patent Pointed-Toe Pump, Yellow

  1. Refusing to wear black for a month. This is a hard decision for a New Yorker, but I need color in my wardrobe. I now own new Manolo Blahnik bright yellow patent heels.
  1. Being one of the first to ride on the Carousel in Central Park. I do this every April, even without a child.

7607501390_db142d3130_zImage from Flickr via oliver.dodd (Creative Commons License)

  1. Planning an afternoon date with The Husband on Central Park Lake in a Venetian gondola, sharing a delicious picnic from EAT. It is our 20th wedding anniversary this month!
  1. Wearing a turquoise necklace and earrings for mood and complexion enhancement.
  1. Having the Saturday morning New York Times and coffee on the roof garden of my apartment building.
  1. Exercising more, because the threat of upper-arm exposure is coming with warmer weather.
  1. Dinner at the Oyster Bar on the lower level of Grand Central for Shad and Shad Roe is a must in April.
  1. April is National Poetry Month, and I will look forward with great anticipation to Poetry Sunday and its gift to us each week.

What do you do to welcome spring?  We’d especially like to hear about the pleasures of the season in other parts of the country than our headquarters city, New York.

You can simply put your comments in the Comments section of this post or send an essay to Put APRIL INVITATION in the subject line.

Note to our Midwestern Correspondent: Diane, is it ever spring in Minnesota?


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  • Deborah Robinson April 11, 2015 at 1:52 am

    Spending much of the winter on the Island of Palm Beach,we Still do not forget the enchantment of April. With April well under way, my first joyous moments were the intoxicating scent of gardenia that were surrounding my portico, which I promptly brought inside and placed in floaters in a lovely Tiffiney bowl and was overwhelmed with their sweet scent.
    2. Easter Sunday is always a traditional renewal for me and my family. I walked to church and met my husband there and we enjoyed a beautiful service and I dressed up just in a lovely white suit as I had done in my youth. After church we followed with a lovely brunch with friends.
    3. Even though I don’t have children I had the kitchen decorated with singing yellow ducks, stuffed rabbits, and Easter baskets and a lovely new country French table cloth in my breakfast room. It made me feel young and happy!
    4. I bought my husband a very large Easter basket, and lovely new shades of glowy peach and dusty pink lips and cheek color for a little glow for myself. Need to brighten up a bit. Brand new coral bag from Gucci added just the right sunlit touch too!
    5. Last, but certainly not least I got lots of beautiful flowers from the flower market and decorated my whole house with blooms, and in that moment Thanked God for the Wonderful Life he has allowed me to live.❤️

  • Susanna Gaertner April 1, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    Reading these spring-welcoming entries only reminds me of how fortunate I am here in Santa Cruz with its 8-10 months of perfect weather. Daffodillies are done, dogwood is blooming, roses are beginning…
    Instead of spring cleaning, I aim to improve my media presence by acquiring more tech support (my young ‘puter tutor is not enough) and then learn how to digitally promote myself.
    Oh, and, as part of that, get a gravatar!

  • Judith A. Ross April 1, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    Honestly???? Writing in from Massachusetts, I’m in the same boat as Diane. We still have a good foot of snow on the ground. I look forward to the day when I can say farewell to the snow shoes and ice cleats I currently need for my morning walk with the dog. Let’s hear it for a nice, light pair of running shoes!

    Beyond that, I’m welcoming spring with a trip to NYC later this month. My birthday present this year from my older son is a weekend’s accommodations near him in Brooklyn. Hooray!

    Looking forward to city sidewalks, nice shoes, walking around with my coat open, and smelling that sweet, sweet spring air.

  • Diane Dettmann April 1, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    Your Midwestern Correspondent reporting in. Spring has a mind of her own in Minnesota. Today it’s 75 with gray skies. wind gusts left over from March and rain on the way. It may be April first, but as a long time Minnesotan, I know not to pack those winter ski clothes and boots away too soon. Time will tell if spring decides to stay!