I hope I am not jinxing all of New York with a title like ‘signs of spring.’ Last week was no heat wave, but for the first time in what felt like years, I could step outside of my apartment without my hat layered underneath my giant fur hood. I could walk slowly, linger even, taking in the chirping birds and the colorful flowers for sale at the bodegas, instead of hustling to and fro with my eyes glued to the sidewalk lest I step on a patch of black ice.
Union Square Greenmarket is a Manhattan treasure. I like to go first thing in the morning, especially on Saturdays, when the city is still sleeping and the vendors are lining up their last crate or loaf of homemade blueberry bread. They cross the pedestrian area to say hello to one another, laughing over their coffee, relaxing a moment around their table or sitting on the back ledge of their van. They remind me of how simple life can be if we would all slow down just a second. All we need is a good pair of worn-in jeans to kneel down in the soil and cut our homegrown beets, a big bunch of sweet, pungent basil, a batch of freshly cut flowers, and great friends and family to make us laugh and keep as cool as cucumbers. The farmers who share their bounty with Manhattan four times a week quite literally help us stay grounded, in their own unknowing, unintentional sort of way.
Nothing brings me greater joy than making salads all week with the organic greens and local, seasonal vegetables from the market, such as the all green bowl of goodness below. Buying organic, local greens also means less washing, cause to celebrate when one lives in a small Manhattan apartment. My big head of organic Boston lettuce from Two Guys from Woodbridge stayed crisp all week, and I added their organic basil and microgreens to every meal.
Now that the days are getting longer, and we are slowly creeping up the thermometer (Dear 60 degrees, I can nearly feel you, just a bit closer…), I cannot wait to spend more mornings at the greenmarket, ogling over each producer’s bounty as it grows and grows. Summer berries, watermelon, plums, peaches, tomatoes… oh the things that make me happy..