New York City, May 1, 2013

★★★★ The green in the trees had gone from tentative to lush. Iridescent green badges flashed and vanished on a starling’s shoulders as it turned this way and that; a petal had fallen from a tree to rest on a petal of a tulip. The blooming trees on the Broadway median were one continuous mass. Prospects were spacious all around. Broadway was chilly in the breeze, but the Time Warner Center was a solar collector. Out over the office fire escape — between the frigid air conditioning and the rooftop closed for repainting — wine-crimson maple leaves crowned the dirty white side of the building. The foot of the brick wall on Prince Street was dusted with a luminous green line of tree sex organs. Somewhere overhead, a helicopter chattered, and a police car was sideways across Houston Street. At the far end of the block, red flags were rippling as a parade column turned left.