Cherry Blossoms on 11th Street

I’ve always loved walking down 11th Street in the spring, to see the cherry blossoms. I even included this in my book about singing. But a number of those trees fell down in a terrible storm a few months ago. Thankfully, there are enough left to still be a lovely sight to see, but they no longer create a canopy over the block.

The section from my book, Imperfect Harmony:

“I’ve become intimately acquainted with the changing seasons on 11th Street. For instance, there’s a stretch where for a brief time during the spring the cherry blossoms are so abundant and so lush they make a big, fat, fluffy white and pink canopy that stretches from sidewalk to sidewalk. It’s a dazzling display. The best part however, is when the petals begin to fall. It makes me wish New York City were car-free.

“I want to be able to walk down the center of the street like I’m in the middle of my own botanical ticker-tape parade. I’d raise my arms to the skies and twirl around in this confetti-like explosion of renewal and possibility and pretend it’s all for me. The spring is when choirs all over the city are singing lines like “deliver the souls of all the faithful departed from the pains of hell and from the bottomless pit.” Or “I tremble and fear at the coming desolation and wrath. Day of wrath, calamity and misery, great and exceedingly bitter day.” Choral singing was once exclusively a church thing and it would appear that this is the message the religious want to give us this lovely time of year: don’t get too excited about those cherry blossoms that have already begun to perish, because they won’t last forever and neither will you.”

One of the remaining cherry blossom trees on 11th Street.

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

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2 thoughts on “Cherry Blossoms on 11th Street

  1. Hi Stacy. Just watched a great interview you did with David Hoffman in 1992 on You Tube. Where you are talking a mile a minute. Looks like we’re neighbors. OK so I’m a little late to the party.

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