Walking to St. Martin of Tours on Friday, I found myself behind a woman carrying grocery bags. When I got closer behind her, she turned around, I smiled, and she laughed out loud. "I wanted to make sure that it wasn't anyone coming up behind me at night," she said.
We walked down the street together talking about church and the Bronx and Lenten services. She told me that she is from St. Lucia and that she came to the Bronx some time ago. As I'm learning, this is the epitome of what the Bronx is: people from different places coming together to call one place theirs.
The next morning, the neighborhood couldn't have been more friendly- or more crowded. Everyone (and their siblings and parents and children) came out to celebrate the first sunny day of what is now -hopefully- spring. Mr. Softee trucks and street ball and loud music accompanied pedestrians with jackets open, sun-brushed cheeks and babies in strollers. I have yet to spend a summer in the Bronx, but I'm told that it is, in every sense, spectacular. Summer is the time when this city, its residents and its rich culture, come to life. After a long, drab winter, this kind of change could not feel more welcome or more monumental.