Something New: Cherry Blossoms in Snow, This Week on Roosevelt Island


After a mild winter, cherry blossoms in snow may be a first for Roosevelt Island. At least in recent memory. At that, they’re several weeks early as the herald of spring. They set a seasonal tone as we push toward spring.

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

Most years, the cheerful sequence of cherry blossoms opens in mid-March on the East Promenade, just north of Capobianco Field. It then marches south in a series that normally ends in May under the Queensboro Bridge.


But this year is different because historian Judith Berdy has teamed up with RIOC landscape chief Matthew Kibby in planting dozens of new cherry trees. Some will have their first robust blossoms, this year, mostly to the east of Cornell Tech.

Few communities get a spring festival as long or as beautiful as Roosevelt Island’s.

If you focus on the trees, you can block out the ugly junkyard of dumpsters RIOC established under the Roosevelt Island Bridge helix.

Did You Say “Cherry Blossoms in Snow?”

This unlikely experience is possible with a wintery forecast for tonight. That calls for a mix that could be all or some snow, sleet, rain, freezing rain or a sloppy mix.

This could be our last chance because spring weather will soon carry us out of the snow season. Although… one of New York City’s worst blizzards was on March 18th, 1888. And on the first day of our lease at 20 River Road, I walked down Main Street in snow. It was April 1st.

Also This Week

On Saturday, two big openings electrify Main Street.

At 6:30, the Roosevelt Island Visual Art Association (RVAA) opens its annual Vernissage. It’s the 22nd time. Then, just a little later, Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance (MSTDA) brings the Broadway smash The Prom to the Howe Theatre in the Cultural Center.

Both should be memorable markers of a new season.

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