Sure, as of Monday, the weather was all fifty-billion-degrees-below-zero and crazy-pants-blowing-snow. Which meant I froze my toes off at the Dyngus Day Parade despite the two pairs of socks I was wearing and the warming effects of Polish beer.
But, as of today, I haven’t seen snow for at least four days, you guys!
That’s got to be some kind of Buffalo record or something.
I was even able to pull out some of my non-boot shoes this week. I can’t tell you how excited I was about that.
I may start rocking the flats-with-no-socks look one of these days. At which point I will probably have to be sedated because I will be so excited.It’s not just the weather and my wardrobe which have been showing signs of spring, though.
The local hotdog stand is open again for business. Which is a good thing because I’m pretty sure my life would have lost all meaning if I had to make it through another week without a footlong and some curly fries.
Flowers have started to spring up on the farm.
And my parent’s laundry room has been taken over by an immense box of baby chicks.
Isn’t that how you tell whether or not it’s spring?
When a room in your house is overtaken by baby farm animals?
Because that’s pretty much how spring works around here.To make things really official, this Saturday, Buffalo held its big spring kick-off event, Boom Days.
Boom Days is so named as it celebrates the lifting of the Niagara River Ice Boom – a series of large chains and steel beams strung across the mouth of the river that break up large chunks of ice to prevent the ice from entering the hydroelectric plant.
Isn’t that how people in your town tell whether or not it’s spring?
When the giant ice-breaking thingies are lifted from the river?
Because that’s pretty much how spring works around here.
Mind you, from what I could tell, the celebration did not involve the actual lifting of the boom.
When I first heard about the event, I was imagining all the people of Buffalo banding together to lift the boom out of the water or something like that. Which would have been pretty cool, I think. But probably would have required a lot more upper arm strength than I currently possess.The party did involve a lot of empty, industrial grain silos, though. Which is probably about the next best thing to giant ice-breaking thingies.
It turns out that Buffalo just so happens to have a lot of empty, industrial grain silos around.
You see, back in the day, Buffalo was like the Grain Capital of the World due to its handy location next to the Erie Canal. Grain from farms in the Midwest would be shipped into Buffalo to be processed and then shipped off to other parts of the world.
While some of the silos are still in use today, most of them are empty.
Which means bad things for Buffalo’s economy, I suppose.
But good things for Buffalo’s partying.
Because, you guys, in case you’ve never hung out in an empty grain silo before, a silo can make a pretty awesome place to party.
It’s kind of like the ultimate party basement.
You know, how the coolest kid in school always had the coolest party basement — the kind of basement that was super huge and had a mini-fridge and not one but two foosball tables?
Well, the grain silos are even better than that basement.
Except the mini-fridge and foosball tables have been replaced with grain kilns.
The acoustics were perfect for the live band that was performing.
And there was tons of funky wall art and cool graffiti all over the insides of the silos. You know, in case you’re the type of person who likes her parties arty.
You could even try your hand at making your own funky wall art.
There were also historic tours of the silos.
You know, in case you’re like me and you like your parties totally nerdy.
I learned all kinds of fascinating silo facts during the tour. Like how the grain actually gets into the silo. (Hint: There are elevators involved. Elevators! Who knew? And here all along I had imagined grain to be the healthy, stairs-taking type.)
And, of course, as with any good party, there was ready access to beer and boxed wine.
Isn’t that how people in your town celebrate spring?
By getting sloshed in an empty grain silo?
Because that’s pretty much how spring works around here.What’s your favorite way to celebrate the start of spring?