Autumn Love

It's that time of year- the magical month of October and autumn! I probably haven't mentioned that it's my favorite season. I think it's in part due to the fact that I prefer cooler temperatures (I always feel like I'm complaining  sharing that I'm too warm). Oddly enough when I was growing up in Hawaii we didn't get the same feeling when the school year started. It was hot and the only thing it meant for me that my summer travels were over. Don't get me wrong, I loved the first day of school. It was SO exciting! New stationary, teachers and friends.

The moment that I really starting loving autumn was when I started college in Upstate New York. Upstate New York has a very long cold season and a brief Spring, Summer and Fall. However, when mid September came around the nights would get cool, the leaves would start to turn color and the sweaters or hoodies would become more visible on campus. There is one absolutely wonderful tree tree on the quad at my alma mater that I still think about every fall. As a close friend and classmate and I talked about this specific tree a couple weeks ago at a mutual friend's wedding, she used the term "perfect". If there was the perfect autumn tree it'd be this one. It turns the most vibrant hues of autumn that I still haven't seen in the time I've lived in Japan or in New York City. The interesting thing about leaves turning colors is that it's very dependent on temperature and moisture. A warm wet Spring, sunny summer days, warm fall days with cool nights produces the brightest fall colors. The last two autumns it seems I saw a lot more yellow and less orange and red. The shape of this tree and its location also added to its charm. It was a very round, full tree and I'm not even sure what type of tree it is but it was close to the Southeast corner of the quad near the science building. If you had a class in that building during the fall semester it was always best to try and convince the professor to have class outdoors just so you could appreciate this tree it all its glory.

Autumn in Japan there brings colors on the maples and gingko trees.  But for me the most amazing thing about fall there was the food. The Japanese are dedicated to eating seasonally and fall brings about oysters, sweet potatoes and rich and oily fish to name a few. Days are sunny and warm and the nights are crisp. The sides of the streams and rivers that are full of sakura (cherry) blossoms in the Spring change color. The desserts in department stores and bakeries change to apples, sweet potatoes and chestnuts. I highly suggest that, for foodie purposes, anyone traveling to Japan make the trip during the fall. You will not be disappointed.

Here in NYC, fashion becomes even more inspiring with the layered looks including boots, scarves and hats. The cooler nights are a refreshing change to the humidity of summer. You no longer need to worry about sweating (mostly) and there's just something about the light during the day that changes and inspires me. Although I'm no longer a student I still find it motivating (remember I do better when its cooler) to write down my goals. The trickiest thing for me is that because I'm always warm, if we were talking about Ayurveda they'd say I have have a lot of fire energy in me. So layering is key but no matter how hard I try I can't bundle up cute like most women of NYC during the fall but I just get too overwhelmed. And then the time I actually feel cold enough it's basically winter weather... An extra fun thing about September and October is that it's fashion week. Beginning with NYC and ending with Paris.

I'm not as big on pumpkin flavors unless it's Kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) soup or tempura or pie so Starbucks can't lure me. Also, I only go to Starbucks when there's absolutely no other option. For coffee it means, no more iced lattes and I start to warm my own coffee mug with hot water to keep the coffee warmer longer. September and October will be my favorites months of the year. Hope you all enjoy this lovely month!!