Thursday, March 11, 2010

Patio Season Is Here Again

We have all been waiting patiently, and finally perfection has come. That first day of spring, when no jacket is necessary, your space heater can take a rest, and stepping out for fresh air is a must. Spring always seems to subtly make its presence known. Yet we're typically cautious and slow to trust its seasonal charm. It's nearly impossible not to make sure that those blowing dandelion seeds are not in fact snow flurries, or that the morning dew on your car isn't actually frost. Then of course there's the winter wardrobe that we never want to put away too soon out of fear a jinx may be cast upon the whole town.

That one day comes though where you realize maybe we're in the clear. No clouds are in the sky, you're sleeves are rolled up, and those patio umbrellas sprout up. It's true that there is no better sign of the second season than the day you ask the waitress for a table outside. At lunch and dinner. The art of patio lounging is one most have known their whole lives. Under appreciated during youth, completely ignored during adolescence, researched and learned in college, and revered in the years after it is a subject consisting of meaningless jokes, daydreaming, cold beverages, and sheer bliss. It's one of the few remaining masterpieces from that idea known as good ol' fashion fun. And it's back. Make sure you put on some speeds though. Its archenemy, humidity, is sure to follow soon enough.

Some of My Favorite Patios:

A great patio for lunch, dinner, and everything in between, The Boathouse in Forest Park.

A favorite nook during my freshman year at Loyola Chicago, the Starbucks in Wrigleyville, just four steps from Wrigley, is perfect for studying, people watching, and just getting close to the action (please ignore the Cubs billboard).

Quinton's in Columbia, MO is the epitome of what a patio should be.

Post Script: This post is dedicated to Lauren Conroy, who truly appreciates the art of the patio.

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