May Day 2013: Impressions Of New York's Central Park [PHOTOS]

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May 5, 2013 5:45 AM EST

If Claude Monet were alive and well and living in New York, then he would have had a great time doing his Impressionistic, open-air painting thing in Central Park on May Day.

Azaleas, cherries, daisies, daffodils, irises, lavender, tulips, violets and a plethora of other plants were colorfully exploding in multinuanced shades of blue, green, red, white and yellow, with the air temperature at 65 degrees Fahrenheit and the cloudless sky as sunny as it could conceivably be at midday.

Monet is well-represented at the only world-class museum in Central Park (Metropolitan Museum of Art, home of his "Poppy Field, Argenteuil" [1875], "The Bodmer Oak, Fontainebleau Forest" [1865] and "View of Vetheuil" [1880], among other floral masterpieces), and he would have reveled in the rich choice of subject matter in that place and at that time.

As masterly as Monet is or was, however, neither he nor any other artist -- Apologies, Camille Pissarro! Sorry, Pierre-Auguste Renoir! -- could have captured the total sensory experience of May Day in New York's Central Park. With AromaRama and Smell-O-Vision both apparently dead technologies, the only way to appreciate the fragrance of the honeysuckle outside Belvedere Castle Wednesday was to have been there and then, as we are grateful to have been.

Art historians may not consider Mother Nature an Impressionist, strictly speaking, but she, like artists associated with that movement, paints with a colorful palette, as shown by the following photographs.

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