Ithaca, N.Y. — March 20 was the first day of spring 2015, but you could be forgiven for thinking it’s still winter in Ithaca.

Temperatures here are expected to remain stubbornly in the 30s, 20s and even low teens throughout this week, disappointing those who had hoped to stash their heavy coats for late March.

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So, how will we know when spring in Ithaca has really begun?

To this Ithaca Voice editor, there’s only one good answer: When the outdoor seating begins at Viva Taqueria in downtown Ithaca.

Outdoor seating at Viva Taqueria in downtown Ithaca. For me, it’s the first true sign of spring here. (Courtesy of Viva’s Facebook page)
Outdoor seating at Viva Taqueria in downtown Ithaca. For me, it’s the first true sign of spring here. (Courtesy of Viva’s Facebook page)

If I can’t sit outside on Aurora Street with a chicken mole burrito and an overflow of fried chips, it’s not spring in Ithaca — no matter the “official” first date of the season.

When can we expect that day to come? “Usually, it’s like the beginning of April, the middle of April,” says Mike Thomas, a manager at Viva, in an interview on Thursday.

Viva generally waits for the temperatures to rise to about 50 degrees, but it could be earlier this year, according to Thomas. How soon would that be? “At this point, I really couldn’t say,” he said.

Viva’s outdoor seating may be my idea of Ithaca’s Groundhog Day for spring, but I assume our readers have different local signs of mind.

Hop over to our Facebook page and tell us how you know spring has arrived in Ithaca — be it the first Cornell baseball game, rowing on the lake, or something else altogether.


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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.