Besides "pollen tsunamis," budding romance, and outdoor drinking, spring is also known for that other seasonal tradition, tours of fancy New York houses. (Technically these run through the summer and the fall, too, but spring is the kickoff).
6sqft has a round-up of upcoming tours including the Park Slope House Tour (May 17th), the Brooklyn Heights House & Garden Tour (May 9th), and the New York Junior League Annual Spring House Tour (May 9th).
We'd recommend going on as many of 'em as you can get to, but word to the wise: Don't expect to make yourself at home, kicking back on some stranger's antique couch while you polish off the last of your bacon-egg-and-cheese. As we learned back in October on a tour of Bed-Stuy homes, you've got to mind your Ps and Qs on these things. Photography tends to be strictly forbidden (we were reminded more than once in Bed-Stuy that we'd be thrown off the tour immediately if caught taking pics), and homeowners and tour guides are on hand to make sure things go smoothly—and that no one starts rifling through the homeowners' closets.
The Park Slope tour, for instance, restricts kids under 10 (!) "with the exception of infants in front packs," as well as photos, food or drink, and large backpacks. "No opening of closets, drawers or cabinets," the site notes. "Inside homes, shoes must be removed or shoe covers put on." Strict, yes, but worth it to get an inside look at how your neighbors live.