Don’t let those Sunday afternoons get away

24 01 2016

It’s a snowy Sunday, so of course, the Jane Siberry song:

Last year we were told the city was going to get hit, so the governor—giving the mayor 15 minutes notice—shut the entire MTA system.

We got bupkes.

So I was a bit see-it-believe-it, but this is what it looked like at noon on Saturday.

009A proper storm.

This was the fire escape around noon:

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And then around 5:00:

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So, some decent accumulation.

It kept up well into the evening, at which point I headed outside; this was the entrance to my building:

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With the driving ban there were no cars on the streets, so I copied the other shadow figures I saw and trudged down the middle of the avenue:

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One bodega, at least, remained open:

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By morning the warm and the wind turned the fire escape sculptural:

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Beneath the blue, I headed to the park; I was not the only one with that idea, as every slope was smoothed by saucers, skinny cross-country skiers slowly glided along side trails, and snowmen appeared in fields and on fence posts:

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I’m a sucker for the melancholy view:

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But as I was walking out of the park, behind a guy smoking some skunky weed, and listening to David Bowie’s Ashes to Ashes wobble out of the speakers by the ice rink, I did come across some incongruous green:

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It snows all across the north and the prairies; there’s nothing new about snow, there’s nothing special about snow in New York City.

Except it’s my city, and I like the snow, and I like the city.

And its incongruous green.

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Don’t get your back up over this

17 02 2015

You thought I was exaggerating about that whole Boston-area-get-outta-my-fuckin’-shoveled-park-spot-or-I-WILL-MESS-SHIT-UP bit?

I was not.





So pick up that shovel

2 02 2015

As someone who used to live in the Boston metro area—Somerville, to be exact—this story surprises me not at all:

park snow shot

Except for my one year in Albuquerque (and, arguably, my time in Brooklyn), I have lived in snow-infested areas, and in all of these areas EXCEPT ONE, they knew how to deal with snow.

First, you plow the main streets (“snow emergency” streets in Minneapolis, e.g.), then one side of the street (even, say), then the other (yes, odd). This meant that you needed to move your car off those to-be-plowed streets, on which, after they had been plowed, you could then park your car.

There was also the general sense that, after you shoveled out your car and drove away, your slot was fair game. As someone who almost always cleared the hell out of her space, I tended to think I hope someone appreciates what a great fucking job I did clearing that spot—I didn’t want all that work going to waste.

But not in the Boston metro area, no. There, you cleaned out your spot and then you marked it: with a traffic cone, a trash barrel, a lawn chair, perhaps an old appliance (really!), and if someone took that spot, well, you were within your rights to do some damage.

And by damage I mean damage: if you only packed snow all over and around the interlopers car, that’s nothing. A broken headlight, a flat tire, a keyed side panel, and, if you were caught in person, a fistfight, yeah, these wouldn’t surprise anyone.

I should note that this utterly-fucking-nuts sensibility likely had something to do with the fact that, with the exception of the snow emergency routes, only one side of a street would be plowed (and then only eventually)*; given the difficulty of finding parking in good weather, you didn’t want to lose your claim to a spot in bad.

*I once asked why this was, and was told something about having nowhere to put all the snow. Uh huh. Montréal is a fucking island but they somehow managed to figure it out. And Fall River ain’t no Montréal—or Boston.

Still, a gun is going a bit too far; perhaps had he merely punched out a windshield, nobody woulda said nothin’ but wicked righteous.

h/t Raw Story





Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

26 01 2015

Yes, it’s January in New York, so cue the surprise at the prospect of snow.

I snark because I care.

Anyway, WNYC had a half-snarky/half-serious segment on the impending deluge, during which they asked what folks are doing to prep. One woman bought flowers.

Me? I’ll be hitting the gym in a few hours, as there might be issues* in getting to it tomorrow.

And milk, I need milk: I dunae like dry cereal.

Other than that, it’s winter in New York.

*The train system really does make a difference in my indifference: I don’t have to worry about the state of the roads in my travels. That said, the MTA is apparently planning to shut down some of the express lanes tomorrow and use them for train storage. (No, I don’t know what that’s about.) And while CUNY’s semester begins Wednesday, my class doesn’t meet until Thursday, so, again, I gots no reasons to fret.





It’s raining again

15 02 2014

Snowing, actually.

Which pleases me: snowing and winter go together.

(Unlike rain. Thursday it snowed—big, puffy, beautiful swirling flakes—and then it rained, melting those beautiful puffs into slush. February rain sucks.)

Anyway, I used to mock folks in southern climes who freaked out when they got an inch or two of snow–ha ha! Look at those fools spin out!—but I’ve mostly gotten over my weather superiority complex. I mean, I decompensate when the temp climbs hellward of 85 or 90, so who am I to lord it over those who shiver below 40 degrees?

And laughing at the Georgians or Carolinians who slide into barely-snowy ditches requires one to forget that everyone is an idiot during the first snowfall.

I didn’t truly appreciate this until after I moved to Minneapolis and got my first car (Plymouth Horizon hatchback, RIP: gave its life after a long road trip west). Yes, I drove when I lived in Wisconsin and of course learned to do doughnuts (easier on a rear- than front-wheeled car), and helped push more than one car out of snowbank. (I don’t remember if I ever drove into a snowbank; if not, that had more to do with luck than skill.)

Anyway, now that I was living in a city and driving my own car and paying my own insurance, I also paid more attention to those many other drivers as well as to my own driving. And I noticed that every November (or October: see Minneapolis) when the first snow fell, drivers acted as if they had never before had to deal with this outrageous phenomenon of icy dust billowing down from the clouds.

They drove too fast. They braked too late, and then stood on the brakes as their cars veered sideways down the street. They drove too closely to one another. And—my personal favorite—they’d only clear a portion of the front window and maybe, maybe, a bit in the back before hitting the road.

That’s some smart driving, right there.

After the first snowfall or two, however, most drivers would get the hang of it, as if some part of their brains awoke from their brief warm-weather comas to say “hey, dummy, watch out!”, and they remembered to clear off all of the window and the lights and drive as if snow and ice were, y’know, slippery.

Or just not drive at all. That was my preferred method for dealing with big snow: stay off the road until the plows came thru.

Of course, one could be cautious and still SOL. It might snow when you’re out, or you might have to drive, and in Minneapolis the side streets and sometimes even the main drags wouldn’t be plowed down to pavement, such that driving was sketchy long after a storm ended.

And sometimes you do everything right and it still goes wrong. I remember one night driving down a small hill on Franklin Avenue toward the intersection at Third Avenue, stepping on the brakes, and having the car completely ignore the instructions to stop. I pumped the brakes, steered the car straight, but no dice.

The light turned red, but that wasn’t going to stop me.

So I did the only thing I could do: I laid on the horn as a warning to drivers on Third and slid right on thru that intersection. Luckily no one was in front of me, so the drivers on Third simply watched my Plymouth ski on by before motoring forth.

No one got hurt, and nothing happened. Lucky.

Upshot: snow fucks everything up, and it takes experience (as well as snow plows and salt and sand trucks) to deal with that fucked-up-ness. Folks in the north get plenty of chances to learn, so it’s easy to feel smug about southerners who will get only one or two shots every couple of years to get it right.

We shouldn’t. Because everyone’s an idiot driving in the first snow, and even the experienced need luck sometimes.





A hazy shade of winter

5 01 2014

And lo! the heavens opened and offered upon us the blessings of winter:

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And it was good.

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And so I ventured forth into the wintry landscape, donning the footwear of the snowy deep, to deposit my earnings from searches far and wide, and to partake in the gifts of the wind and the cold.

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And it was good.

Alas and alack, the heavens grew surly and the winds spat warmth and rain upon us, degrading the glorious banks of icy down into mean crystals and slush.

And so will this punishment continue for yet one more day, upon which ending will return the promised cold—unto which we shall rejoice! tho’ yet we mourn the loss of our snowy firmament.





Merry happy peaceful

25 12 2013

From Absurd Brooklyn.

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Since we don’t actually have snow in BK today, let’s just call this “aspirational”.

All of it.

xo