"If it's not fun, why do it?"

Posts tagged ‘Snow’

Snow on the Fence

Fence Decorated with Snow

Fence Decorated with Snow

Snow adorns the fence and it is transformed into otherworldly lace.  Flake clusters sit on the bottoms of the iron diamonds, amassing loftiness. Were I to return in five minutes, the fence would be different, some blocks filled in, others oddly bare. The pattern relies on whimsy; the air will sculpt and push and cajole the icy diamonds so they land capriciously. Random beauty like this makes me smile and revel in the rarity as flakes pelt my face. I love this!

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Snow Removal Spectator Sport

Watching Sanitation trucks grapple with week-old snow

Watching Sanitation trucks grapple with week-old snow

Grateful I’m not in Boston. On Wednesday, a 43-foot yacht snarled downtown traffic after getting caught in a snowbank.

On Wednesday, the first Alternate Side Parking day in over a week, I watched the City Sanitation snow removal crews wrangle the boulders of icy snow that had accumulated while everyone stayed parked snugly in their spots. FOUR big trucks and a city vehicle were there to ensure that our street was as smooth as could be.

We’ve had some snow—not as much as Boston, for sure—and the city’s been in a tizzy. Alternate Side Parking was suspended for about two weeks so crews could handle snow removal. How many days did you leave your car in the same space rather than take shovel and ice choppers to free it? (Eleven, for me.)

Three plows and a salt spreader aided snow removal at one time

Three plows and a salt spreader aided snow removal at one time

When the owner of a Jeep couldn’t move it out of the way, being locked in by icy mounds, one of the guys drove it after plowing a bit around it, like a buckaroo handling a wild horse! One of the other guys shoveled chunks into the center of the road to be plowed over and spread out to melt in the sun.

Recently covered with snow chunks, Big Orange smoothed the street

Big Orange smoothed the street

I’m so thankful for the Sanitation guys. They take my trash and recycling, then attach plows to the fronts of the garbage trucks to plow. These guys, however, are the heroes of this week, since no more snowfall occurred, and they’re just cleaning up last week’s mess.

No yachts.

Blizzard ’15: Update

Service changes rule the System as the MTA normalizes service.

Service changes rule the System as the MTA normalizes service.

 

QUIET…

The City was silent last night. But for the sound of salt trucks and snow plows, an unnatural, yet welcome silence blanketed the City. Yes, a blanket. Puffy, white piles of snow mounded on the sidewalks, cars, trees, fences.

But now we’re getting back to “normal,” that is, what is abnormal: the busyness of the City. I hear distant sirens; is it some poor ill soul or a vehicular accident?

Restarting trains and buses, the MTA’s progress seems to be a health report of the City. The transit system is its pulse, its heart, and its medical condition is revealed in the transit schedule.  Right now, there are no buses on Broadway—at least none I can hear—and I usually can hear them.

The baby next door cries and quiets. A few children outside sparkle the air with their amusement. My husband, home from work, makes cooking and washing up noises from the kitchen. It is peaceful. An automobile drives by, its tires sounding slushy. Someone’s shovel scrapes the sidewalk.

This lassitude, this ease, this torpor, this languor, this lethargy, this tranquility, this calm—THIS is what it’s like to live “out of town,” i.e., NOT in New York City. Peacefulness. As much as I like the activity in the City, I miss the quiet of “town,” my type of normal, snowy day.

A snow day is rare. Rarer still is subway shutdown. Is the patient moribund? Or just having a heart transplant? I hope it’s the latter. NYC can do with a change of attitude.  A storm can take her to her knees but won’t take her down all the way. She’ll rise again, a remade entity, and wait for the next challenge thrown her way.

We’re safe, we’re warm, we’re well-fed. We’re grateful and taken care of.

Blizzard ’15: Winter Storm Juno

Is this the view I'll see from my window tomorrow night?

Is this the view I’ll see from my window tomorrow night?

NYC is girding its loins for a blizzard! All the media agree: we are going to be hit with a massive winter storm some time early Tuesday morning.  It’s a little after midnight on Tuesday as I write and the streets are still.  All day snow plows have scraped the streets.  The snow started coming down in the early afternoon but mostly as fits and less as starts.  It is under control out there. We are battened down, waiting.

The MTA has put out a severe service advisory.

Snow View 2-09-13 017

Shopkeepers clear the sidewalks.

New York City Transit
The MTA is committed to the safety of its customers and its employees, and due to the forecast, will be suspending service on all bus, commuter rail and subway service at 11:00 p.m. this evening. All nine MTA Bridge & Tunnel facilities will also close to non-emergency vehicular traffic at that time. If you don’t have to travel between now and later this evening, we urge you to stay home….

Prior to full service suspension, express service on several NYC Transit subway lines will be curtailed to allow subway trains to be stored underground in anticipation of the storm. Bus service will gradually be curtailed. Railroad cars will also be moved to locations to protect them from the storm….

Before suspending all subway service, NYC Transit will store trains underground on express tracks to protect the fleet from the elements and ensure that trains are ready for the next rush period.  As trains are stored underground, only local service will be available and all overnight construction work is canceled.

Wow! This is an admission that we are whipped, that we are brought to our knees in the face of the storm.  I like the image of all the train cars being pushed inside the tunnels, deep in the bedrock of the city. The trains are sleeping inside tonight.  They are being tucked in by kindly old Aunt Juno.

Anticipation of what the next few days hold.

Anticipation of what the next few days hold.

All traffic has been banned from city streets after 11pm. Emergency crews only. Schools are cancelled. Who will be able to report to work tomorrow morning, IF there is work tomorrow morning? I am waiting to hear the jangle of the plows on the streets again as they shave the asphalt. They screech and moan, banshees of the canyons.

I am humbled. A city of 8.5 million trapped, immobilized. Where else but here?

This is a life challenge of a different sort than I usually write about.  It’s a good things I have stores of toilet paper and eggs.  We’re in for a bit of a comeuppance.

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