If you live in New York City and are NOT a school age child,
I think you’ll agree that this is one of the worst winters ever (and it’s not
even close to over). Alas, this is only
the beginning…of February. We still
have to survive March, which is supposed to “come in like a lion and go out
like a lamb.” Really? I guess if you believe in animal metaphors, that means November
through January are a nightmarish
Jurassic Park, with bone chilling cold and weeks of frigid temperatures in the
20s and below. I think we even set an
all-time record of 4 degrees last month.
Worst of all, we’ve had multiple snow storms, and I’m not talking about a few slushy,
inconvenient inches. I’m no Lee
Goldberg, but I’m willing to bet we’re well on our way to record breaking
amounts of snow. To make matters even
more hellish, most of the snow has fallen when people were travelling –or
attempting to travel—for the holidays.
my 50-plus years of living in the city, I can’t remember so many snow storms in
one winter. It’s true there have been
years when a foot or more of snow has fallen and crippled the city. But then it
froze, melted and got shoveled away. End
of story. This year, it’s one storm
after the next –in every variety.
There’s the icy, blinding snow that blows right under your umbrella and
hits you in the face. Once on the
ground, the snow becomes black ice turning sidewalks into unwanted mini-skating
rinks. I bet business is booming for the orthopedists treating all the people
who slip and fall, so maybe THEY are happy about it. Then there’s the soft, sloppy snow that turns
filthy gray and floods the crosswalks.
Sometimes the slush soup is so deep that you’re forced to wade through
it, and even wearing snow boots, your feet still feel wet and clammy (after
This is definitely NOT the season
to be jolly. Cold, unhappy people are pushing harder than ever to get onto
subways and buses on weekdays, and practically killing each other for cabs on
weekends. Record numbers of people have been stranded and delayed at airports,
shortening or lengthening vacations in every possible frustrating way. For example, if your plane was delayed or
your flight cancelled, rebooking was often more of a problem than a
solution. Certainly that was the case
for many Jet Blue customers—including my son Max—who was attempting to get home
from Los Angeles after the holidays. (See my earlier blog, “Fret Blue”). As I write, he is trying to fly back to LA on
Jet Blue in—as luck would have it—another snow storm. Jet Blue’s web site said that Max’s flight
was scheduled to take off on time. The
previous flight was cancelled, and the one after it will be delayed by several
hours. Do we really believe Max’s flight
will somehow speed up, up and away on schedule?
of miracles, Max called a few minutes past midnight to tell us his flight had
landed in Los Angeles. With blizzard conditions and Jet Blue’s hard-to-fathom
departure schedule, Max had somehow stumbled onto the best flight of the day
and managed to escape New York without camping out at the airport.
there is (as always this season) more snow coming. Like a bear preparing for
hibernation, I have been running to Food Emporium, CVS, Citibank and the dry cleaners,
stocking up and cramming all my errands into one day. The supermarket was so crowded with aspiring
hibernators that I had to wait for an empty shopping cart. Tomorrow there is supposed to be another
snowstorm that will dump a few more inches on the Big Apple. After a brief respite on Thursday, MORE snow
has been predicted on Sunday. This is
lots of fun for all the kiddies who enjoy sledding in Central Park, but MOST
adults have had ENOUGH. All the
doormen, super-intendants and home owners are exhausted from endlessly shoveling. When will it end?
people hope it never will. In addition
to the orthopedists and school children, the salt distributors, independent
plow owners and operators, and the companies that supply salt to New York City
are enjoying a financial bonanza this winter.
As for de
Blasio, the jury is out on how fairly and how well he has deployed the city’s
resources to clear our streets. Many
people who live on the Upper East Side felt he was worse than blasé about our
area, and that he cared more about plowing the outer boroughs and less affluent
areas, his core constituency.
Bloomberg, our former mayor, was criticized for favoring Manhattan in
snowstorms and neglecting the outlying areas, so perhaps de Blasio felt it was
necessary to do the opposite to prove a political point. I bet our new mayor—soon to be an Upper East
Side resident at Gracie Mansion—will be feeling differently about where to plow
once he moves in. If de Blasio is smart,
he’ll wait till the spring…if it ever comes.
course there are those lucky New Yorkers who live on Fifth Avenue and Central
Park West with magnificent views of Central Park who are able to photograph a
panorama of the snow at its best: a dazzling
winter wonderland of pure white blanketing the ground and decorating the trees
in nature’s version of white lace.
However, these pretty pictures are no consolation at all once the
photographers step outside and must walk gingerly along slippery streets,
trying not to slip, only to step into icy pools of slush, and hoping to find an
elusive cab without being splashed by the passing traffic.
may be wonderful in ski areas like Colorado, Vermont and Idaho, but in New York
City, it’s inconvenient, uncomfortable and in the end, just plain UGLY. Almost as soon as the snow falls, the dogs
turn it yellow and brown; soot, dirt and millions of boots turn the rest of it
Labels: air delays, Bloomberg, Central Park, deBlasio, Food Emporium, Jet Blue, NYC, orthopedists, slush, snow storms, Upper East Side, winter