Throughout my first winter here I firmly believed New York City was brilliant at snow collection. It would snow during the night and by morning the streets would be clear- amazing! This year however, the fairy-tale-snow-land fantasy was broken and I realized the hard cold truth: It barely snowed last winter. New York is not the incredibly efficient city of silly California ignorance. I say all this in light of the snow storm/blizzard (what exactly is the technical difference between a blizzard and a snow storm?), that hit Thursday early morning. It snowed for about 48 hours straight- with barely a pause. I’ve never witnessed so much continuous snow, ever. Had I not had to go out in it I may adopted a mantra “Let is Snow!” put on a pot of tea, popped some corn, snuggled up in a warm blanket and spent hours content just watching the beautiful flakes tumble from the sky. This is what Californians assume happens when it snows. Unfortunately, I had places to go. And really, snow is only pretty from a warm distance, only fun if you can get out of it and be warm as soon as you want too.
I woke up Friday morning to the screams of glee from both my roommates “SNOWDAY!!” This was expected from my preschool-teaching roommate but not the roommate who has a job quite similar to mine (hello desk). I eagerly checked my phone for hoping for a message: none. Email? None. BUMMER. Business as usual at my office. Jealousy percolated inside me as my roommates sat cozy with coffee, watching my usual morning fuck-I’m-10-minutes-late routine. I left the apartment positively green with envy. Which promptly turned white as I stepped out on the street. Everything was white.
25 minutes and one snow effected subway ride later I was at work, soggy and sulky grumble grumble everyone-has-the-day-off-but-me grumble. This mood, much like the weather, saw no signs of clearing until 6pm in the evening. By 2:30 I was still grumbling, sitting at my desk, and drafting the first paragraph of this post when I casually mentioned a couple letters I needed to take to the post office, how I was thinking I’d wait until the end of the day and drop them off on my way home. Which turned out to be a BRILLIANT move because I was then told to do it now- leave early, right then and there early. Lovely!
Stepping outside the building, with my brand-new I-got-out-early! gumption, the snow had a different look to it. Flakes were still falling but sun was peaking through the clouds, glittering on the drifts banking the sidewalks. With the weekend now staring me in the face it looked beautiful. I walked to the post office as promised. The streets were slush, like a snow cone you’re having trouble finishing. My Uggs (what kind of cliché would I be if I didn’t wear Uggs?) were soaked through in a few blocks. I finished at the post office and made the fool hardy decision to go on a mission. The sun is out, I haven’t seen it in months, my feet are wet- it’s all impaired my better judgment.
The mission? To find waterproof boots. Completely practical. Almost a necessity considering the state of the streets and my feet. I’ll pop in a store or 2, get a pair that are reasonably cute or at least not hideous and then journey on home. Seems genius really. First 2 stores have nothing remotely waterproof. Third is way out of my budget. I make my way sloshing up Broadway. It feels like an adventure, an expedition through urban Everglades. The streets are streams at best, swamps at worst. Every curb is a challenge as this is where the melted snow pools and if you’re really unlucky, where ice forms. Pedestrians form clusters at the curb, offering swears or giggles at absurdity and the difficulty of crossing the street. The world is strictly divided- those wearing water proof boots exuding confidence and fearlessness and those with out: timid and cautious, unsure of their footing.
I stopped at over 6 stores, all populated by people on the same mission as me. Shoe stores with water proof boots are getting out of the red today. Those without kicking themselves, really shooting themselves in the foot. At long-last I accomplished my goal. I now own silver with red accents rain boots. I put them on the moment the sales woman swiped my debit card and my persona immediately changed. Out on the streets I felt dry, warm, ready to take on any crosswalk.
Over confident it turns. Waterproof maybe, ice proof not at all. My mission may be complete but before my walk is over I lose my footing and wipe out, my butt coming down hard in snow. Fortunately I’m young and resilient. Fortunately I missed a puddle. Fortunately little is bruised but my pride.
Oh winter, will you and I ever be friends?
from a Craigslist ad:
Free Snow: feel free to come over and remove as much as you want off my driveway.
- Location: Yorktown Heights * it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests