We had a sizable but not crazy snowstorm again the other day. The snow itself was wet and dense, beautiful.
All so pretty, everyone was out taking photos, talking about how the city looked like a fairy tale.
But then, Tuesday night, we got more snow. By Wednesday morning the falling snow turned into sleet. All freaking day. That lovely, heavy snow became piles of slush with a thick layer of ice.
It’s great that this is a walking city, but it isn’t easy to navigate when the sewers can’t handle the amount of dirty, packed, snow and slush. The corners and curb cuts become freezing lakes. You think you’re stepping onto a snow pile, and then your foot sinks through a pile of icy muck and you’re shin deep. It’s been a long time since I’ve had to navigate the streets with a stroller, and yet, every year when I see those messy corners I think about how grateful I am that I’m not trying to find the one spot you can push through–usually about halfway up the street, exactly when 5 cars are coming through. On my way to pick up Flower Child the other day, there was a woman with a big stroller at the bottom of the stairs, getting ready to carry it up.
Ugh. I remember those days. Not fun in the best weather, let alone when those metal steps are icy and people are crowding to get in or out of the subway as quickly as possible. I helped her carry the stroller. Not a big deal, not a random act of kindness, just common courtesy. Her look of gratitude made me sad, I wish helping someone in this type of scenario was the rule, not the exception.
Yesterday I went out to walk a dog in the sleet. The streets were so iced over it was all I could do to focus on staying upright. Add in the super dooper hood of my parka that blocks my peripheral vision, and I wasn’t noticing anything. Heard a thud as I walked towards a local bodega, but really, I barely noticed, just trying to get to the sidewalk before the snow plows buried me in the ever rising snowbank against the curb. Frankly, everything was so muffled through my layers and I was concentrating so hard on not busting my ass, I’ve not sure I would know I was hit by a snow plow until I was snorting slush.
Picked up the dog, went past the bodega again, now add in trying not to fall on the ice with an overexcited dog pulling towards the park. Drunk guy on a cell phone, “No, they’re being robbed right now. It doesn’t matter if I’m drunk. I’m telling you, now. Send a car from the blahblah precinct.” Oh, New York.
By this morning, the streets look a bit less magical.