Sunday, February 28, 2010

How (not) To Wait Out A Snowstorm


A couple of weeks ago, I mocked the city's response to an impending snow storm. Schools were closed. My company told us to stay home if we could. I cheerfully worked at home that Snow Day, watching the pristine flakes fall all day long, accumulating about 10 inches in the city. However, it was hardly the storm of the century. I didn't get a chance to play in the snow, but ventured out for a movie that evening. Pretty tame stuff, even for someone like me who's still only experienced snow about a dozen times.

Fast forward two weeks and another impending snow storm. The response this time was more measured. The city didn't cancel school until the morning after the worst of it hit, but most of my co-workers were prepared to stay home again. This time, that was indeed the right choice. The city was ultimately covered in18 inches of snow.

After putting in a series of 14-hour days for a Friday deadline, I didn't have the choice of staying home. I tromped through a foot of pristine powder at 6:30 am to ensure I arrived at work in time for an 8 am meeting with the Grand Poobah. I passed a cross-country skier taking advantage of the relatively deserted sidewalks. It was just he and I and the swoosh swoosh of passing skis. I expertly navigated the cross-town trek from the subway to my office, past the World Trade Center site which was also ambling to life despite the treacherous weather.

It continued to snow all day, I noticed, as I watched it's frenetic descent in the windy enclave of downtown Manhattan. At lunchtime, I shared a social moment with a nearby table as we watched, incredulous, as a jogger outside loped by in shorts and no shirt.

I hoped to leave the office before it was dark, before the temperature dropped and the powdery snow turned to ice. Instead, I worked until almost 9 pm. When I left, the city was quiet. The streets and sidewalks were clear. The snow had stopped and I headed home. It was as if the snowstorm never happened. I was just another workaday career girl in waterproof boots making her way to the subway and the long trip home.

Photo by me.

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