The Snowpocalypse that Wasn’t (New York City, 2017)

Listening to the news last weekend and last Monday, it sounded like disaster was imminent. Schools were shut down, public transit was suspended, and people were encouraged to remain at home if at all possible to avoid the life-threatening storm that was going to hit Monday night and continue through Tuesday.

Like most of the news commentators mentioned, the storm didn’t quite turn out as expected. I think I was listening to NPR when I heard an announcer mention the actual snow totals in New York City. He then made the comment, “Do you know what we call that in Chicago? Tuesday.” I laughed, remembering how I’d gone out on Tuesday to grab a few odds and ends for making tacos. There was a good bit of snow and the sidewalks were slippery, but it wasn’t that serious.

Snow accumulation on 176th Street in the Bronx, New York City.
Snow accumulation on 176th Street in the Bronx, New York City.

The Bronx received more snow than anywhere else in the city at 8″ of accumulation. Watching from my living room window, I could see that the wind was pretty bad at times, but it wasn’t quite what I was expecting. I kept thinking about the blizzard in January of 2015 as a point of reference. The oddest thing about the day was how quiet it was. There was very little traffic, there weren’t many pedestrians, and the few trains that passed our station went by slowly and quietly, with no announcements. My apartment overlooks a train line. After living here for a year, I don’t really notice the sound of the trains, but I noticed when the sound stopped.

January 2015 Blizzard in Washington Heights:

January 2015 Winter Storm Jonas - New York City Blizzard
Wednesday was probably worse than Tuesday. The snow had partially melted because of sleet and rain and had frozen overnight on the sidewalks. The corners, where the pedestrian crossings are, were huge puddles of slush. Hopefully, this will be the last snow we see this year. I’m ready for spring.

Are We There Yet? When is Spring Coming?

This winter has been really long and unpleasant. Every time the snow on the ground is about to melt, we get hit with another snowstorm. This morning, I was excited that the weather was warming up. Today it got up to 54 (a heat wave!) and tomorrow it will be 53, but then I saw that next week the temperature is going to drop down close to freezing again.

I just wish we could get a good solid rainstorm to get rid of the snow and all the filth that’s covering everything. On all of the exposed concrete there is a layer of grime that looks almost like dirty, blended newspapers and mud. It’s most noticeable on the stairs leading down into the subway stations. It gets on everything.

If it has to be cold, can’t it at least be clean? Snow is only pretty for a few minutes in New York City.

The Beginning of New York City’s 2014 Snowpocalypse

Because we have a dog, we have plenty of opportunities to go out and experience the weather, even when we don’t particularly feel like it, like tonight, with wind and fairly heavy snow. I think this will be the last dog we own while we live in an apartment. It wouldn’t be bad if I could just open a door and let the dog out into the yard to handle his business, but owning a dog in New York City is time consuming. We walk him about three times a day and that eats up anywhere from an hour to an hour and 15 minutes per day.

Anyway, pet woes aside, the weather is nasty. Earlier today I was out shopping and I saw that someone had created a check-in on Foursquare called Snowpocalypse Winter 2013-2014. I don’t think it will be quite as bad as the snow cleanup fiasco in 2010, though. That was crazy. I even saw snow plows (or what passes for snow plows here, trash trucks with plow blades attached) getting stuck in the snow.

That’s not to say the weather outside is nothing to be concerned about, though. It’s ugly, and there was a weather alert earlier. Not that I understand the reasoning, except perhaps to convince people to not travel, but express trains were set to begin running local stops at 5:45 PM. Some dude even got on TV and said to not go outside if at all possible. That should go without saying anyway. Nothing says fun like getting blasted in the face with ice and snow, right? Better to hang at the house with a hot cup of coffee.

So, I took these photos:

Hopefully, the city is able to stay on top of the snow build-up, or people might be sad on their way to work tomorrow.