Lame Adventure 359: The Idiot’s Response to Winter Storm Nemo

As many already know the Northeast was ruthlessly pummeled by an ugly winter storm with the adorable name, Nemo.

The facts of Nemo (chart from The New York Times).

The facts of Nemo (chart from The New York Times).

I woke Saturday morning, looked outside my Upper West Side brownstone’s window, and saw that the back yard was inundated with snow for the first time in almost two years. A tree that I had never seen before in my life was hanging on a fence.

Look closely, some romantic drew a heart in the snow on a table.

Look closely, some romantic drew a heart in the snow on the table at the bottom of this image.

I mentioned this mystery tree in an email exchange with my devoted reader, Mike G. He suggested:

Mike G. email: Tree may have come from Long Island. It was very windy.

Me email: Yeah, I was thinking Jersey.

Mike G. email: Wind was coming from ocean. Definitely Nassau County.

With the fallen mystery tree situation solved I decided to venture outside to assess the snowfall up close and personally. Unlike other areas along the Eastern seaboard, New York City escaped the storm with a mere dusting. Only 11.4 inches of snow were measured in Central Park, not what had accumulated overnight in the two abandoned shopping carts from my go-to market, Fairway.

The Lame Adventure method of measuring snowfall in Manhattan.

The Lame Adventure method of measuring snowfall in Manhattan.

As expected, life was relatively normal in my neighborhood, as normal as can be under a blanket of heavy snow.  Sidewalks were shoveled and West End Avenue was plowed.  There were also the obvious signs that dogs were being walked.

No one eat that.

No one eat that.

Children were sledding in Riverside Park.

Good time to be a kid with a sled.

Good time to be a kid with a sled.

The sky was clear and vibrant blue.

Good time to be the sky.

Good time to be the sky.

There were also some sorry sights including bikes buried deeply, piles of uncollected trash and vehicles that were plowed in.

At least the seat will be dry.

At least the seat will be dry.

Frozen bagged trash waiting for collection.

Frozen bagged trash waiting for collection.

Vehicles on West End Avenue manageably plowed in.

Vehicles on West End Avenue plowed in to a manageable degree.

Digging out this vehicle on a side street might induce a heart attack.

Digging out this vehicle on a side street might induce a heart attack.

It is unclear when the sanitation department will surface to pick up the piles of trash that were put out for collection Friday in anticipation of the regularly scheduled Saturday morning pick-up. A pick-up that has yet to happen. I can understand why trash is put outside on Friday even though the forecast anticipated this monumental weather event and it was the top story on every newscast, major and minor. There are times when the forecast is wrong, or the Armageddon-type weather event turns out to be flaccid. This robust storm’s forecast was one that the meteorologists nailed. Now, my neighborhood’s streets are strewn with mountains of frozen garbage buried deep in snow.

Partially buried trash for recycling.

Partially buried trash for recycling.

Buried frozen bags of trash are not such an unusual sight in winter, but what I find irksome is the sight of fresh garbage the neighborhood knuckleheads toss over the frozen garbage creating further clutter on city sidewalks.

"Get this mattress out of my sight now!"

“I don’t care that it snowed almost a foot! I want this mattress out of the house now!”

We just had an epic snowstorm that dumped nearly a foot of snow on the city. Is it really necessary to respond to it with taking out the esoteric junk lying around the apartment right now, this very minute?  The esoteric junk owners likely had this stuff for years already.

"Put this table out when the neighbor's aren't looking."

“Put this table out when the neighbor’s aren’t looking.”

What’s so traumatic about keeping it inside and out of sight another few days, or at least until trash collection returns to regularly scheduled programming? I’m all for de-cluttering, but I’m also capable of resisting the urge to hold off on doing my spring-cleaning until spring, or even holding off doing it until spring 2014. What’s the rush? Clearing out the clutter the morning after a major winter weather event strikes me as just Type A, for asshole.

"Hey look, I found Granny's old wheelchair! Put it outside or what?"

“Hey look, I found Granny’s old wheelchair! Put it outside or what?”

Advertisements

71 responses to “Lame Adventure 359: The Idiot’s Response to Winter Storm Nemo

  1. Your neighborhood is very interesting indeed LA. What a mentality? Snow was piled up so high here, no one could open their doors to take the trash out! I hope you took that wheelchair in case your leg acts up again..

    Like

    • If I were still playing around with filmmaking, I would have taken that wheelchair (to shoot tracking shots) in a heartbeat Audra. My knee’s been pain-free lately. I have no idea why that is, but I’m not complaining and I hope it stays that way.

      Like

  2. Maybe they’re just hoping that stuff will get buried and when the snow melts, the stuff will automatically be drained into the river and eventually make their way to the 5 or so giant garbage patches in the ocean.

    Like

    • With brilliant thinking like that S7, why are you not making a six figure salary at a think tank? I like that idea, and the thought of you making six figures that are not plastic bald guys named Hugo.

      Like

  3. You should probably check the nearby snow next to the wheelchair just in case granny wasn’t properly strapped in.

    Like

    • Jose, rest assured that I looked, but I did not see any signs of death (fingers, toes, nose, an elbow or cellulite) in that icy mound. Hey, thanks for stopping by and joining Lame Adventures-land.

      Like

  4. Whoa. London is still a safe place in comparison 😉

    Like

  5. Nemo!!! Nemo!!!! This naming of winter storms or anything but hurricanes is a sure sign of the decline of western civilization! I much prefer storms being rememebred such as NYC’s “Blizzard of 88” or ’47 whatever the year – and if we are going to now name storms I prefer not using the studio named Disney but rather Universal and lets name them “Frankenstein” or “The Wolfman” and when two storms converge into one we can call it “Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman” or for a new cataclysmic storm where 3 separate storms converge lets call it “Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein!”

    Like

    • When my colleagues first mentioned that this storm was being called Nemo, I thought that they were yanking me. I agree with you, Max, when the hell did winter storm naming start and why????????? Why, why, why??????? Blizzard of ’88 worked fine for me, too and I much prefer that to “Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein!” but I suppose I could live with three separate storms converging if that storm was called Winter Storm Three Stooges. As you know, I’ve always preferred their brand of intellectual stimulation to your beloved A&C … because I’m so deep.

      Like

  6. Thank you for the sendup – another fine trek on the sidewalks of the city.

    Cheers,

    R.

    Like

  7. I wonder if people were clearing it out in anticipation of Chinese New Year? Nemo can’t put a damper on the powerful need to invite good luck into your life.
    Glad the storm wasn’t the snowmageddon that was predicted.. looks pretty manageable from this Canadian’s perspective!

    Like

    • What fell on the Big Apple was very manageable Jen, but what fell on New England and on Long Island was massive. They got snowmageddoned big-time. I am hoping that the year of the snake will bring good luck, especially since it’s the year that my dear Chinese bud, Ling, is getting married. (She’s Chinese via Jersey.)

      Like

      • It was; I have a few friends up that way who saw 3 feet or more with drifting. Pretty crazy, even for those of us who are traditionally snowbound.

        As for the Chinese new year, the snake is my sign. Without being informed about the horoscopes at all, I am going to assume that this is my year and nothing terrible can happen. Maybe I’ll go throw some furniture out to bolster my position on that.

        Like

        • Yikes, “3 feet or more with drifting”! That is crazy!

          I hope this is your year, too. If throwing furniture into your neighborhood street does bolster that possibility, just tell the homeowners around you to keep the kids indoors because a sofa is about to fly out of your house.

          Like

          • Yes, the snow could have definitely been worse. Is it bad that I haven’t checked in with the inlaws to make sure that they were ok? Oops.

            My neighbors occasionally host shamanic ceremonies and across the street is a German catholic church so I suspect there’s a fairly high tolerance for superstitious purging.

            Like

            • It might behoove you to check in with your in-laws.

              If there is one neighborhood in the world that sounds like Ground Zero for superstitious purging, it sounds like that neighborhood is yours, Jen. If I ever feel the need to do some superstitious purging when my year, the year of the pig next rolls around, I might be heading over to Calgary to see you, pal!

              Like

  8. If I’d known that my email correspondence was going to be integrated into a LA post I think I would have tried to be pithier in my retort to the Jersey comment.

    Can you edify your loyal 7 readers as to the etiquette of discarding mattresses in the streets of NYC? Specifically, is it mandatory that the mattress be placed “stain side” down? While the answer to that is likely to be “duh, yeah,” what about the older mattress which is equally stained both north and south?

    I guess you’ve got a lot of Type A personalities on the UWS. Be thankful for the frigid temps as they have an ameliorating (or postponing the inevitable) effect on the odor of the as yet unretrieved garbage.

    Like

    • Delaying the stink is one of the positives of trash freezing in winter. If/when an epic rain event happens here in summer, and all that trash bakes in the heat, ripens, and then rots, attracting the rats … Gee, I don’t want to think about this any further. I must cleanse my mind and switch my thoughts to Beyonce.

      As you could probably tell that particular mattress was swathed in plastic wrap, another effective tool in hiding the tell-tale stains of whatever may have happened on it. When I replaced my mattress and the old one was lying outside my building, thanks to always keeping it in a mattress pad, it wasn’t stained, but I was massively relieved that it couldn’t talk.

      Sorry, I did not share any of your pithier quotes.

      Like

  9. I really hope they don’t continue with this trend of naming winter storms, it really annoys me. And it never ceases to amaze me how utterly indifferent people are about things like putting garbage out, etc. They just do whatever they want to do, don’t they.

    Like

    • Yes, they do, Weebs! What jerks! You, Martini Max, me and whoever else cares to chime in, now naming winter storms is super annoying. Who’s idea was that? This doesn’t charm anyone. It just adds to the cruelty, unless they call it something honest like Winter Storm F-U.

      Like

  10. This was most interesting! Thanks for sharing!

    Let’s ignore their efforts to call it Nemo and just call it the Snowstorm of ’13. I’m not going to call certain stadiums by their corporate names and I’ll never use the words, “Ronald Reagan Highway” regardless of a certain state using that term.

    The only snowstorm I was ever in was the Blizzard of ’93, was scooting around O’hare on its busiest day EVER up until that time.

    Like

    • I totally agree with you, Brenda! I also remember the Blizzard of ’93. I exited that year’s Grind with a colleague. We worked on West 66th Street. She was a smoker, so the first thing she did when we stepped out the door was light up. Then, we started walking down the street with fierce wind whipping us both in the face. I noticed her cigarette had disappeared nor was she holding it. I asked her, “Hey, where’s your cigarette?” She said, “33rd Street.”

      Thanks for visiting and commenting!

      Like

  11. A foot of snow is nothing to us, but I imagine it’s a big deal to New Yorkers. Pussies. 😛

    Like

  12. The snow in Inwood Park where I live — Central Park — etc. etc. park — very nice, pretty. BUT — what I loathe about New York City snow on the sidewalks, outside of the pretty parks is what’s inevitably underneath it — blech!

    Like

  13. Oh — didn’t mean to come off like I actually LIVE in Inwood Park — ahahaha! But who knows at the rate things are goin’…

    Like

    • Yes, I know from reading your blog, Sandee, that you don’t live in Inwood Park — and hopefully, you never will!

      You raise a good point about what will be on the sidewalk once this mess starts melting. Soon enough, it will turn gray with soot, and that’s another blister on the eyeballs.

      Like

  14. Glad you came through it okay! It could have been worse, as in The Great Blizzard of 1888: “Thousands of workers, fearful of losing their jobs, attempted the journey to work; many did not make it and were later found buried in snow drifts. Abandoned horses were also found dead in snow drifts. Farm animals and birds froze to death in sub-zero temperatures. In New York, trash, including glass and 500,000 pounds of manure and 60,000 gallons of horse urine, hardened into dangerous chunks whirled around by savage winds.”

    That horse urine will get ya every time.

    Like

    • When The Grind closed shop early on Friday, and my colleagues ventured outside, we got pelted hard in the face with bullet-sized bits of hail. As much as that hurt, at least we were not getting smacked in our kissers with frozen horse urine. Ugh! To escape that beating by hail, we took cover in the nearest watering hole. That quickly eased our pain.

      Like

      • I am reminded of that classic of stupid movies made by SNL alums, Joe Dirt, when the title character believes he’s encountered an asteroid only to be told it’s an amalgam of waste product jettisoned from an airplane at 30,000 feet. He refuses ro believe it as he traverses the countryside pulling it behind him in a red wagon. Why I am even knowledgeable of this film is due to having 3 kids and a wife with essentially lowbrow humor.

        Like

  15. I love the grocery cart measuring tool. You New Yorkers are so creative! Great photos and I love the tree and your conversation with Mike G! Hilarious!

    Like

    • The actual measurement of the snow that fell in New York was measured in Central Park, Susie — not the Lame Adventures-style of measuring what accumulated in abandoned shopping carts! Glad you enjoyed the post, even though Mike G. wishes his quotes had been pithier.

      Like

  16. I’m glad you have power–I heard this storm is a MoFo. I love your use of the word “flaccid” for a weather event (at the same time it makes me feel oddly insecure). I am distrustful of weather reports, but I think it’s a prejudice left over from my adolescent years in Washington State when many times snow would be called for, but clear skies (and thus the drudgery of school) greeted me the next morning. Weather prediction has advanced light years since then.

    ‘Nemo’ is an adorable name for a storm. Given your nominal talents (nominal used here in its most literal sense, and not, as it is so often used, to mean “in name only” to imply a lack of ability), I would think you would excel in naming weather events. I think you could be trusted to come up with something better than Tropical Storm Evan. Evan frightens nobody.

    Just yesterday I learned that Nassau, NY isn’t in Nassau County. That this information was a “wow” moment for me should illustrate the strange and geeky nature of my existence.

    I learned something today, too! Your mention of the tree you hadn’t seen before let me know that there are trees in New York (Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows In Brooklyn is, after all, fiction). Just kidding–I know there are some trees on exhibit in Central Park. That’s where I’m figuring your mystery tree came from.

    Like

    • Smak, it’s also possible that my mystery tree somehow fell out of an opened window. New York City has many trees and Central Park is gorgeous. There was a big leafy tree behind my building for as long as I have lived here (30 years next August). Unfortunately, it was uprooted during Hurricane Sandy. It was a wonderful tree that was a favorite hangout for birds, so I often woke to the sound of melodic chirping and mourning doves making their long, drawn out, hooting. The first thing that I noticed after that storm was the unusual quiet. When I looked out the window and didn’t see the tree — “my” tree, I felt like someone had died. It had always seemed so sturdy and I imagined that it had to be close to one hundred years old It fell in such a way that no apartments were damaged. How lucky was that? It truly was an excellent tree and I liked looking at it outside my window. I’m not a tree hugger, but I miss it very much. I didn’t hear it uproot, but that’s not saying much since my hearing is a bit shot.

      If I could get a gig naming storms, I’d take it in a heartbeat. I’m sure it pays better than what I’m making now. Sign me up!

      Like

      • I’m glad no one was hurt, but it’s the height of lame that the old tree came down.

        And having been to NYC on a couple of occasions (although I don’t pretend I’ve spent a lot of time there), I was being facetious about the trees. Kind of.

        Like

        • Sandy was rather wicked, Smak. Thousands of trees toppled in the wake of that superstorm. I’m waiting for a storm that wipes out the pigeons and rats. I guess that one would be named Welcome, but I do like the birdies.

          Like

  17. Have we stooped this low, to naming winter storms? Jeeze … A big storm is coming, quick we need a name!

    Give me a break.

    DS

    Like

  18. It’s winter, correct? Yes? So, why are we so surprised when Mother Nature in her cunty way dumps a pissload of snow on parts of the country where this has happened for years and years?
    This is when I hate social media. Folks act like this has never happened before. Oy vey.

    Like

  19. I’m glad they didn’t put that table out where my wife could find it. She’d have drug it home and made me fabricate a fourth leg so she could put it in one of her sales. As for Grandpa’s wheelchair, I speculate that the garbage men threw Grandpa in the truck and left the chair. Either that or someone was walking by and said, “Hey look, someone threw away a perfectly good Grandpa!”

    Like

    • Russell, the wheels in my head are turning (yes, that’s that creaking sound you’re hearing). I hope that the grandpa that got tossed in the garbage truck wasn’t the guy I recently saw rooting around for that nickel on the sidewalk.

      Like

  20. This is just hilarious. You could put together a stage set!

    Like

  21. V,
    Sorry I’m so late in commenting here. It is truly a mystery as to why people would be dumping their used furniture on the sidewalks of NYC during a hiatus in trash pickup during the middle of a blizzard. If nothing else, it’s just plain inconsiderate and gross. But I do like your method for measuring snowfall…
    Cathy

    Like

    • Cathy, the sanitation department has yet to pick up today’s haul of trash so I noticed while walking to the subway this morning that the garbage has doubled in size. What blows the little that’s left of my mind is the number of mattresses lying around now. I swear I saw dozens. It’s like a hotel unloaded all their old mattresses on the sidewalks of the Upper West Side, or maybe it’s Mattress Tuesday, the heathen’s celebratory day before Ash Wednesday.

      Like

  22. If I’m not mistaken, seems like every winter your City experiences severe snow storms affecting every aspect of life, including cancelled flights. How I can empathize. Mind you, we may well be more prepared for snow than you all. And as far as I can recall, never have garbage piled up like that… and definitely no mattresses. Hope you’re back to normal by now.

    Like

    • Rarely an apologist for NYC, I do, at some level, appreciate your mildly amused consternation at how The Big Apple reacts to major amounts of the white stuff. But there are well over 7 million people living in NYC and there are like, what, 639 people in Western Canada?

      Sorry, that was a low blow. You’re right though, those schmucks living in New York ARE friggin’ slobs!

      Like

    • Arti, winter in NYC in 2012 was extremely mild, possibly the warmest on record (Mike G., if you’re there, care to weigh in about that?). I don’t recall it snowing once which was quite a contrast to the mountains of snow that buried the tri-state area in 2010. Until winter storm Nemo came around last weekend, it had not snowed much at all this season.

      Tons of trash remain in my neighborhood, but I think it’s fresh trash put out for the regularly scheduled Thursday pick-up. I did not notice any mattresses today, so it appears the ones tossed out after Nemo have been finally hauled away to whatever landfill old mattresses go to that is gifted with the Big Apple’s detritus.

      Like

  23. Okay, I am insanely late leaving this comment, but it’s been a crazy week–and I mean crazy! Thought of you during the storm, believe it or not. Didn’t even have a chance to turn on my computer, but I thought, amidst the chaos, i should check on LA. You know I would have made all of the difference in the event of emergency–or rather Sara might have.

    By the way, think what I could have done with that abandoned table!

    Glad you survived, my absence not withstanding!

    Hugs,
    Kathy

    Like

    • Kathy, in the event of this emergency, you would have been in your art project bliss if you’d seen what New Yorkers tossed in the street following that blizzard. Fortunately, I was safe so you and Sara can breathe a collective sigh of relief that neither Milton nor I needed you guys to come to our rescue, but I’m sure if you do ever head over here, we’d have a blast hanging out.

      Like

  24. Everything looks better with snow on top….even garbage. Not so much the garbage on top of the snow on top of the garbage though. Perhaps these people felt they were snowed in and had nothing better to do than clean house? Still no excuse for putting it out with no collection in sight, but if common sense was a requirement for survival in today’s world the overpopulation problem would be solved.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s