Lame Adventure 453: The Lone Yam of Winter Storm Juno

On Monday morning, while at The Grind, I looked out the window and saw what appeared to be a typical winter weather event. It was steadily snowing, but it was not a monumental amount. By afternoon, my phone was beeping dire warnings about the blizzard to come, but the worst was expected after 10 P.M. Then I heard that the subway system was beginning to experience signal malfunctions causing delays. That was when the usual stress-reducing mantra playing on a loop in my head switched from “bippity-boppity-harmony-hula” to:

Me: I wanna get the hell outta here.

With my usual diplomatic aplomb I approached my boss, Elspeth:

Me: Are we going to close or what? Cut us loose before the subway stops running!

Twenty minutes later, we closed at 3:30. My commute home was basically normal. I even got a seat on the train. When I exited the uptown express at 72nd Street, it was still snowing steadily, and it was windy and bitterly cold. I snapped a few shots of how the streets looked before the arrival of Snowmageddon 2015, figuring I might not step outside again for 24 hours.

West 72nd Street subway station under snowy skies.

West 72nd Street subway station under snowy skies.

Looking up Broadway from West 73rd Street.

Looking up Broadway from West 73rd Street.

As I walked up Broadway, the checkout line at my go-to grocer’s, Fairway, streamed out onto the street. Last minute shoppers were stocking up on provisions to see them through the storm; something I had done the day before. I picked up an extra banana. A guy exiting was hoisting a 48-pack of 24-ounce water bottles on his shoulder. That’s 72 pounds, within average range of the birth weight of a calf. I reflected that I also had 24-ounce water bottles in my refrigerator. Five of them. My seven and a half pounds of water equaled the approximate weight of five squirrels. I was not worried about running out. If I did, I could polish off my wine and the bottle of French champagne I’ve been saving to share with someone willing to do French champagne-worthy activities with me. At the rate my love life’s been going, that someone just might be a drunk squirrel.

Not wanting to duplicate the mistakes of past officials, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York’s Governor, Andrew Cuomo, were the oracles of doom and gloom. This tag team shuttered the lifeline of New York City, the entire transit system, at 11 P.M. on Monday.

It's official: no subway trains!

It’s official: no subway trains!

Motorists, including taxicabs, were ordered off the road. Broadway shows did not go on; movie theaters, restaurants, bars and businesses read the memo and closed early. At eleven o’clock Monday night, the city that never sleeps voluntarily went to bed early.

When I woke on Tuesday morning around eight, I looked out my window to assess the damage. Aside from the pile of snow that greeted me both outside and inside my windowsill, it didn’t look that bad.

Multi-tasking snow both indoors and out.

Multi-tasking snow both indoors and out.

I’ve even suffered more impressive piles of snow inside my sanctum sanctorum following past storms.

The weather prognosticators tracking winter storm Juno in the tri-state area forecast that New York City was going to get hammered. They predicted that up to three feet of snow could blanket Manhattan and the surrounding four boroughs, crippling the region for days, ensuring this blizzard the number one spot in the record books. But Mother Nature flipped them the bird when she headed forty miles away and pummeled Long Island instead.

I received a notification on my phone that the subway was going back in service on a reduced service.

Yay!

Yay!

Because my commute is easy, I decided to go into The Grind, and pocket a few loyalty or insanity points, depending on your point of view.

If I wasn't a pigeon I'd be inside your apartment watching TV and eating all your rice cakes.

If I wasn’t a pigeon I’d be inside your apartment watching TV and pecking at your rice cakes.

Lower Manhattan subway stop; not the best day to bench sit.

Lower Manhattan subway stop; not the best day to sit on a bench.

When I headed outside, I was reminded that schools were closed.

Easy rider heading to Riverside Park.

Easy rider heading to Riverside Park.

The rose bush made me want to fast forward to May.

Snow covered rose bush of January.

Snow covered rose bush of January.

Sun covered rose bush of May.

Sun covered rose bush of May. I’ll sneeze to that!

I walked up to Broadway, en route to my subway station, and saw that Fairway was open. The long lines were long gone, but if the guy hauling the equivalent of a baby cow in water weight needed Aleve, he had a place to get it. The bins that are normally filled with fruit and vegetables were completely empty.

You want fruit? You want vegetable? Get inside!

You want fruit? You want vegetables? Get inside!

All of the outdoor produce had been stored indoors, but I noticed one holdout: this lone yam. The winner of Survivor: Vegetable.

Super Tuber.

Super Tuber.

Hopefully, this frozen spud did not end up in the trash and it will soon be featured in some Upper West Sider’s hearty wintertime dinner.

"I know a great way to stay warm! Can we have your bottle of French champagne?"

“We know a great way to have fun in the snow! Can we have your bottle of French champagne?”

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79 responses to “Lame Adventure 453: The Lone Yam of Winter Storm Juno

  1. I made sure to have plenty of wine on hand. Good thing. We got 27 inches. With two more snowstorms to come in the next few days. Yippee?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Cheers to having plenty of wine on hand … now that’s good disaster preparation!

    Like

  3. I chuckled the whole way through reading this! Definitely not a day to sit on the snowy bench…loved the sweet potato pic too!
    Yes we are all back to work in NYC today, with Juno just a quick blip on the radar here I guess…I woke too, expecting the worst… Oh well, here’s dreaming of May and that pretty rose bush:)

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  4. Impressed to that made it to The Grind … such dedication! … and your unprecedented productivity earns you additional fun time. The super-tuber ending was quite the climax!

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  5. Here in slower Delaware we barely got a dusting. Though I would not want to tell it to Nantucket!

    Great story!

    Cheers,

    R.

    Like

  6. Great post,V, with your usual, wonderful aplomb. It sounds like the Winter storm that wasn’t! Very glad for NYC. You’ll have to save that champagne for a more festive occasion.

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    • It definitely was the winter storm that wasn’t very extraordinary, Cathy, but there’s still another six or so weeks left in the season. Too bad that Mayor de Blasio dropped our groundhog last year. The poor critter later died. Our mayor’s a very tall guy so it was more impact than our rodent prognosticator could handle. Such a tragedy. If it hasn’t been replaced we’re going to be clueless about what lies ahead for the Big Apple come February 2nd.

      Like

  7. You were spared this time in NYC. Boston not so much. My brother lives on mid-coast Maine. He hasn’t been heard from since yesterday. He was prepared to lose power etc.

    I like yams. Cook to soften so they are mashable. Add a little milk, brown sugar, butter. Mash but not too much.

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  8. This happens all the time. Weather forecasters work themselves up into a lather and their ratings go through the roof. Then we get an inch or two. Last year, our biggest storms weren’t predicted!!!!

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    • Often the biggest storms do seem to come out of nowhere, Susie, and then we’re asking each other, “Did you know it was going to be that bad?” I’m really quite okay when the forecasters miss the mark and Stormageddon is more like Wimpageddon.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. From hearing the dire weather-gasms, I thought New York was doomed forever as well as the entire Eastern seaboard. They (media) seriously drive me crazy over-hyping, but it’s what they do. And the weather–it’s gonna do what it’s gonna do, am I right?

    Glad to know you made it through Snow-Mayhem! NYC 2015, V. Why is there snow in your apartment?? That French champagne and a spicy yam sounds like a perfect little winter snack to me, V. I hoped you rescued the yam.

    Like

    • You’d give great weather-gasm Brig: “Today’s forecast, it’s gonna do what it’s gonna do.” Good thing I almost always pack an umbrella. But you are right, the media entered stage 4 hysterics. The war on terror, global warming and whatever else was going on in the rest of the country/world took a back seat to the possibility that the Big Apple might get pummeled with three feet of snow. Maybe one of the reasons why these storms are a reliable wet dream (yes, pun intended) to the media is that the media is based here. It’s not like anyone has to fly halfway around the world to cover it. Most of them probably just have a car service take them to work.

      There’s snow in my apartment because building management sets the heat at about 400 degrees. The only way to adjust it is to open the window. So, when it snows, I get indoor drifts.

      Like

  10. Drunk squirrels make the best Champagne consumption companions. Their angry “pew pew pews” are hysterical.

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  11. Why don’t you visit the archive and retell that classic old NYC yarn about a blizzard in a bygone era when one loyal employee attempted to get to her work place at West 66th Street and ran head on to a air conditioner sticking out a window and she woke up in Oz!!!!!!!

    Like

  12. I saw a photo the other day on the NY Times of the lines at Fairway and thought of you. I was hoping you would write about the storm and you did not disappoint. Another Lame Adventures epic saga. By the way, it’s currently 75 and sunny here in central Texas. Our politics may be nuttier than squirrel poop, but the winters are quite nice. 🙂

    Like

    • Excellent analogy for Lone Star state politics, but I’ll weather the winter storms out here for the many cultural perks. A week ago, Milton and I bought the cheapest tickets for the worst seats in the house to see the performance artist, Taylor Mac. James Franco was sitting a few rows in front of us in a $75 seat, but we thought that our $15 was well spent. When I was in Fairway on Sunday stocking up on my spare banana, I was inside and upstairs in the organic department, but my line snaked around the entirety of the floor. I had to wait twenty minutes to check out! It was an excellent banana.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Your indoor outdoor snow drift gave me the shivers or maybe that’s the -6 temperature knocking on my own door. Ugh. I think I carried the equivalent of a small dog in wAter from the store in my storm preparations. I admire your dedication to the grind. Right now, I’m admiring my own stupidity for taking this week off.

    Like

    • Stupidity! I think you’re a genius to take this week off. The heat’s very good in my building. So good that I have to open a window or else I’d be baked alive. An unfortunate consequence of having a window cracked open during a winter storm is indoor drifts. At least shoveling it is just a few swipes with a paper towel. My back is very happy about that.

      Like

  14. I might’ve passed you by that afternoon! I went to Trader Joe’s — what a circus, but the staff had people stationed at about every few yards directing them in the lines, which was two stories long — I never in my life experienced anything like it. I got out of there surprisingly quickly however. And all for what — womp womp — hardly any snow really — good for us. My train ride uptown was really crowded and smelly — with folks who’d left work early. But it was one of the vilest train rides I’d ever had, wanted to dip myself in antiseptic afterward — glad we survived this fake-ass storm either way!

    Like

    • I have never set a toenail inside the TJ’s near me Sandee when the line to get in streams out into the street. And you’re right it is a store that’s two stories. Try to explain that to non-New Yorkers and they think our next stop should be an insane asylum. But we’re already in one. We live in New York! I’m very sorry to hear that you had to endure a smelly train ride home after going to TJ’s. I’ve experienced my share of those, too. Whenever possible, I move to another car to escape the stench.

      Like

  15. Personally I have very little faith in the skills of meteorologists so I’m never disappointed. It has been so balmy here for the last couple of weeks that it is like spring, but we all know that winter isn’t over and it’s just a matter of time before the next bout of snow and cold. Stay warm, and keep eating those sweet potatoes!

    Like

  16. How did all that snow get inside the sanctum sanctorum? I bet those pigeons had something to do with it. They look guilty.

    The blizzard was underwhelming, but Reggie had a great time.

    Like

    • The non-adjustable heat in my hovel is always on sky-high. The only way to cool off my garret is to open the window. I only had my window open a crack, but as you can see, I did get a mini-drift overnight.

      I sensed that the Regginator was having a grand time. It must have seemed like a holiday to him with you home on a weekday.

      Like

  17. I got to make the call, and have no regrets for shutting down our office on Tuesday. I unashamedly hot-toddied my way through the storm that wasn’t.

    Like

  18. Super tuber to the rescue! I think that a yam would make an excellent sidekick. Haha. This is a hilarious post. 🙂 As I watched the news from the dry desert of the high Sierra where it was 60 degrees, I wondered the same thing about people lined up at the stores back east. I know everyone doesn’t shop at Costco but don’t most people store enough food to make it a day or two? Geesh.

    Like

    • “I know everyone doesn’t shop at Costco but don’t most people store enough food to make it a day or two?” That is the question of the week, buddy! I sure did — why I only needed to invest in an extra banana, which proved wise. Fairway still doesn’t have their act together with replenishing the organic bananas! I’m stuck eating the toxic ones. I hate that! The way people lined up at stores on Sunday and Monday, you’d think the apocalypse was taking Manhattan. It was ridiculous.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. The same thing happened out west with our so called “Storm of the Century”! It was mild, a few rain drops, although other cities had mudslides. Those weather “experts” are just guessing and error on the side of caution. What an eerie sight to see New York so empty. Its the snowy apocalypse and it’s eaten all your fruits and vegetables!

    Like

  20. I think we’re on the receiving end of that storm now, LA. We have very strange weather here. This morning, everywhere was covered in snow. By lunchtime, it was clear. And warm! It’s now cold again, and I think snow is about to come in for the night once more.
    I think it’s cool that you have indoor snow, though!
    I hope Spring comes soon for you!

    Like

    • It seems like we’re in for more winter weather on this side of the pond in the dys and week ahead, Tom. More snow and a lot more bitter cold. WE had a very mild winter up until this week. When spring arrives, it refrains from sprouting flowers inside my window. It’s a much more courteous season than winter.

      Like

  21. I guess it’s universal that people stampede the grocery store when there’s a storm on the way. You’d think they were prepping for Armageddon. Down here, the roads are rarely impassible for more than 24 hours, yet people are afraid they might die with milk and bread. After the ice storm on 2009, Greta and I went to the store for provisions. The checkout lines stretched halfway across the building. The family in front of us had driven miles across treacherous ice for two bags of mini candy bars and a half gallon of ice cream. I suppose they were planning to come back the next day for two liters of cola.

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    • The panic that people suffer at the thought of going without milk, bread or eggs (another fan favorite) seems infectious. I was more concerned about draining my bottle of port before my neighborhood liquor store would reopen. But that worked out. Phew! Of course, the flames of Gotham City panic are fanned by the New York-based news media. It’s a conspiracy!

      Like

  22. If nothing else, the snow sure looks pretty.

    Like

  23. Geez, I missed a bunch of these.

    I’m sure the spud will find a happy home.

    Now, I’m long on record as saying that snow is for losers and cold people, but I can appreciate the caution (some say overreaction) with which the NY authorities met the storm. Being chided for overreacting is better than prying frozen bodies off the street.

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    • A guy did seem to recently freeze to death a few blocks from where I live, Smak. New Yorkers, who are notorious for not getting into each other’s business especially when someone seems passed out from a bender, kept walking around and over him. Finally, a woman suspected he was permanently passed out and she took action. It’s frigid cold again tonight and will soon be down to 2 degrees with a wind chill that feels like the arctic.

      Spring cannot come soon enough!

      Glad you visited, but hey, you’ve got a life.

      Like

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