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.
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!
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.
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.
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 pecking at your rice cakes.
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.
The rose bush made me want to fast forward to May.
Snow covered rose bush of January.
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 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.
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.
“We know a great way to have fun in the snow! Can we have your bottle of French champagne?”