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Snow in New York

New York City in a snowstorm is always an event, no matter how big or small the snowstorm in question actually is. Once those first few fat flakes begin to fall and the weathermen start speaking in terms of ‘blizzard’ and ‘winter storm warning’ the whole city seems to fall under the spell of those mysterious ice crystals falling from the sky. In some ways the city is magical in the first few hours of a storm, the juxtaposition of nature and city can create a winter wonderland akin to being on the inside of a holiday snow globe, continually being shaken by unseen hands.

Waking up early the morning after a heavy snow in the city is another unique delight. This morning New Yorkers were met with a real snowy sight, a white calm which had transformed the city from the slushy, rainy mess yesterday into a blanketed snowscape with accumulations of over one foot in areas. Anyone who has children or remembers their own childhood will likely recall that unexpected feeling of joy that would wash over you when going to your bedroom window on another wintery school day and seeing the outside world stopped still by a heavy coating of snow. Your heart would quicken as you raced to the television or radio, or in these days the Internet, and waited with breathless anticipation for your school to be named among the ones that were closed. In New York City, schoolchildren and nervous parents await press conferences with the Mayor to tell them of their school closings and it may be much less snow than warrants a closing anywhere else.

Then again, New York is not a place built of stoics like the hardier people in Russia whom the New York Times recently featured as gently mocking the city’s idea of a blizzard. Our idea of cold temperatures and heavy snow varies greatly from theirs; and as the Times recently reported with the last storm that hit Washington, DC, the only restaurant that stayed open for business in the snowy capitol was a Russian restaurant! In our snowstorms children and adults flock to Central Park to take advantage of the many rolling hills armed with sleds, snowboards, and for the truly ingenious, trash bags, upon which to slide down the crowded slopes; grown men can be seen having impromptu snowball fights on the street corner and pedestrians take over even more of the streets as the slush and ice do their best to slow down the normally speeding taxis, buses and cars. Manhattan school children, normally ensconced in their private schools uptown come out in full force to revel in the snow day and remind us that there is a whole new younger generation for whom New York is just their training ground.

Other states and other countries might simply deal with the amounts of snow we marvel at and our own upstate neighbors in Buffalo probably scoff at city dwellers’ idea of a blizzard. In our defense however, a city so modern, so populated with people and color and light and so rapidly moving cannot help but take a small step back when Mother Nature asserts herself over the man made ‘Empire’ city. Ultimately, New York City is a town built for drama and when it snows we react appropriately.

About the author

Jessica Horani Jessica Horani has lived in NYC off and on for over ten years since first coming to Manhattan as a 21-year-old law student. After a slightly traumatic address mix up in Greenwich Village on her first night, she fell in love with the City over a slice of pizza and the sparkling January night air. The love affair never ended and after a period of working for the Public Defender's office in Miami, she has returned to live in Brooklyn and pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a writer. The roaring New York of her twenties remains a fond and sometimes bittersweet memory, like an old lover,but there is another New York; one of serene beauty, historical importance and vibrant diversity that she is discovering anew every day. She hopes to share her love for New York City, both new and old, and the personal journeys it can take you on with the visitors to NYCfoto.com.

Jessica Horani is an Editor-at-Large of NYCfoto.com

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