13 February 2006

The blizzard of 2006

So, we have had record snowfall in New York City, and everyone's talking about the Blizzard of '06. Which is funny, because all day I've been grumbling about how alarmist New York has been about this.

I'm going to come out and say it. This felt like a reg'lar old snowstorm. Sure, we got a shit-ton of snow, but I don't believe it's a blizzard until I feel it necessary to fill my bathtub with water. Because every good New Englander knows that when you're facing a mean storm, you fill the bathtub. And you take those milk jugs filled with water out of the freezer.

City living has desensitized me to a lot of things, and while this storm was intense in what it produced, it did not inspire the fear that came with the howling winds and ridiculous snow drifts that I remember from childhood in New Hampshire. One winter, our power was knocked out for just over a week. Another time, an army of Quebecois electricians decended upon the state to help restore power.

To me, a blizzard is scary. Howling winds, pounding drifts, flickering lights. Today was an inconvenience. Snow in my face as I trudged to the soccer match. But, the subway's running. See? It's genius. We can get around. Why are so many things closed? Pull yourselves together, people. In other parts of the country, if they can't drive they can't go anywhere. Here in New York, it's business as usual. You'd think. But you'd be wrong.

But damned if New York doesn't know how to plow a road or shovel a step. The subway steps here are several lawsuits waiting to happen. Street corners are impassable slushy drifts. Leading me, the taciturn New Englander to wonder "what in holy hell is going on here?" Where are the sidewalk plows? The armies of shovelers? The sand trucks? Commuters in New Hampshire are not told that they should expect slippery and snowy roads 12 hours after the storm has passed.

Sure, we may have fewer roads up theah in N'Hampshah, but c'mon. More streets means lots more seasonal workers. New York is, after all, in the northeast. Where they get, wait for it, Nor'easters. I mean, Christ. Give some of the damned NY1 reporters-who are so keen to tell us that yes, it is snowing, and pretty hard too-a shovel or a frickin' broom. Clear a sidewalk. Salt a step. We should be used to snow! Don't warn me about "drinking lots of fluids" (is this a snowstorm or a flu?).

And to think I sighed and complained when I saw a New Hampshire salt truck idling at a coffee shop. At least we were able to drive safely shortly after the thing was over.

Wilson Bentley image from wikipedia.org


Bridget said...

Well, I guess not everyone is as storm hardened as a New Englander. Where chances are if you drive off the road someone in a huge truck will stop, strap a chain to your bumper, and pull you out. Where everyone carries a shovel in their trunk (and maybe a bag of kitty litter). Yeah, we know what's up with the weather and how to cope. I dont even notice it if there is less than 6".

Sheena said...

Here here!

Yeah, we didn't get school cancelled for anything under a foot (and I do remember Dad driving us to school in a foot and a half of snow).