Winter 2010 Blizzard in New York City: Part 3

The roads are finally getting cleared.

Ok, this is the third day of snowy fun and activities and things are starting to die down.  Temperatures went back up above freezing today and the snow in the roads was already turning to slush.  That’s worse than snow, really, because you’re more likely to get wet from splashes when it’s really cold out.  Plus, it could refreeze at night into ice.

Slushy areas where people have to cross the street.

The slush also hides other things, things which could cause you to slip and/or hurt yourself.  You’d think more effort would be put into clearing pedestrian crossings.  This isn’t a back area.  This is at Union Square.

A bus stop that's blocked by snow.

A lot of the bus stops are still blocked by the snow that was plowed off the road.  In a few places paths had been shoveled through the snow by workers, but most still looked like this.  We had to stand in the road while waiting for the bus.  Passing vehicles greeted me with sprays of slush that splattered all over my pants and coat.  Damn!

Earlier today I heard a radio address by the mayor saying that they’re doing the best they can given the circumstances, but I get the impression that response efforts are disorganized and the workers weren’t trained very well.  Besides the snow plow driver that got her snow plow stuck in the snow yesterday, there were still 58 ambulances that were stuck around noon today.  Why were ambulances on roads that hadn’t been plowed yet?  Why weren’t they responding by foot from the nearest clear street?

Anyway, the roads aren’t the only thing being affected by the blizzard.  I know this was a coincidence, but our boiler broke the first day of the blizzard and because roads were impassable, it’s still being worked on now.  This whole no heat, no hot water thing is really annoying.  To cap things off, Time Warner Cable is having an outage that started early last night.  The problem is ongoing.  I suppose snow is hampering repair efforts.

I am no longer interested in the joy and beauty of snow.

Winter 2010 Blizzard in New York City: Part 2

Yesterday’s blizzard started innocently enough.  When I left church it was already snowing.  It was really cool.  It was real snow, unlike the flurries from a few weeks ago.  The blizzard went all night long and then into the morning.  When I got up, we still didn’t have heat or hot water.  I don’t think that’s going to get fixed until tomorrow because the roads are pretty jammed up with snow.  I was thinking about going up to Central Park today for the photo opportunity.  I figured Central Park would look nice under a blanket of snow.  After listening to the news though, I decided against it.  The transit system isn’t working properly either and I didn’t feel like getting stranded or having to walk all the way back home from Central Park, if I could even get up there.  I thought about going to Union Square but that was still too far away given the conditions, so instead I just went to the grocery store.  There was more than enough to see on the way there.

13th Street and Avenue B covered in snow.

The side streets were still covered in snow.  Some of the sidewalks had been cleared of snow, but not everywhere.  In some places, the snow had been packed down into chunks of ice by people who had walked over it.

Partially cleared sidewalks.

Yes, that is a delivery guy trying to ride his bike on an icy sidewalk.  I wonder if he managed to bust his ass?

People working to clear the sidewalks.

People were working to clear the sidewalks in front of their businesses on 14th street.

Chunks of ice that were scraped from the sidewalk.

These chunks of ice were scraped from the sidewalk.  It had been packed down into chunks like that by people who had walked over it before it was shoveled clear.

An NYPD cruiser that got stuck in the snow.

This NYPD cruiser was abandoned, stuck in the snow.  It wasn’t the only vehicle like that.

A partially cleared road.

The city really looks empty today, with most people not bothering to leave their homes.  You could actually walk around in the streets because there wasn’t any traffic to speak of, and what traffic there was couldn’t move faster than a crawl, when they weren’t getting stuck.

An abandoned taxi, left parked at an odd angle on the road becuase it was stuck in the snow.

Like the police cruiser, this taxi was left abandoned in the street, parked at an odd angle because it was stuck.  The front of the car is pointed out into the street.

An M14A bus, stuck in the snow on Avenue A.

The bus behind it was also stuck in the snow. It looked like it had slid off the beaten path and gotten hung up.

Another M14A being towed out of the snow.

Just past the bus was another M14A bus that was also stuck in the snow along Avenue A.  It was being towed out by a tow truck.  A guy I talked to said that there were quite a few M14A buses stuck along the road.  He said he saw 3 more than these two.  I wonder why they even bothered to use Avenue A for buses when it obviously hadn’t been cleared well enough yet?

Speaking of clearing the roads, the buses weren’t the only ones having a hard time with the snow.  When I was just about back at our building, I saw a snow plow truck slide on the road and almost slam into a parked car.  I figured I’d record the truck for a while to see if it did anything else interesting, and it did!  The snow plow driver managed to get the snow plow stuck in the snow.  If that isn’t a fail, I don’t know what is.

If you look at the road behind it, it looks like the driver got ahead of herself, probably in a rush to get done and get home.  When I was walking away I turned back to look and people had come out of nearby buildings with shovels to help the driver get the truck unstuck.  I imagine she would have been really embarrassed to have to call a tow truck to pull her snow plow out of the snow.

Anyway, I’m back home now, getting ready to eat hot chicken soup and read a good book.  Tomorrow, the temperatures are supposed to come back up above freezing, so this snow should all start to melt.  By the weekend, it’s supposed to be up to 57 degrees again.  Really weird weather!

Winter 2010 Blizzard in New York City

A few weeks ago, there was a bit of snowfall that had me really excited.  I hadn’t seen snow in years.  That sad little bit of snowfall was nothing compared to the white madness going on outside my window right now.  My mom was saying they haven’t seen snow like this is December for years here in New York City, so maybe this is my welcome home snow?

The beginning of the snowfall in Times Square, New York City, December 26th, 2010.

Yesterday, we started noticing the reports on the radio saying that there would be a lot of snow today.  We didn’t pay too much attention to it, because weather typically hits everywhere but in Lower Manhattan.  Still, I was hoping to see a little snow.  This morning when we got up, everything looked the same as it had for the past few days: grey, overcast and cold.  Right on schedule, though, the snow started coming down around noon.  I was surprised by how accurate the weather report was.  We came out of a church service at Times Square and the snow was coming down.  I got so excited, I Tweeted about it.

The big tree at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, December 2010.

We took the time to walk over to Rockefeller Plaza.  I’d been pretty busy working over the past month so I didn’t get a chance to see the tree.  I thought I’d missed it for the year, but it was still up and lit.  It was really impressive looking.

The Swarovski crystal star at Rockefeller Plaza, December 2010.

This is the Swarovski crystal star, a copy of which is on top of the big tree in the previous photo.

The snow falling outside the PATH train Newport / Pavonia station in New Jersey, 2010.

From there we took a trip out to Newport / Pavonia in New Jersey to visit the mall.  The snow actually didn’t seem as bad there as it did in the city, and that was more evident when we left New Jersey and went back to Manhattan.  We had a good stack of coupons we wanted to cash in on and needed a new tea pot.  We wound up picking up a good picture frame too.  We bought 80 bucks worth the goods, but had 53 dollars in savings, paying only 33 bucks.  Not bad huh?

Driving snowfall on 14th street on the night of December 26th, 2010.

Driving snowfall on 14th street on the night of December 26th, 2010.

By the time we made it back to 14th Street in Manhattan, the weather was turning from amusing and fun to near miserable.  The wind was picking up, the snow was being driven into our faces, and it was beginning to pile up on the roads.  When we were heading out in the morning, the buses already had chains on the back wheels, leaving marks on the roads.  It’s a good thing they took that precaution.  Definitely.

The corner of Avenue B and 13th Street, December 26th 2010.

The road we live off of isn’t a main thoroughfare and it hadn’t been plowed at all, so everything looked sort of pristine.  The small businesses hadn’t bothered to shovel the walks and you could hardly tell where the road ended and the sidewalk began.

Our cat, Marble, exploring snow on the balcony.

Even our balcony has a layer of snow on it, which our cat Marble decided was worth exploring.

Cooling down two cans of Coke in the snow and cold on the balcony.

That snow and the cold is also good for quickly cooling down drinks!

The weather is turning worse.  The wind is picking up.  The tree outside our balcony is swaying back and forth nonstop and the snow is flying in every direction out there, getting thicker as it gets later.  All I can say is I’m glad I’m home, relatively warm, and hadn’t planned to do any serious traveling today.  Over a thousand flights were canceled out of New York City today.  I feel bad for the people who will have to camp out in the airport.  I feel worse for the homeless who will have to find shelter tonight.

I’ll have a cup of hot chocolate in a bit and do a little reading.  It seems like a good night for it.  Tomorrow, I think I’ll go visit Central Park.  I bet it’ll be a good day for pictures, before the snow all melts later in the week.  This snow is supposed to come down until around noon tomorrow.  Hopefully I don’t get lost in any snow drifts!

First Snow For the Year in Lower Manhattan Last Night

Yesterday afternoon when I was out, we were just about to step into the Food Emporium at Union Square when I noticed snow flurries.  They were light and sort of disappeared by the time we left the grocery store to head home, but when we were walking up the street to our apartment building we noticed them again.  The snow continued to come down late into the night.  I took the following photos from our balcony.

First snow in Manhattan, Winter 2010.

First snow in Manhattan, Winter 2010.

First snow in Manhattan, Winter 2010.

First snow in Manhattan, Winter 2010.

I was really excited to see snow again.  I hadn’t seen any in years.  I always managed to be out of the country in deserts or the tropics, or in a part of the country where it didn’t snow, during winter.  This year, if there is any heavy snow (and it looks like there will be) I’ll get to see it all first hand, for better or worse.

First snow in Manhattan, Winter 2010.

The snow last night was light, and it didn’t last too well through the day today, but I’m sure there’ll be more.  It’ll be exciting for sure, at first at least, until the novelty of it wears off.