Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Walk in the Snow and other reflections on the storm of the century

The predicted blizzard was pretty quiet here in Brooklyn.  i, for one, am perfectly happy to have a day off from the world.  So, the kids came home early.  We romped in the snow.  And took a day off from life, as the city took a pause, enjoying "Emergency mode" during the "indefinite street shutdown."  The 1996 blizzard was one of my favorite New York moments.  The city is delicious in the snow.  The hype this time was over the top, as the Onion lampooned.

NYC Mayor: ‘Reconcile Yourselves With Your God, For All Will Perish In The Tempest’ noted the Onion. 

Countless friends posted that message to facebook, adding their own messages. Some were snarky or clever, others made predictions, or ranted.

morgan jenness posted this map, noting we all fell into line: shop, panic, and "martial law practice."

Others made the protests they had planned.

Minister Erik R. McGregor  Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiators will be meeting in New York City starting January 26. The corporate media is telling the world that Fast Track legislation is a done deal. We must show them that it isn’t.

After a meeting at work, i went to yoga.

Our stroll through Carroll gardens brought us striking views of the beauty of New York in a snowstorm, a tree knocked down by Sandy two and a half years ago, and a moment for a snow flurry.

"Love a snowy day n NYC. No school tomorrow. Lotsa food, drink, wood here at home. Be safe and stay warm everyone. Peace."

And we settled in for a quiet night with buddies.  Others posted messages looking out for new friends.

Woke this morning to a quiet city, the snow swirling around my window and a few inches on the ground, called the grandparents, read the papers and watched the whirling snowflakes.

Some were annoyed with the hype and cancellations.  But others seemed pretty ok with it.  Nothing wrong with New York taking a day off.  My friend Spence Halperin made the best post rant about the storm.

Why all the hysteria and so little snow in NYC (as I predicted, but I won't dwell on the ridicule I received and the bitterness I feel 
wink emoticon
 )? Storms are now vanity productions for the national weather service, so they get cutesy names. Storms have always been money makers for TV media. And above all, storms are political. Combine all that together and you get terrible forecasting, terrible reporting, and above all terrible snow emergency procedures from the government. And besides, even the best meteorology is imperfect, and that is nothing new.
So what do we have today? No work for poor people who get no paid snow days. Parents needing to take off work to care for their kids who have no school today. Closed social service and health agencies. (Our cancelled anniversary celebration!) A gazillion wasted dollars in emergency procedures. No trains, buses or automobiles this morning.
And why was I able to predict no big storm? Because I have no TV and was not a part of the hysteria. I looked at the maps and read the reports. It was easy to see that this was iffy, but the people who were saying this got precious little attention because that narrative made no money for anyone.
I am now waiting for all the Tuesday morning quarterbacking and pathetic explanations as to why the city went into lockdown for a few inches.

My favorite post of the day compared shopping n Manhattan before the storm to "Lord of the Flies."By lunchtime the National Weather service was posting mea culpas. 

But we still had fun all day long, romping about, sledding n the park, and taking a day off from life. 

kids crashing along the sled run during the storm of the century. 

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