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Living in NYC

Stories for Friends. Advice for Strangers.

Monthly Archives: January 2011

At grand central on the 6. An automated voice tells me the next stop, and comuters fling themselves through closing doors in a desperate bid to make it home. For some, this is home.

I’m headed in to the office for the first time in 2 weeks. It was a great break, but I am ready to go back. There is a lot going on at cornerstone, so I expect this to be a busy week. Hopefully I will snap back into a rhythm pretty quickly. We are adding lots of new business, and I’m taking the lead on my first account starting today – really looking forward to it.

Happy new year.

Post-Christmas snowdom, from my perspective. Non-cell photography courtesy my beautiful wife, Amber.

~

When you stick around for the holidays, you have to be proactive to keep morale up. Our solution was to implement a staycation of epic proportions. Amber and I drafted a list and did our best to stick to it. We could not have imagined what was in store for us last week.

You may be familiar with the blizzard that dropped more than two feet of snow on our city. It was allegedly the sixth-largest snowfall on record for the area. This coincided with our staycation – and we were not about to let a storm get in the way of our plans. After all, we had the list printed and up on the door.

The snow began during church on Sunday. Our services are held in the landmark Bohemian National Hall, on the third floor. As our small service concluded, we were all stirring with anticipation for the first real snow of the season. I volunteer for setup at our church, and a cautionary email sent out the night before indicated a blizzard and that we should “plan accordingly.” I had heard some TV personalities talking about it as well, but I generally don’t trust them. They were all right this time.

Later that day when the snow had not relented, we decided to head out for lunch. Amber and I have both had a “hankerin” for Outback lately, so we ventured down 12 blocks to eat a big lunch. They were closed until 1pm, so we had to deal with the storm for a moment. That’s when Amber took a brilliant picture of a snowball in midair.

 

Snowball

Snowball

 

 

We headed home, riding the 3rd avenue bus, and geared up for a night out in the snow. We wanted to see a movie, but none of the theaters near us were showing anything worth seeing (and we’re suckers for memory foam seats), so we went to Times Square. The snow was really starting to pick up by then, but the accumulation was marginal. We assumed everything was cool.

Amber Before the Storm

Amber Before the Storm

After a quick early-blizzard shop at the Loft, we took the cross-town bus over to 7th and 42nd. By this time, things had really started to pick up. Our movie didn’t start for a while, so we ran around taking pictures (and videos on my phone that wordpress won’t let me upload). We waited to see Burlesque – a legitimately good movie – as we watched the futile attempts of sidewalk shovelers to keep their domain free of ice and snow from our warm, second floor vantage point.¬†When we got out of the theater a couple of hours later, things had taken a serious turn. A few failed attempts to convince a cab driver to take us uptown

 

Please give us a ride uptown...please!

Please give us a ride uptown...please!

 

led to a freezing walk across town to hit up public transportation. The streets and sidewalks were completely covered in at least a foot of snow, and it was clear that we were the only people interested in or compelled to walk through it.

Lonely East 42nd

Lonely East 42nd


Later, we ducked in to a bus stop with a shelter to wait for the 1st avenue select bus. For a moment things were still, but the bus was not getting any closer to us. My beard was also frozen.

Shelter on 1st

Shelter on 1st

 

Icy Beard

Icy Beard

The bus never came, so we walked up 1st avenue, catching a cab halfway to our block that got us ten or so closer, weaving in and out of stranded buses and sliding cabs. Eventually, we had to get out and walk the rest because the roads were impassable. I have no idea what the cab driver did, but I would imagine most of the ones like him ended up getting stuck. None of them had snow chains on, but the buses that did still got stuck.

When we arrived at our block, freezing but happy, this is what it looked like (yes, that’s a car):

 

Our Neighbor's Car

Our Neighbor's Car

We got up to our apartment to be swiftly reminded by the draft in our place that we had left a window open because it had gotten hot the day before. The thaw took a little longer than it might have otherwise, but we ended up ok. The blizzard ended that night, and we went out the next day to see the pristine snow in the park before the harsh, filthy reality that is a day in the life of a city street painted the white miracles a harsh black. The city completely transforms under a layer of snow, and in some spots it is still buried like it was that day.

 

Me in central park

Me in central park

 

Our stroll through the park took us to the American Museum of Natural History, a first-time visit for both of us. I think we’ll need to go back when we have more time, and probably take a guide with us who knows how to navigate the apparently unending network of hallways and galleries. Amber took pictures of the animals:

 

Bears

Bears

 

 

We also took a trip to the first observatory at the Empire State Building. Walking through what can amount to a 3-hour line on busy days at our own pace was pretty great. The view from the top is incredible:

 

Chrysler Building from ESB

Chrysler Building from ESB

 

 

You will always find the best views immediately following a snow storm – the air will never be clearer up here.

After freezing at the windy 86th floor observatory for a while, we went down, ate at Wendy’s and got a cab driver to take us home. Amber had to go back to work the next day, so the staycation officially ended that night.