Today is an icky, sloppy, slushy, freezing, nasty day. My walk to work was miserable despite starting exactly the way this post ends with hopes for a fluffy snow day and announcements of school closures. But as a non-student with lots of work I had to head out and the light snow flurries quickly turned to freezing rain that managed to drip through my hat by the time I was within a block of my office. I didn't have an umbrella and I forgot my gloves. I need to remember why I love snow right now, so I turned to my archives and found this (with some minor editing) from a more optimistic January 30, 2007. Please enjoy.
As I sat on my couch talking to my parents, I wondered what was happening outside my window. The boxes of light peeking out from buildings a block or two away were becoming fuzzy at the edges and the distinct gold pyramid that tops the World Wide Plaza building was slowly disappearing and everything was taking on a blueish gray haze. Upon ending my call, I pulled myself off the couch intending to get ready for bed but was instead drawn to the window to check out what I believed was a thickening fog rolling in from the Hudson River. To my surprisem it wasn't fog at all. In the 30 minutes since I had walked into my building a soft white blanket had covered the cars on the rooftop parking garage across the street and more flurries were hurriedly darting past the lights to settle on hoods and roofs, on the sidewalk and scattered in patches near the curbs on the street.
I should have guessed that snow was finally going to make an appearance this winter. This morning the temperature was allegedly somewhere in the 20s but as I hurried to work, I wrapped my scarf tighter around my neck and chin to fight against the biting wind that threatened to steal through my winter layers. This is what we call the wind chill - something I never fully comprehended before living in New York City and was never completely exposed to until I chose to live on the doorstep of the secret portal to the arctic circle which is the corner outside my apartment building.
But that wasn't my clue for winter flurries.
My clue came at 10 pm this evening as I exited my office building to wait for the dispatcher to call a black car for me. I stood on the sidewalk without gloves or hat and felt comfortable. Too tired to register the warming shift in temperature, I climbed in my car, gave my address and chatted with my dad on the 10 minute drive home without a snowflake in sight or thought. I should have remembered the relative warmth that arrives as a predescessor to snow.
Seeing the first real snow of the season outside my window makes me long for piles and piles of it - enough to shut down schools and businesses, enough to excuse attendance at work, enough to require me to pull out my warm pink ugg impostors to clomp over the piles that would be shoved up against each street corner, enough to turn Central Park into a magical snow world similar to Narnia. I love snow and I've missed it this winter, I only saw a little skiff a few mornings ago that was gone by the time I walked out the door. The advantage to winter is the soft quiet that descends with the snowflakes, even a City as loud as New York falls into a hush with a fresh carpeting of snow. I'm sure it isn't predicted but my wish as I drift off to sleep tonight, is that I will feel that rush of anticipation when I wake to hear scraping shovels and snowplows hitting cement and asphalt fighting back the snow as I rush to peer out my window to confirm my childlike wish for a snow day.