If you hadn't heard already, those of us living in the northeastern portion of the States got some snow this past weekend. After I got Walter settled into his new home with fresh water, I was determined to head down to the West Village for a holiday party I had been looking forward to for a while - so blizzard or no blizzard, I was going.
Except I had an outfit all planned that revolved around a skirt. And suede boots. And when the reality check of looking out the window confirmed that was out of the question, I floundered around for quite some time in search of a replacement outfit. Why does this happen? The rational part of my brain gets that my evening will not be ruined by wearing the wrong shirt or jeans but ration somehow flies out the window when it comes time to get dressed. Various wardrobe changes ensued with Diana Krall's Christmas music blaring, I tried different tights and boots and sweaters and ultimately decided that jeans with boots would work best.
And honestly, it was the most practical choice considering the lack of cabs and the need to trudge three blocks through the snow to the subway. Bundled up under hat and scarf and coat, I realized all my careful hair drying was a waste of time. Oh, New York weather, how you like to undo all my best efforts.
Other than getting a little confused when it came to hunting down the right building and walking a half a block too far into icy snow pelleting my face, my journey there was relatively uneventful and I was the second guest to arrive an hour and a half after the start. We thought we would have a very intimate party but people dragged in dripping and shivering until we had a good sized group. And can I just say, my friend has the coolest studio apartment I have ever seen! Giant windows looking out into the snow and a real fireplace! A couple of us wanted to ask future guests to pick up a Duraflame but others seemed to worry it would get too hot or the fireplace might not work. At any rate, I met a lot of new people and had a really great time.
With a blizzard raging on outside, fun stories being told and new friends with whom to become acquainted, it is difficult to convince oneself to bundle up for the journey home. I learned that others were heading in my same direction so we each pulled on our numerous layers and compared the merits of this person's boots and that one's coat (the full on sleeping bag puffy coat won best coat!) and said our goodbyes before heading out into this:
Good thing I chose to wear jeans and boots!
I don't know how you would react at facing a trek through unshoveled sidewalks to the subway with more snow falling at 130 in the morning, but this was my reaction:
I threw a couple of snowballs at one member of our party who was not as excited about the snow - but then he wasn't wearing boots!
I thought it was all so beautiful:
When we got to the subway entrance, we found a couple of guys who were taking advantage of the fresh snow to build a snow man and of course we had to jump in and snap a photo:
Once in the subway we thought most of our night's adventure was over but it was just beginning. The girl in the green coat and I were both heading straight up the west side but our male friend needed to get to the upper east side. The E train came first and for those of you unfamiliar with the New York subway, that train runs up the west side to 50th Street and then heads east and connects with the east side line. My stop is just one stop beyond 50th but this wasn't a night for walking extra blocks and my fellow west sider had to go further up the west side so we agreed to take whatever train came first and we'd just transfer at 42nd Street if the E came first. The east side guy insisted on riding the train with us to each of our stops as we were getting on the subway. We tried to inform him that the train was perfectly safe at this time of night and the three of us were having a fairly animated and likely loud conversation about the relative safety of the subway at this hour - and when I say lively, I should clarify that all three of us are lawyers.
At some point a gay couple (probably in their 40s) seated next to us on the train chimed in that they were the sort of ruffians we needed to watch out for and what followed usually only happens in sitcoms - the more vocal half of the couple began giving our east side friend a hard time about his fashion choices for the evening - everything from the fact that he was wearing sneakers to the style of his jeans (which he called 2004 cut from some mall store I forget the name of at this point and then mocked the poor guy when he said he got them at Banana this year!) and the beanie he was wearing!! He did concede that his jacket was stylish. Yup, in the middle of the great pre-Christmas blizzard of 2009 that grounded planes and stranded thousands of holiday travelers, my new friend was mocked on the E train for his fashion choices. The guy even called him bridge and tunnel! Which is the ultimate insult as far as Manhattan residents are concerned because it means you are coming from somewhere far flung - like Jersey or an outer borough. The irony is the gay couple lived in Queens so they are literally B&T when all three of us live in Manhattan. Thanksfully, the fashion police left me off the list of grievances despite mocking my friend's very practical, very warm Uggs.
The best part of the whole exchange occurred as we got off to transfer at 42nd Street when we were telling our friend we now insisted he stay with us so he would be safe on the train and not get accosted by any more gay fashionistas. And then - AND THEN! - a very fashionable young gay sauntered by in his luxe black coat, furry booties and black furry hat and told us not to let them get to us. Only, he said it funnier. And with a lisp as he practically bounced away and we agreed the only thing more stereotypical about his parting statement would have been that snap and lean back move. I told him I liked his hat and he tossed a thanks over his shoulder as we collapsed in laughter on the platform.
Where we continued to stand for at least 15 minutes before we decided to venture out in search of a cab rather than wait for another train to show up. Within about 90 seconds of being above ground I managed to hail a cab but only after having a police officer in a patrol car use his bull horn to tell us to get back on the sidewalk - an instruction I promptly ignored in favor of hailing a cab.
I snapped a couple of photos of my street from my window and fell into bed.
This one shows how windy it gets at my place - that is snow stacked up against my window - there is no ledge.
Sadly, I was not able to spend Sunday enjoying the snow. Instead, I had to find my way to work for a client meeting. Which meant a walk down Fifth Avenue trudging through this stuff:
Snow does add a natural deterrent to jaywalking though:
But if you are thinking the storm had any ill effects on retail the last weekend before Christmas, well, this is what I had to weave my way through on Fifth Avenue Sunday afternoon to get to my office: