New York City Blizzard 2006
At first it seemed like it was going to end up being another overhyped non-blizzard, because it didn't begin as early as predicted, and the first few snowflakes that started coming down at about 3:00 p.m. yesterday (Saturday) afternoon were pretty shrimpy. However, I'm sure weather forecasters across the city breathed a big sigh of relief when it became clear that it was the real deal. They wouldn't get tarred with the Chicken Little brush again.
The snow is beginning to taper off now (it's 4:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoon as I begin this entry) but we've got more than two feet of snow on the ground. We've got a real blizzard here, or at least a very heavy snow, and it's both beautiful and fun. It's also a pain in the back if you've got to shovel. I took the above photo and the next several last night at around 11:45 p.m., when I went out after dinner to buy the Sunday New York Times. (Click on any of these photos to make them big.)
I was kind of surprised at the heavy snow and wind as I walked the three blocks to the store. It reminded me of the two winters I spent living in Riga, Latvia, where heavy snow is the norm throughout the winter. The snow was falling so heavily that the camera had trouble focusing on anything besides the big snowflakes.
The above photo looks like it could have been taken somewhere in the Alps, or perhaps in the Rockies, but actually it was taken in Brooklyn, New York. Anyway, after I bought the paper I came back home and Jenn and I flipped through it and then retired to bed.
This morning we woke up to a winter wonderland. After having some delicous coffee we bundled up and went out for a snowy adventure. The photo below is of a statue by our front door which collected snow in an amusing way. Normally this guy is very suave.
The plan was to take the subway into Manhattan and see Union Square blanketed in white. I took this photo of Jenn as we walked to the subway.
Here we are, going down into the subway. The roads were barely passable, but the trains were running.
Unfortunately, we had to wait a half hour for a train, but it finally arrived and after a short ride we emerged from the subway system at Union Square. In this photo I am looking up Park Avenue South. The large building on the right is the W Hotel at Union Square.
Below, the snow adventurers.
We walked through Union Square Park toward Barnes & Noble. Jenn took this nice picture of snowy trees.
And I took this slightly off-kilter photo of a snowy statue.
We walked to the large Barnes & Noble that overlooks Union Square from the north end (17th Street). Here's a nice NYC insider secret: If you go to the top floor (the fourth floor) you can get a great view of the park from the windows by the stage area where visiting authors give readings (Jenn and I saw Garrison Keillor read there on the evening of Monday, September 10, 2001. I can't help but remember the date.) Anyway, this is a view of Union Square Park, facing south.
And here's Jenn, browsing. She almost bought a book but I talked her out of it.
And here's another view from the window: these classic New York buildings can be found on Union Square West, which is what they call Broadway as it happens to pass the park. Sorry the upper right of the image is blurry. Blame Barnes & Noble's lackluster window-cleaning efforts.
I took this from the back window of Barnes & Noble, because I liked the look of the snow falling over the Old Town Bar and Grill on 18th Street. The Old Town is a fine old New York establishment that I do recommend, both for drinks and for pub grub. I've said it before and I'll say it again: any place with an old pressed-tin ceiling is a good place, be it a bar, restaurant, or hair salon.
We left Barnes & Noble and walked east on Fifteenth Street toward First Avenue. We were headed to David's Bagels on First and 14th, our favorite bagel shop. This next shot is of an Irish Bar on 15th between Irving Place and Third Avenue called Shades of Green. There's not much green here.
Here's a photo of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), a historic building on 15th and Rutherford Place dating back to 1860, I believe.
Here's another view. Old buildings look especially nice when its snowing.
Here's a view of the park across from the Quaker building.
The snow was five feet deep in parts, which this next photo proves beyond all doubt.
Finally, this last picture is a beautiful view of snow falling over Rutherford Place, with a shepherd's crook-style street lamp in the center.
Jenn and I successfully made it to David's Bagels, where we purchased a pair of onion bagels and a quarter pound of lox spread. We took the subway home from there and I shoveled the walkway while Jenn toasted the bagels. I was quickly reminded of how hard snow shoveling is, especially when you're using a shovel designed for soil rather than snow. The difficulty of the snow shoveling made the bagels all the more delicious when they were toasted.
So that's the Blizzard of 2006. It's 11:35 p.m. now (I took a few hours off in the middle of writing this) and the radio just told me that it's 27 degrees fahrenheit outside with light snow falling. Apparently we surpassed the record snowfall in New York with this storm, so goody for us. It was a fine snowstorm.