Friday, February 16, 2007

Slip Slidin' Away

The weather has been a little more wintery in NYC this week. This makes a change from just having the biting cold to contend with.

On Tuesday there was an ice-storm warning in effect for New York. I've never experienced an ice-storm, and only have a vague understanding of the phenomenon from the Ang Lee movie of the same name. A little Internet research turned up the most amazing pictures. Luckily for us the storm never came.

But we did receive a reasonable snow fall instead, resulting in about 6-8 inches covering Manhattan.

In London this would have been enough to cripple the city for days on end, but in New York it hardly made any difference. Within a matter of hours the snow-ploughs had cleared the major streets, and busy little bees had cleared walkways along the pavements. Salt was deployed to make things a little easier to manage, and the snow was piled up at the sides of the road. People went about their business pretty much as per normal.

Walking in the snow was a little tricky. The temperature dropped back down to the customary -8C and patches of ice lurked in the shadows. I learned pretty quickly to avoid manhole covers and subway grates. The piles of snow at the kerbside were a little tough to negotiate, too, as no-one had the foresight to leave gaps for the pedestrians to cross the road.

The snow made New York look really pretty for a short while, but the pollution and dirt soon turned the scene into a dull grey-brown mess.

I'll tell you one thing: New York in the snow is no place for an Englishman's leather shoe.

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