Saturday, February 23, 2008

It Snowed!

I am from "Upstate" originally, which in NYC is a general term meaning "any part of new york state above Westchester." When I tell someone I am from "Upstate" their eyes generally glaze over, and I can almost see the visions of dairy cows dancing in their heads. Then, we inevitably have a conversation that goes something like this:

Them: "Upstate? Get a lot of snow up there!"
Me: "yup, we do."
Them: "Lottttt of snow."
Me: "yup..."

The fact that I come from an area who's most notable quality is the fact that for half the year, we're up to our armpits in snow probably speaks to the reason why I now consider myself an ex-Upstater. (For another reason, see image above, which I took while home for the holidays.) I can remember trick-or-treating in the snow as a child. I also have a friend who went to college upstate and loves to recount to me how it snowed three inches on her graduation day.

The bottom line is, I am pretty damn familiar with winter, snow, driving through blizzards and all the non-traditional winter sports that fellow upstaters engage in (such as driving to an empty parking lot at night and doing "doughnuts" ie, spinning your car in circles on the ice). After twenty years of snow-filled winters, I don't generally feel anything other than a profound misery when I see flakes falling from the sky.

And yet, yesterday it snowed a few inches here in nyc. I woke up to a noise that, for me, sounds like home: the scraping of shovels against driveways and sidewalks. I laid in bed, thinking I was hallucinating, but when looked out the window, there it was -- a couple inches of snow! I love how when it snows in nyc, all the typical city sounds become somewhat muted - the subway rattling overhead, the high school kids screaming as they walk home, the car alarms screaming... It's almost peaceful...

Now that the snow has sat on the ground for 24 hours, things are less magical. The puddles are like mini sink holes, and once-pristine snow is now dirty slush. However, I woke up to another familiar sound this morning: tires squealing as neighbors tried to get their cars out of snow-packed parking spaces. I laughed to myself at the futility of these attempts. Getting a snowed-in car back on the road takes salt, a shovel, and a little bit of rocking back and forth -- any Upstater could tell ya.

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