on the recent snowe

LI received a letter about the great Frosty dump from our correspondent, T., in NYC:

"The snow? Well, it was lovely; Sunday morning in particular - just lovely and quiet under a grey sky; everything moving slowly and fluidly; all the sliding rather than the usual striding. Tonight the streets and sidewalks are clear, but there is a nice ambient light through the window: streetlights reflceted in snow. But for me the charming aspects of the atmosphere are lost once the snow falls from the trees - already gone. Tonight is more about the 'hangover' of the snowstorm: crunching salt under foot and street corners deluged with slush and hardpacked billets of once snow now ice (perhaps the Eskimos have a word for that last awkward construct).

What is that loveliness that transpires in this city during a strike, a blackout, a snowstorm or the blowing-up of buildings? Well, probaly no such loveliness to a garbage strike, but I've never experienced one, so..... Perhaps it is a sudden realization of the scale of this place - perhaps some assurance that IT can be stopped, if only momentarialy; a reassurance that one is not merely grist for the wheel. Perhaps also it is a warm feeling of home, this is where I live. I remember clearly conversations with other transplants like myself in the months after 9/11/01 - those who wanted to "get out", it was all too much. Many of them did leave. Me? My want to stay was stronger: this is my place.

There is a strange formula that is thrown about in the news and in conversation: that it costs the city about $1 mil per inch of snow: so neat, so tidy. There are things to like about Mayor Billionaire, but when he assures the citizenry that Dept of Sanitation workers are pulling 12 hour shifts trying to clear the streets of snow, I think: do I really want to walk the streets when a guy is in the later part of a 12 hour shift, behind the wheel of a three ton truck with a four foot tall plow affixed to the front? No, I look both ways when crossing the street.

You know, I'm a Wisco kid so most of all of that is ado of nothing."


Patrick J. Mullins said…
I found more beauty in the 1996, #3 worst blizzard--it actually stopped the city, including the Pony Express. 2 feet was sufficient. Then there were fairyland effects, due to melting then re-freezing: Icicles on traffic lights and filthy cab grilles as well as all the more conventional things like trees. This one seemed to match the Olympics Festival, distinguished primarily for record-breaking for me personally, although I'm glad people got to ski. It was already back to global warming yesterday.

Just saw 'Ballet Russes' at what was once the Waverly Theater--turned into a tearful sentimental sap in about 3 minures. What a perfect Valentine's Holiday present. Alicia Markova, Frederick Franklin, Toumanova, Plazenska, Massine... Since, in early January, Soderbergh became the first to releas his new film in theaters and on cable the same day, with DVD following only 4 days later, I've started going to movies at theaters for the first time in 10 years, as if even multiplexes were an endangered species (they are, of course.) What the scientists tell us about the virtual world becoming predominant is true, but the pretense that much will not be lost beyond recognition is still extremely hard to believe--it always was when much slower, so with speed become everything, it's inevitable, but they're also lying. 'Ballet Russes' was a thousand times better like this than on PBS. There was a photo of Balanchine I hadn't seen before that explained something of his mad passion for Suzanne Farrell, to which she would only respond by dancing for him: At her peak, her face sometimes looked exactly like his in this particular photo.

Looked at the Metric tour schedule, and was just now reminded of it by the first Ballet Russes tours in the 40s--every 2-3 days a performance in a new place for many months.