Alastair Cameron's Letter from America

News, views and opinions from the one kiwi expat sent to New York University on a Fulbright Scholarship to study his masters of law.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

SEX in the CITY

Well, I had to give this post an arresting title since it is actually about the weather. Would you have even got this far if the title had been: "Weather in New York"? Sounds like bad small-talk.

Anyway, I thought I should post something about the weather since I've received several emails and texts enquiring as to my wellbeing following the supposedly massive snow storm we've just had here in the Northeastern United States. It was very nice to know people were thinking of me, but I'd be interested to know how it was portrayed in the NZ media, since it really wasn't that bad. Sure, there was a lot of snow, and it shut things down for a bit, but only for a short time. They have plenty of infrastructure in place to cope pretty well (here in New York at least) meaning the city got back underway fairly quickly.

As it happens, I was in Washington DC rather than New York during the actual blizzard (more on my trip in a post to come shortly). We got the storm there too, although not as heavy as New York. Still, it was a decent covering, but of little inconvenience. In fact it was kind-of fun trudging through the snow in America's capital city. Also, I was staying in a nice part of town (Dupont Circle for those in the know), so the snow made things look rather pretty - see below.

These are taken from just outside Fiona's house (where I was staying). I'm helping her shovel snow because there is a legal requirement for people to clear the sidewalks outside their houses within 24 hours of the snowfall.

There were really only two annoyances in DC brought about by the snow. First, the taxis charged double price - daylight robbery! Second, my bus home to New York on Sunday night was cancelled, so I had to stay an extra night and catch the bus at 9:30am the next morning. But no big deal, especially as it was essentially an extension of my holiday, and we had a relaxing evening eating tasty home-cooked food and watching Grey's Anatomy (luxury, since I don't have TV these days!). Thanks to Fiona for putting me up another night.

Once back in New York the heavy snowfall was very evident - piles of snow up to my waist on the sidewalk, some cars completely covered and lots of hideous brown sludge all over the road. This sludge is really the worst thing following a snow-storm. It carries the hazards of either stepping into hidden deep sludgey puddles as you step off the sidewalk, or worse, getting sprayed by yellow cabs as they speed past with no regard for us mere pedestrians. Waterproof shoes are essential.

Washington Square (Greenwich Village, New York)...this is actually from the snowfall we had last November, but the effect is similar - just think a lot more snow.

luckily it's been warm the past few days (8-10 deg cent.), which means most of the snow has already melted.

So really, very little drama overall. Still, thank you for your enquiries after my winter wellbeing; I appreciated them.


At 3:59 pm, Blogger G. said...

How nice NYC in white.
You are right, Alastair.
Not only in NZ, but also in Italy and I guess all over the world media depicted the situation as a tragic one, while it was simply A LOT of snow.


At 3:47 am, Blogger stef said...

Times like this I'm glad that it's just bloody cold rather than snowy.

Enjoying -5 today.

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