Friday, November 30, 2007

Let It Snow . . .

I know I'll regret these words come January and February, but I really wish it would snow several inches - not enough to snarl traffic, but just a few inches to cover the grime and give Manhattan that otherworldly, romantic look one usually associates with glossy postcards or Woody Allen's celluloid paean's to the City. Perhaps I'm also longing for that pall of silence a snowfall can bring - even to New York City - in an effort to recapture the stillness of Vermont last weekend.

I worked on the Upper East Side for several years, close to the 72nd Street entrance to Central Park, and thus a quick walk to the Park's Mall and the Sheep Meadow. I would drop my kids off at their preschool near Lincoln Center and walk east across the Park. On snowy mornings I would be among the earliest walkers, joined by a few eager cross country skiers and dog owners (who were out early every day, regardless of the weather). Walking through the snowy Park at that hour was always an amazing experience. One felt isolated from the City, and at the same time, more visibly aware of Olmsted's vision for Central Park. Given his genius, I have little doubt that Olmsted imagined what the Park would look like in snow. The Mall, in particular, becomes cathedral-like with the stark trees forming an architectural framework for the ceiling, the snow producing a church-like silence.

So yes, I'm longing for snow, even with the reality of the aftermath: coal-colored, foot-soaking slush at cross walks, salt-stained sidewalks, muddy paths in the Park, and grimy cabs piloted by drivers who have no idea how to drive in these conditions. Forecasters are calling for flurries over the weekend, but with no accumulation. I hope they're wrong by three or four inches.

1 comment:

One Wink at a Time said...

I'm not a big snow fan, but only because I'm not crazy about driving in the stuff. If I lived in the city as you do (and didn't have to drive) and could witness the transition you describe, I think that might change my mind. I do however love those huge snowfalls that bring everything to a halt and I can stay inside, toasty and enjoy the view and the silence or take a walk at night and see the moonlight reflected in the snow.