Monday, February 26, 2007

Mais où sont les neiges d'antan?

We haven't had much snow in Gotham this winter; mostly evanescent dustings that tantalize kids but don't leave enough to make decent snowballs. There was a respectable fall a week ago Friday, but, as is wont to happen here on the coast, the precipitation changed to sleet, then rain, melting most of the snow and leaving an ice-crusted, dirty remainder that was gone in another couple of days.

Last night, it came down good and heavy. This morning, I pocketed my camera and headed to Manhattan with my daughter, she to resume school after a week's break and me to take a walk along the Battery Park City Promenade, as I often do after dropping her off. I was approaching the Promenade as a Coast Guard bouy tender sailed by.

The building in the background is the former Jersey City passenger terminus of the Central Rail Road of New Jersey, where travelers and commuters would change from trains to ferries to reach New York City.

Below is a view looking south along the Battery Park City Promenade.

Looking across South Cove, I saw this striking view of the Museum of Jewish Heritage, with an evergreen grove in the foreground and the Liberty Crown belvedere, my favorite substitute for a Stairmaster, to the left.

On reaching Battery Park, I couldn't resist taking another shot of the Merchant Marine Memorial, looking stark under snow.

This was partly inspired by elbo ruum's post on WikiFray, which ought, in my opinion, to be retitled "Living in the Suburbs and Driving SUVs Turns People Into Assholes" (no, this isn't a message for you, Rudie - after all, it isn't even clear that you have an SUV - it's about those fuckwits you describe). Here in the City, the threat of snow isn't such a big deal (pace John V. Lindsay, whose mayoralty may have foundered because of his cavalier response to an impending blizzard); partly because we don't get that much of it most of the time, and also because the things you need are close at hand and involve a walk, or perhaps a short subway ride, to get. Of course, if you're affluent enough to own your house (but not affluent enough, or too parsimonious, to hire staff), you have to shovel the sidewalk and scatter some salt.

I've never outgrown liking snow. Maybe it's because I spent much of my childhood and youth in Florida. Or, maybe it's because, unlike Rudie, I never really "came of age". One of my Christmas presents from my wife was a t-shirt with the legend, "Still plays with trains". This isn't strictly true; our apartment doesn't have room for a layout. But, if we ever do move to the suburbs ...