Dodging Blizzards

March 4th, 2010 § 0 comments

February’s vacation to central Florida was somehow unintentionally timed perfectly between two snowstorms that draped a dense white blanket over the entire east coast. Flying down the morning before the first storm, I was thankful for my last minute decision not to fly the day of the blizzard. I watched instead on television in 70 degree weather as airlines canceled their flights to and from cities waiting for the pending snow. Flying from New York to Florida on a beautifully clear and crisp day, following the coastline like a compass south, allowed me to lust after every strip of beachfront property from Far Rockaway to Daytona Beach.


Flying back in post-blizzard weather the landscape below had radically changed, with the whiteness of glaring snow forming patterns around houses, roads, towns and cities. I don’t remember much about snow in Chicago, but my first winter in nyc was childlike in its exploration of snow. It is amazing how altered familiar objects like trees, phone booths, railings, overhangs, or steps become when obscured, recolored, and reshaped by snow. I enjoy how tranquil it makes things appear, as though the city has grown a soft velvet skin. Sometimes it almost feels as though concrete, when covered by snow, really is plushy and clean. At the same time blizzards are curiously dismaying to those that are forced to muck around in them, and they have a habit of becoming slushy, chaotic messes.


We returned to the city just in time to catch a second blanketing that nyc did not manage to avoid, resulting in what was the first of quite a few subsequent “snow days.” While I agree with a certain midwestern photographer that the panic winter induces never turns out to be quite necessary, the reaction nevertheless suits my desires. While there is nothing appealing about struggling through the daily commute during a snowstorm, there is a great deal to enjoy about a day off to explore the landscape.


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