The Unbearable Banishment: The one-hand clap stomp

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The one-hand clap stomp

We got socked on the jaw with another big snowstorm last night. The New York Times has such a wonderful way with words. They called it a "giant amoeba-shaped storm." An excellent metaphor. They called the December 26th mega-blizzard "diabolical" because of the timing. Not only did it deprive everyone of a white Christmas, but it also prevented people from getting home. Some for a week or more! Diabolical, indeed.

I have colleagues who are on staff who spread the word yesterday that they were going to "work from home" today. Up here in the Northeast, "work from home" is a euphemism for staying in your pajamas and fucking off all day. But not me, brothers and sisters! Because I'm still just a consultant, it's imperative that I make it in to work. No work = no pay.

So at 5:15 a.m. I was shoveling about 14 inches of powdery snow out of my driveway. Have I mentioned that I'm a martyr? I am! You'd think that I'd be violently heaving shovels of snow in great, angry arcs but that wasn't the case at all. Snow can be a big pain in the ass but, good Christ, it's beautiful.

Everything was white-white. Snow was clinging to the tiniest tree branch and there was a muffled calm. There was no wind and the storm had passed so the stars were out. One bright planet was shining in the southern sky. I would have gotten the driveway cleared in half the time if I hadn't stopped to soak it all in every few minutes. There was a true Zen-like tranquility in the air. Being tripped-up by circumstances was the furthest thing from my mind. For fleeting moments, I felt kind of lucky.

* * *

This is cheating but because I'm so in love with the snow this morning, I've decided to rerun some pics of Central Park I took last season after a big snowstorm. I lived in Phoenix for about 18 months and left because, believe it or not, I missed this sort of thing. You can click on these to expand.

The stone bridge near the 59th St. + 5th Ave. entrance.

The luxury hotels along Central Park South viewed from inside the park.

The elegant Plaza Hotel.

Natural beauty with a bit of urban architecture peeking out at the top.

This snowman is from the Tim Burton school of design. The eyes are pitch black and set deep into the snowman's head.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yay! Comments restored. (This post had no comment column at first reading.)
Yes, it is like a fairy tale illustration. I was taking photos of down-soft snow flakes in the middle of the night.
And shortly, I'm off to the MOMA, which means a walk at both ends of my subway ride.
MOMA Central Park snow big kid

January 12, 2011 at 8:57 AM  
Blogger Ponita in Real Life said...

The world can be stunningly and breathtakingly beautiful in the muffled quiet of a starlit snowy night. Many a time I have stopped to take that in... usually on my way home after an evening shift. Even better is when the Northern Lights are waltzing across the heavens. Having spent five years in the southern USA in the 90s (TX and CA) I totally get the missing the seasons thing! (Although I could without the -25C we have right now...)

January 12, 2011 at 9:17 AM  
Blogger Jayne said...

Beautiful photos. I'm waiting for the moment when the storm hushes, and I can step into my xcountry skis and out into the whiteness.
I love a good blizzard.

January 12, 2011 at 10:02 AM  
Blogger Kono said...

We got like 5 inches in the Burgh, i get to do it all twice cuz part of my job is keeping the walks clear for the lumpen proles, but last night while it was snowing i stood on the sidewalk in front of my tiny house and gazed at the park down the street and everything was white and it was quiet and it was beautiful.

January 12, 2011 at 10:17 AM  
Blogger Cat said...

Everyone in Georgia (including myself) has been fucking off in their pajamas for the past three days due to our snow storm on Sunday. I woke up this morning ready to get back to work - no matter that I'm jobless.

January 12, 2011 at 10:37 AM  
Blogger savannah said...

i loved those photos last year and i'm loving them again now! i thought about you while i was watching your governor on cnn this morning. anyway, sorry you have to go in, but i know the consultant drill all too well. xoxoxox

@cat...i'm in savannah, so snow, but too damn cold to go outside! local news told everyone, stay inside if you don't really have to be on the roads! i listened!

January 12, 2011 at 11:24 AM  
Blogger healingmagichands said...

I'm not feeling cheated by getting to see such beautiful photos of New York in the snow.

There is something about shoveling snow in the muffled quiet after a storm that truly is wonderfully Zen, as you say.

January 12, 2011 at 12:09 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

MIT: If there were no comment feature I'd never write another post again. Wish like hell I could go to MoMA but I have this stupid mortgage to pay. Enjoy.

Pointa: The breathtaking beauty got as far as my trip to Manhattan. As pure as New York snow, as the saying goes.

Jayne: You're the outdoorsey type, I see. I use to ski a lot, xcountry and downhill, but the cold got to my bones.

January 12, 2011 at 3:29 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

kono: You've got to grab those quiet moments when you can. There's certainly enough of the noisy ones. Have you tossed your son in a snowdrift yet?

Cat: What a spectacular treat for you guys! Don't folks move down there to escape this kind of abuse?

Sav: Consulting is a drip but do you know what's worse? Full blown unemployment. So I'm not complaining. If the local news tells you to stay inside then, by all means, GO OUT!

HMH: I really do think I heard the sound of one hand clapping. It's a rare treat that won't happen again anytime soon.

January 12, 2011 at 3:44 PM  
Blogger Sausage said...

I can't wait to get back there, your park pics are great. I will see you there this summer, first round is on me.
Cheers, Sausage...

January 12, 2011 at 4:21 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

Too bad you've had to clear it twice but great you appreciated the beauty.
The photos I love and the bridge with people underneath is quite Brueghel-like

January 12, 2011 at 5:22 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

SF: YOU'RE ON! I made Daisyfae follow through on that threat so you'd better be ready. It cost her a drink.

Pat: I'm betting it's not the last time I'll have to clear snow this winter. The timing was just so damn inconvenient.

January 12, 2011 at 5:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

there is nothing like the quiet that comes with ooodles of fresh snow... i used to enjoy shoveling my driveway. now? there are hired folks to do it, but i still shovel my little slab of concrete sometimes just because it's very satisfying...

January 12, 2011 at 7:47 PM  
Anonymous nursemyra said...

Love that snowman

January 13, 2011 at 3:48 AM  
Blogger kyknoord said...

At least your martyrdom was in aid of a good cause.

January 13, 2011 at 6:12 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Daisy: Do you know what else is good for the soul? A nice, quiet walk on the beach. It'll be a while before I can indulge in that.

Nurse: He's Fucking Frosty, the angry New York snowman.

kykn: My martyrdom is ALWAYS for someone else. Where is MY martyr?

January 13, 2011 at 7:26 AM  
Blogger Ms Scarlet said...

And statistically there are a lot less burglaries when it snows. I just thought I'd mention that.

January 13, 2011 at 10:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God, that's beautiful.

January 13, 2011 at 2:24 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Scarlet: That's about the only advantage to living in a cold weather climate.

Dolce: I wish I could take everyone on a walk through it. It's even more ravishing in person.

January 13, 2011 at 2:52 PM  
Blogger Jason Quinones said...

i find snowstorms to be more of a pain in the ass about 4 or 5 days after the fact when it starts turning into muddy gray slush puddles.

i find that the day after a big nyc snowstorm is actually pretty nice, sort of nature's way of telling NY to SHUT THE FUCK UP for a minute and just enjoy the silence and art of being still, which is too much of a rarity in this all too hectic city.

January 13, 2011 at 3:15 PM  
Blogger Eryl said...

These are gorgeous, I particularly like the second bridge one with the tiny red coated man: very Bruegel somehow.

January 13, 2011 at 5:15 PM  

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