The Unbearable Banishment: <i>Where the New York City winters aren't bleeding me</i>

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Where the New York City winters aren't bleeding me

Last spring I assured The Daughters that they'd never see another winter like the one we just had. It was indescribably brutal. Mother Nature has, of course, made a complete liar out of me. Once again, we are being hammered with storm after storm. Today and tomorrow is a hellish mix of rain, sleet, freezing rain and snow. I feel the punishment but I can't connect the sin.

The New York Times always finds interesting and elegant ways to describe the storm du jour. This last winter blast was described as "...a giant white smudge over the Northeast on radar maps." Sheer poetry!

Here are some pics. These were taken in Soho where my offices are.

I was particularly struck by the contrast of the white branches against the red brick.

You can't really tell but that's the Empire State Building peeking between the clearing in the branches. All of these pics are clickable but if you only have time for one, look at this one.

I'd very much like to own that brownstone on the left. How charming! My library is on the third floor. Behind a locked door. No children allowed.

Average snowfall in January: 12.1 inches
Snowfall this January: 36 inches
Average annual snowfall: 22 inches
Amount through the end of January: 56.1 inches
And we still have February and March to go! Sweet Mother of GOD!

You won't see tranquil scenes like this in midtown.

Am I the only one who's amazed that I can buy a bananaa tropical fruitin the middle of Manhattan the day after a major blizzard? Ponder that for a moment. From a historical standpoint, it wasn't that long ago that such a thing was unthinkable. The world has shrunk and we're all better off for it, if you ask me.

Poor bicycle. Dead and buried. See you in June.


Blogger Pearl said...

Holy crap it looks like Minneapolis! We've had 60 inches so far, with our snowiest month (March, from what I hear) still to come. There's just no where to put all the snow...

And YES to the tropical fruit observation. I've thought of that myself many times!


February 1, 2011 at 8:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been sending a few similar pics home. Not sure it's what water-logged folk really want to see!
(Friday looks good!)

February 1, 2011 at 8:02 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Pearl: You guys are used to this sort of punishment. How do you get through it! Can you do a survival post, please?

MIT: The storms should be all blown over by the end of the week. Next stop: Brooklyn Heights (I hope).

February 1, 2011 at 8:05 AM  
Blogger Ponita in Real Life said...

We've about the same snow accumulation as Minneapolis, which also means that the risk of spring flooding will be on par with the "flood of the century" in 1997, where the province had close to 1000 square miles of land underwater. Because the Red River flows north (did you know it is the only major river in N. Am. to do so?) all the melting and flooding that happens in SD and ND will flow this way. It's going to be nasty, that's all I can say. And I'm sure we will be getting more snow yet, as Feb and March and even April can see major dumps of the white stuff here.

The province and city are already getting prepared with sand bags and evacuation plans in place.

Thankfully none of us will get scurvy because, as you've noted, we have fruit!

February 1, 2011 at 8:37 AM  
Anonymous daisyfae said...

i'm happily iced under this morning - which gave me a stellar excuse NOT to get on a plane again...

love these photos - and can't believe you took them with your iPhone.

nice banana, by the way.

February 1, 2011 at 9:13 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Ponita: I think you guys are better prepared both from a logistical standpoint AND a psychological standpoint to handle this stuff. It's too much for us weaklings!

Daisy: Actually, these are not cell phone pics. I carry a small Sony camera around with me. New York is so photogenic that you never know what you'll stumble across. And I don't have an iPhone. I won't get one. Too many shortcomings.

February 1, 2011 at 9:18 AM  
Blogger Ponita in Real Life said...

Well, considering this 'global warming' thing actually means that weather will be more extreme, you might as well get used to it!! I think big storms will become the norm as time goes on. Just think... you could be shovelling out from under that much snow all winter long, just like me!!!

Just hope you don't start getting the -40 temps... That is so not fun.

February 1, 2011 at 10:04 AM  
Blogger Pat said...

Lovely! The red reminds me of barns in Vermont.
That bicycle will rust you know.
We didn't have then all through the war. Bananas!

February 1, 2011 at 10:07 AM  
Blogger Sausage said...

Sausage Fingers slowly puts down the sunscreen and hides it from UB.

February 1, 2011 at 10:09 AM  
Blogger kyknoord said...

How many inches is your banana?

February 1, 2011 at 10:34 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Pat: The U.S. has never had to deal with wartime shortages. That's why we're all a bunch of soft crybabies.

SF: Please check back with me around hurricane season. Also, during the suffocating heat of August.

kykn: Metaphor city! You're working blue today.

February 1, 2011 at 11:16 AM  
Blogger Kono said...

Don't worry about that bike, some dirty hipster has probably already dug it out and is riding to the nearest vegan take-away.

February 1, 2011 at 11:38 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

So would you rather wake up to -42c or snow? That was my morning. I always say I'd rather wear an extra sweater than pick up a shovel.
From a frozen Canadian who lives in the Prairies.

February 1, 2011 at 12:43 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

kono: It makes me sad to see all the delivery guys in the city trying to navigate the snow-choked streets while balancing bags of food on their handlebars. It's a hell of a way to pick up a paycheck.

Christine: NO WAY. Thanks for the offer, though. But despite my bitchin' I'd miss it if I moved south.

February 1, 2011 at 1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, it's so beautiful. But a bitch too, I'm sure!

February 1, 2011 at 1:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always thought your art deco architecture were your best shots. but these....beautiful.

February 1, 2011 at 6:06 PM  
Blogger Eryl said...

The Empire State building shot is spectacular, even the snow in NYC is blingier than here!

Will you rent me a corner of your fantasy brownstone kitchen, I'm very small and quiet?

February 1, 2011 at 6:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone want a tropical storm? Apparently, you can get a job lot in Australia right now. My home's about wear the second cyclone in a week.If we're lucky, we'll be few hundred kms from the worst of it. Must be safe - they've evacuated hospitals to our town!
And, yes, the cyclone maps also give a UV rating with sunscreen advice! Go figure!!!!!!

February 1, 2011 at 9:16 PM  
Blogger JZ said...

you have offices...plural?! SO powerful. hubba hubba.

bananas: lets hope we catch up to our energy deficit we've been creating....i don't want my son to suffer the inconvenience (or the horrible pickled/canned/brined alternatives) of no fruit in the wintertime. SO uncivilized.

February 1, 2011 at 9:46 PM  
Blogger Fragrant Liar said...

Well, no snow here in Austin, but we are down to 22 tonight, with a wind chill factor of 1. So . . . I think that calls for snow so we can have a snow day and not have to go to work. Just to show our support for you New Yorkers, dontcha know.

Beautiful photos, and that one with the Empire State building in the background was especially great.

February 1, 2011 at 10:17 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Dolce: ESPECIALLY after it starts to melt. What a mess!

GCB: Thanks very, very much! You can't lose with material like this at your beck and call.

Eryl: I've seen what comes out of your kitchen and you can pop over anytime you want. No rent required! Just the proceeds from your oven.

MIT: I've kept my eye on the cyclones in Australia. The only bigger storm than that is the one is Cairo!

JZ: Yes. I am a SLAVE in two different offices. One in Soho, the other, midtown.

FL: Thanks for the lovely compliment. I'm thinking that you guys probably aren't used to 22 degrees. How do you like it so far?

February 1, 2011 at 10:43 PM  
Anonymous nursemyra said...

I'm glad I enlarged your beautiful photos - really spectacular UB.

And I hate to rub it in but Sydney is really suffering through a heatwave at the moment. My bedroom is upstairs and even with a mobile air conditioner it's too hot to sleep in. Have been dossing down on the couch for the past three nights.

February 2, 2011 at 6:10 AM  
Blogger SY said...

winter weather feels like a curse but it makes the world look so pretty... :)

February 2, 2011 at 10:09 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Nurse: That's a hell of an image you just painted there. Hot, indeed!

SY: So very beautiful until it starts to melt. Then NYC gets slapped ugly.

February 2, 2011 at 11:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Buy more of those bananas - Queensland's cropped is wiped out!
And just to make you feel better

Cairo -yes, indeed.

February 2, 2011 at 1:45 PM  
Anonymous Sid said...

Who leaves their bicycle out in winter??? Does it rust???

My goal in life is to never experience winter. I can't stand the cold!

February 3, 2011 at 7:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome pictures-thanks.....

February 3, 2011 at 6:44 PM  
Blogger healingmagichands said...

Bananas after a blizzard. . . Cardboard tomatoes from Chile in January . . . bigger tornadoes . . . heavier snow falls. . .

Yes the world is smaller every day. Are we all better off for it? The answer to that question has yet to be given.

February 4, 2011 at 7:56 AM  

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