New York has a weird relationship with the seasons. On the one hand you can experience all four seasons within one week, on the other hand summer and winter directly merge into another.
The summer in New York can get so hot that you are scared to go outside. It stays as bad as that until the redemptive rain comes back and it cools down for a short bit (that is until the rain and the heat meld into an unbearable humidity). For those days, the best advice is to head to the New York Public Library. Even if you are not a big reader, it is the best place in town for some relaxing, refreshing hours away from the tropical concrete jungle. If it is windy outside you can also head to one of the big avenues for a much needed cool-down. In the summer the wind blows a nice, cooling air through those skyscraper canyons and make the day a bit more bearable. Then again, in the winter, you should walk those long avenues backwards. If you walk facing forward, as you do in the summer heat, you will soon end up freezing into an ice statue.
Which brings me to winter itself. That kind of unique winter whose relationship to New York is so unclear, one could think they have kind of a cold war (haha, not so funny, I know) going on between them. The winter is just as uncompromising as summer. New Yorkers themselves seem to be surprised every year that there is something as unpredictable and intolerable as snow happening in their city. NYC blizzards? Never heard of them!
After experiencing quite a few winters in the city, I do have a theory concerning the progress of it.
The behavior in New York…
…after one centimeter of snow:
- The media is talking about the worst weather chaos the city experienced this winter.
- The cars will stand still, frightened to death.
- People are stocking up on food essential for survival.
- Airports shut down
- Schools will stay open.
…after five centimeters of snow:
- The media is talking about the worst weather chaos the city experienced for several years.
- The car drivers will realize that the worst is yet to come and speed up over the now icy and slippery roads.
- People are eating up their survival food. It looks so nice out there, so they just stay in, indulge in some sugar and junk food and enjoy the view.
- The airports discover that they have snowplows.
- Schools will continue to stay open.
…after 1,5 meters of snow:
- The media is talking about the worst winter chaos of all time.
- The car drivers will look for their car in the morning just to discover they dug up their neighbor’s vehicle.
- People are throwing away their now uneatable survival food and stock up on ice cream, beer and chocolate. Things could get interesting after all.
- Airports will shut down again after realizing that the snowplows are useless.
- Schools will continue to stay open. Small kids will be carried piggyback to school because they are too small to walk in that amount of snow.
…after only the tips of the skyscrapers remain (called “2012”):
- The media stopped talking. Instead, soothing reruns of movies and T.V. series are airing to entertain all the lock-ins.
- People will try to navigate their way to work with the subway, some shovels, and the help of the stars and the sun.
- Delivery services now deliver via helicopter.
- Schools are still open. The city was kind enough to install a snow tunnel system for the students. The latter curse their school system and demand for their parents to move to another city.
(Taken from that book:)