Jonas, the whale of a storm that engulfed the Northeast this weekend, has sailed on to meet the Atlantic Ocean and worry some boats. According to the Weather Channel, New York City’s Central Park recorded some 26.8 inches of snow, second only to the 2006 storm – and by only one tenth of an inch – in the last hundred and forty years.
While the media was cashing in with a few reported deaths, whipping shoveling-induced and carbon-monoxide-related deaths into a saucy omelet, we went for a Sunday afternoon ride and experienced the storm’s aftermath the way millions of people hopefully will have. Peacefully. Safely. Having fun.
Our Carroll Gardens neighborhood was still buried in snow, sidewalks and entrances being slowly cleared and secondary streets acting as pedestrian lanes. Cars lay buried deep into snowbanks after a few plow runs. Kids were having a blast, sliding down doorsteps on makeshift sleighs and crawling inside improvised igloos. Parents encouraged, tempered, tolerated and mediated. Oh, and they walked their dogs, which left dishonorable yellow stains in the snow. This is Brooklyn after all.
We waited patiently for the F subway and rode all the way down to Coney Island. Most of the trip is above ground and we peered outside curiously, watching the city slowly pick up its pace, much shoveling, snow-blowing and cursing being done in order to prepare for tomorrow’s harsher Monday reality.
Coney Island is weird, in a nice way. I recently found myself in Atlantic City for an hour or so and might post about that later, but the two cities could be twins. Long boardwalks along the ocean, lined with funky little room-size joints, either fast-food or eclectic shops. Iconic characters strolling along. Cats. Birds. Atlantic City has a backdrop of tall shiny hotels, in Coney Island it is the amusement park rides that spike up into the sky like as many teeth in a giant key. The park will not come to life until summer has checked in for good, but the sleeping attractions offer an delightfully colorful setting for leisurely walks.
Temperatures were higher than Saturday’s and the wind much calmer, but deep blue skies and an ocean breeze chilled the waterfront and we stayed only as long as wisdom allowed.
Then it was back to the ‘hood, preparing for supper, drinking champagne and flirting with an actual truffle*, an outrageously smart present from Marie as we celebrated that wonderful journey which began eight years ago in Cape Town with our simple Declaration of Dependence, casual event in jeans and a white dress, flowers all around and corgis as witnesses, followed by a symbolic picnic on a beach that will bind us ’til, well until the universe decides to allocate our quarks somewhere else.
To be honest and modest, I am just the luckiest guy on Earth.
* I’ll post mesmerizing macro shots of the intricate skin of a real truffle, soon.